How exciting to finally bring your puppy home! Before the puppy gets home you are going to need a few things Walking through a pet store trying to figure out what you will need can most certainly be overwhelming so I’m going to give you my recommendations.
1. Crate – rather than buying multiple crates purchase one that will be the correct size for when the puppy becomes an adult. For a medium size labradoodle you should get a 32” crate with a divider. The divider will be used to make the crate small enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around. You don’t want the crate any larger until the puppy is potty trained.
2. Crate mat – for the first few weeks you may want to use towels so in the event the puppy has an accident they are easy to launder. I prefer any type of bedding that can be thrown in the washer or one with a cover that can be removed and washed.
3. Water and food bowls – puppies like to play with anything, including their bowls! Find either stainless steel weighted or ceramic bowls that are heavy. Do not buy plastic as the puppy could chew it and choke on the pieces.
4. Brushes and comb – from the moment you bring your puppy home you want to get it used to being brushed. Although the puppy may not need to be brushed its important that the puppy enjoys or at least tolerate being groomed. There are many types and brands so here are a few that work very well on their coats. Chris Christensen T-Brush and Buttercomb (coarse and wide tooth ends) and the Master Grooming double wide brush in either purple (Soft) or blue (extra firm)
5. Collar or harness and leash – purchase a collar (harness) that will grow with the puppy for at least the first few months. Do not buy the retractable leash because they are not only unsafe but you also don’t want the puppy walking in front of you. The puppy should always be walking in a heel position either on your left or right side.This way you are not only teaching the puppy correct skills, you will also have much more control in the event of potential danger.
6. Toys – there are so many toys to chose from! You will need chew toys. Do not buy any type of rawhide since they can pose a chocking danger. I recommend:
Barkworthie Odor-free Bully Sticks.
Red Barn peanut butter filled bones (white).
Antlers of any type as long as they are from the United States. Ours prefer the split antlers.
Soft plush toys are good as long as they don’t have any pieces that can be chewed off and swallowed.
Rope toys with our without bones.
Interactive toys keeps the puppy mind stimulated while teaching them thinking skills.
7. Nature’s Miracle. Puppies do have accidents when parents aren’t paying attention or quick enough. Nature’s Miracle is great at getting out odor and stains.
8. Last but not least is food. The puppies are weaned on Natural Balance Whole Body Puppy Formula. You will be given a 5 lb bag of food which should last several weeks. If you choose to use a different food, please go to Dog Food Advisor and ONLY choose 4.5* or better rated food. When changing foods remember to use 75% old food and 25% new food for 2 days. If there are no tummy problems then try 50% old and 50% new for 2 days. If there are still no tummy problems then try 25% old and 75% new for another 2 days. If all goes well then you can transition to 100% new food. Always use this formula whenever changing food to avoid tummy problems such as diarrhea.