New Puppy Starter Kit
Updated: Oct 1
Some recommendations on preparations and items to purchase to make your first few days and weeks of puppy ownership less stressful for you and your new pup!
So you're ready to bring home your new Bernedoodle Puppy, or are you?
Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting but also a responsible endeavor. Here's a comprehensive list of items you should consider getting or doing before your new furry friend arrives:
Crate: A crate provides a safe and comfortable space for your puppy to sleep and relax. We have found that the 24"x17"x19"is a good size for our Tiny Bernedoodles.
Bedding: Most of our Tiny Bernedoodles tend to run warm so most prefer sleeping on the cold floor. They will come home with a small blanket that you could let them sleep with if you choose to.
Food and Water Bowls: Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are easy to clean and less likely to harbor bacteria.
Puppy Food: Research the best puppy food for your breed and age of the puppy. Consider both dry and wet options. We recommend Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance All Life Stages 30/20 Chicken & Rice from Chewy.com. Tractor Supply also carries it in their stores.
Leash and Collar/Harness: You'll need these for walks and training. Make sure they fit your puppy's size. We will send your puppy home with a collar which is typically 8" or 10" for an 8-week-old Tiny Bernedoodle puppy. To check tightness, put a finger in between their neck and the collar to make sure there is room to move.
Mircrochip: Your puppy from Choice Bernedoodles will come with a microchip. You will want to go to AKC Reunite to register your info. This helps insure the safety of your puppy if they were to get lost.
Toys: Chew toys, interactive toys, and puzzle toys can help keep your puppy mentally and physically stimulated. We suggest rubber toys that are durable. A snuggle puppy is also advised to get to help your puppy adjust to not having their siblings with them anymore and can be a great sleep aid.
Potty Training Supplies: A bell similar to this that hangs on your door is a good aid in helping the puppy notify you when they need to go out. If you have space we have also found it helpful to get a 40" high portable fence something similar to the one linked. We treat it as a crate and take them out so they don't mess in there as well. This allows a safe place for them to be when you aren't free to watch them.
Grooming Supplies: You will need a brush and comb to help keep your puppies hair mat free. We haven't gotten this exact one but if you want the top of the line we've heard good reviews about this Chris Christensen Slicker Brush. But a cheaper version of slicker brush also does the trick. A metal comb is also a good tool to have. For baths any gentle puppy shampoo is good to have. A normal hair dryer will work but the Shelandy Dog grooming dryer is what we use and we love it. When they are young a finger nail clippers can work for their nails. But as they grow there are many options. We use the simplest nail clippers we can find, something like these nail clippers from Chewy. We also like to spray them with a good Dog freshening spray. This can also be used between baths. Check out this blog on giving your puppy their first bath for more tips.
Pet First Aid Kit: Be prepared for minor injuries with items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers. If they swallow something they shouldn't one tsp per 5lb of hydrogen peroxide can also be helpful to induce vomiting. Use a small syringe to help them injest it. If that doesn't resolve your issue take them to the vet ASAP. Benadryl can also be safe for puppies if they have a bad reaction to a vaccine.
Training Treats: High-quality treats are great for reinforcing positive behavior during training sessions. When they are small something soft and small is advised. Unsweetened cheerios can work as well.
Pet Insurance: Consider getting pet insurance to help cover unexpected veterinary costs. We have partnered with Tru Panion that will grant you your first 30 days free for pet insurance. Bernedoodles have been known to swallow things that aren't meant to be swallowed. So having insurance can give you the peace of mind that if you run into any emergencies, then you can afford to care for your pup's vet bills.
Puppy Gates: These can be used to create safe spaces and limit access to certain areas of your house. If you have space we have also found it helpful to get a 40" high portable fence something similar to this one from Amazon. We treat it as a crate and take them out for regular potty breaks so they don't mess in there as well. This creates a safe place for them to be when you aren't free to watch them.
Poisonous Plant and Hazardous Substance List: Familiarize yourself with potential dangers in your home and remove or secure them. Xylitol in gum is toxic to dogs it is one of the most dangerous things for your puppy. Make sure all of it is out of their reach. Dogs may have some human food but always check before feeding it to make sure it isn't toxic for them, see this recent post for a short list of toxic foods for dogs. Link food Blog post here
Training Books or Resources: Educate yourself on puppy training techniques and behavior to ensure a smooth transition. There are lots of good YouTube videos available. My brother, Darrel's Training Center, has a lot of good pointers. He also recommends McCann Dog Training and Beckman Dog Training.
Puppy Proofing Supplies: Outlet covers, cabinet locks, and cord protectors can help keep your puppy safe.
Traveling supplies: Puppy pads for your lap so the puppy can lay on your lap. Paper towels in case puppy gets carsick. Pet wipes can also be helpful when you need to wipe their paws. If choosing to fly you will need a soft sided carrier to put under the seat. It should not exceed 45 linear inches (L+H+W), check your arline before you fly. Another thing we love for traveling is a portable water food bowl.
Regular Veterinary Care: Find a reputable veterinarian and schedule your puppy's first check-up within a week of taking your puppy home. Some veterinarians have a full schedule and require weeks in advance scheduling. Be sure to keep that in mind as your home day for your puppy approaches.
Time and Patience: Remember that raising a puppy takes time and patience. Be prepared for accidents and behavioral challenges.
Puppy Socialization: Consider enrolling your new puppy into socialization classes to help your pup become well-adjusted. It is also important to spend time away from your puppy. This will help them not become anxious. Leaving and returning regularly helps them learn they will be ok even if you aren't present.
Pet Monitor or Camera: A pet cam can help you keep an eye on your puppy when you're not at home. The Furbo is a great one that will allow you to send treats to your puppy when you're away.
Bags or Container for Dog Food: Keep your puppy's food fresh and secure in an airtight container. If your puppy seems to eat too quickly consider getting a slow feeder dog bowl for them.
Stain and Odor Removers: Accidents will happen, so be prepared with effective cleaning products. Mixing vinegar with water in a spray bottle can be a good neutralizing agent for those potty accidents. For the tougher stains a one to one ratio is suggested.
Doggy Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Dental care is important for your puppy's overall health. Puppies love dental chews like these that help with their teeth. There are also drops you can put in their water. If they don't seem to like that flavor you can also check with your vet to get their recommendations.
Puppy-proof Trash Cans: Make sure your puppy can't access trash cans with hazardous items.
Patience and Training: Raising a puppy can be challenging, so having patience and being consistent with training are essential. We always say the first months may feel like having a newborn baby. Going into it with this mindset can set you up for sucess.
Love and Attention: Most importantly, shower your new puppy with love and attention to help them feel secure and happy in their new home. You may find that your puppy will do better the first few nights sleeping with the crate in your bedroom. And others do better knowing that no one is around. Feel free to experiment with them in what works best for your pup's temperament and preferences.
Remember that every puppy is unique, and your needs may vary depending on the temperment, age, and individual personality of your new furry companion. Taking the time to prepare your home and educate yourself about puppy care will set both you and your puppy up for a successful and happy life together.
Good luck with your new addition!