Buying The Puppy Basics

Bringing a new puppy home is soooo exciting!!!! I love the preparation, planning and shopping you get to do before they come home – I even love the discussions (arguments) about puppy names 🙂

There is actually a lot to do and think about before the new pup comes home, including getting everything you will need to start them off as comfortably as you can.

Have you found your perfect puppy and are now wondering “What do I need to buy for a new puppy??

Well, to help you out, I’ve done a list of basics you will need before you bring the pup home and I’ve gone into a bit more detail further on in this post about things you may want or need for your new fur baby! (Edit: I’ve also added a few links to puppy products we have seen or used in the past.)

What To Buy For A New Puppy

  1. Bed/blankets/bedding
  2. Collar and lead
  3. ID tag
  4. Food and water bowls
  5. A few puppy toys
  6. Food
  7. A crate
  8. Puppy pads
  9. Flea/worm treatment
  10. Cleaning supplies
  11. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  12. A soft puppy brush
  13. Puppy shampoo and towel
  14. Vet details

Lets Break Down The List!

Essential No.1: Bed/blankets/bedding

A safe, comfy bed is essential for a new pup (and for older dogs too!)

You might want to go out and buy the softest, comfiest, fluffiest bed you can find (me too) which your pup will love and adore. The only downside to a soft bed is that once they start to go through the teething phase they might chew it to bits. 😮 They will probably chew it anyway; just because they can, because they don’t know any better, because they’re bored or lonely or because it’s fluffy and their instincts say ‘KILL THE FLUFFY!!!’

We’ve lost many a good (expensive) bed this way lol. I tend not to buy anything too expensive now until they are older… but that’s just me.

Saying that though, I LOVE the fluffy, soft beds and prefer them over any other type. ❤ ❤ I really, REALLY love the calming, fluffy donut dog beds you can buy now – they look so comfy and soft I wouldn’t mind one myself lol!

You can buy the fluffy calming beds from most places now, including Amazon and eBay.

The type of bed you buy is up to you. You can choose from soft, fluffy, hammock types, hard plastic, blankets or cushions. Or even a combination of a few different types.

We always start with a soft, fluffy bed and end up buying a hard plastic one with blankets and cushions before going back to soft beds later. This is ideal for going through the toilet training and teething stages!

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Essential No.2: Collar and Lead

With the puppies we breed, we always get a collar on them as young as possible, mainly because this helps us to identify who’s who but helps to get them used to having a collar on too.

By law, your pup will always need a collar and id tag on when they go outside (also they have to be microchipped now too).

Nicki @strawberieveddb

You will eventually want to walk your pup so they need to get used to a collar.

Try to buy a puppy collar as they are usually slightly softer material, have a bit more ‘give’ in them and have a safety buckle that will snap off if the pup gets it stuck on something – these buckles are usually easier to get on and off too.

Belt-type or buckle type fastening collars?

A lot of puppy collars are just a smaller version of an adults collar with a normal belt-type fastening, these are good too but can just be a little harder to get on and off at bath time when the pup wriggles about 🙂

Collars come in loads of colours, patterns, styles, makes and sizes. Some are leather, some nylon some are chains. Some collars have extra padding for comfort too.

The cute, colourful matching collars and leads from Ancol and Hem & Boo are my fave!! ❤❤❤ In fact, Peanut has had Ancol Pink Hearts, a Hemm & Boo Pink and currently has an Ancol Pink Unicorn collar! See if you can spot her wearing them in her photos on Instagram or Facebook!

Whichever style you choose, make sure you get a collar which will fasten on the smallest/tightest setting but still let you fit 2 fingers underneath the collar while the pup has it on. This will then give you a perfect fit and room to grow into.

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Essential No.3: ID Tag

Like I mentioned above, all dogs need some form of ID tag by law – plus you want someone to be able to contact you if they ever (God forbid) got lost.

ID tags for dogs come in all shapes, sizes, colours and styles too!

You can have traditional, basic metal tags that will display a few details – these also come in cute colours and shapes now too! I love (& buy) the paw and the heart-shaped ones! ❤ (This is the eBay seller we buy our ID tags from.)

You can have super blingy tags too if you like or just go with a simple barrel-type id type, like you can have for cats.

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Essential No.4: Food and Water Bowls

We all need to eat and puppies will try and eat a lot! Every pupper need a bowl for food and at least one for water.

Bowls, like everything else, come in numerous styles, colours, shapes and types. We have ceramic, metal and this bright Scooby-Doo plastic bowl from B & Ms.

Most people start with a small double bowl for their pup, then move to bigger bowls as the pup gets bigger.

Dogue de Bordeaux grow fast. So it may be a better idea to get a bowl that’s too big for your pup to grow into. Just make sure your pup can reach over the edge of it lol and don’t fall into the trap of ‘big bowl, big portion’!!

Bowls need to last and be easy to clean – plastic, ceramic and steel are all great options. The downsides? Plastic move easier and get chewed, ceramic can break, metal makes a loud clang when they throw it around the kitchen!! 😮

Coco Bowl Bones Group

We love these ceramic dog bowls (above) from B&Ms, but I have recently found some nice ones in Pets at Home too.

You will also need to puppy proof your house and garden – to keep them safe but also to keep your home safe from teething puppies! 😮

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Essential No.5: Puppy Toys

Toys are a fantastic way to bond with your pup, it also keeps them busy and gives them something to chew and de-stuff instead of your furniture…

One of Evie's favourite dog toy a squeaky cabbage/lettuce! @strawberieveddb #doguedebordeaux
Evie’s cabbage/lettuce!

Puppy toys are a massive market and pretty much everything has been made into a dog toy of some sort! Evie loves her squeaky cabbage and refuses to ‘kill’ it but anything soft and fluffy doesn’t last very long!!

A few good, simple puppy toys to start off with are: a rope chew, a soft toy, something squeaky, a soft plastic/rubber toy and a hard rubber toy for teething.

Some of our dog’s faves are a traditional Kong (hard rubber) – we used to have a Pink Puppy Wubba Kong too – a squeaky fluffy duck, a tennis ball and a fluffy rabbit for snuggling. Strangely enough, the two fluffy rabbits lasted the longest as the dogs had these as babies and kept them for snuggling for a few years until they were dropping apart!

You can buy dog and puppy toys PRACTICALLY EVERYWHERE – my fave places to buy dog toys are:

Teething Toys for Puppies

We have bought our pups a variety of ‘teething’ toys in the past, made from really hard rubber (think hard as a brick) and some even had flavours – but our dogs never used them lol totally ignored them!! 😀 😮 They always preferred the Kong Wubba or the plastic dog beds sigh!! 🙂

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Essential No.6: Food!!

FOOD. You only have to think about opening something tasty to eat and the dogs are all over you, drooling on your clothes and giving you the puppy eyes!

Even though it’s tempting to give your pup anything and everything they beg for – don’t. Puppies are like babies, they have sensitive tummies and can only digest certain things.

The biggest question with food is: do you feed raw or dry (or both!).

We feed our dogs on raw food, with a combination of veg, fruits and sometimes biscuits to mix it up a bit. If you have adopted a puppy from us your pup has probably already started on raw food. If you want to swap them onto dry or even pre-packed ‘wet’ food (tins and chubb rolls) then do it gradually, swapping a bit of the raw for the dry/tinned food at a time over a period of about 2 weeks. This will help the pup get used to it and avoid having a poorly tummy!

There are plenty of brands of dog food, some are better than others – just because something is expensive doesn’t always make it ‘the best’ and vice versa for the cheaper brands.

Nicki @strawberieveddb

You can buy dry complete or mixer biscuits, wet complete tins/pouches/trays and raw frozen food from pet shops and most supermarkets. If you want raw raw food, ask a butcher. A lot of butchers will mince up the animal leftovers for dogs at a really cheap price too. Best food for your dog, completely organic and natural, minced and bagged and cheaper than most brand named food. Bonus!

Whatever brand or type of food you buy from the shop, make sure it is Puppy food, it has all of the nutrients and vitamins they need as they grow. If you buy raw food direct from the butchers (like we do) then the raw food has pretty much everything they need, but it’s nice to balance it out with some fresh veggies to make sure.

When we adopted Evie, she was on complete dry BETA Puppy dog food, she ate it but got bored after a while so it was a good job we had started to swap her onto raw pretty much straight away! 😀

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Essential No.7: A Crate

Crates are still a hotly debated topic, so it is a completely personal choice whether to crate train your puppy or not. I was against it for years, until we tried it once and then I completely changed my mind. It’s true what they say – used properly a crate is a blessing to you and your pup!

A crate is a safe space for your pup to go back to when they are scared or tired, and it keeps them safe while you are out or doing something else and can’t supervise them. Half hour in the crate is much better than them roaming the front room and chewing through plugged in TV wires… (been there). It also helps when toilet training puppies.

Above is a photo of our boy Pablo with his sister Peanut in the crate (with her unicorn!), all our dogs are now crate trained, they aren’t in them very often but that’s our choice. I work from home so am basically in all day, so they sleep on me rather than in the crate a lot of the time! Plus I like to be all over the dogs and have their company!

Crates come in a few different sizes (and now styles too). Make sure the crate you get is big enough for the puppy/dog to lie stretched out and stood up without hitting any bars. If you are only planning on crating your pup when they are small/young, then don’t get a massive one but if you have a large breed like our Dogue de Bordeaux and intend to always have them a crate just in case, then get a massive one!! There are some really clever ways to disguise crates as parts of furniture on Pinterest and the internet… but how you would disguise a massive crate I’m not too sure 🙂

Fido Studio UK Hidden Dog Crate Cupboard buy online from Omelet

You can buy dog crates from garden centres, pet shops, Amazon and eBay. I tend to get ours from amazon or eBay as they can get ridiculously priced in some shops.

Some crates have one door, some two. All crates come with a plastic tray for inside, which is perfect for cleaning up after toilet accidents! Put toys, blankets and puppy pads in there for your fur baby to keep them comfy. The crates are made from steel and are plastic coated to stop rust. Your pup will probably try and chew the bars – all of ours did. Our Staffy, Henry even managed to get out of his two doored, double latched crate… 😮

Some crates are now coloured plastic, but we have always gone for basic black, so not sure if they hold their colour or not after being hosed down a million times a day.

The general crate sizes available are: 19″, 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″ and 48″. Below is an example of sizes and which dog breeds they would be suitable for.

Dog Crate SizesLength of Crate (inches)Approx WeightBreed Examples
XS19"<20lbsChihuahua, Pomeranian
S24"20-30lbsMiniature Poodle, Jack Russell, Yorkie
M30"30-40lbsCocker Spaniel, Cockapoo, French Bulldog
L36"40-70lbsBulldog, Beagle
XL42"70-90lbsLabrador, Boxer
XXL48"90lbs+Great Dane, Dogue de Bordeaux
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Essential No.8: Puppy Pads

Puppies pee and poop a LOT. You can help protect your poor flooring with puppy pads! They are also great to use in the pups bed and to help with toilet training.

Puppy pads are basically flat, thin nappies. They are absorbent and disposable and usually come in big packs which are great value for money. They also help to lock in some of the smell! Years ago people used to use newspapers – which is fine – but newspapers aren’t as absorbent as puppy pads and tend to rip when you are cleaning up!

Puppy pads are plastic-backed so stay in one piece even when they are dripping wet or when you are rolling up a poop! So much better than ripping paper and getting your hands even dirtier… 😮

Puppy pads are quite easy to buy as most places stock them now, I will usually get ours from places like B & Ms or Home Bargains. (I have recently seen them in a Poundstretcher too.) You can buy more expensive packs, but they are all the same thing basically so why pay more? Especially if you’re using a lot of them! It’s not about being cheap, it’s about getting good value. Like everything else, you can also buy them online from Amazon, eBay or pet shops like Pets at Home.

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Essential No.9: Flea Tick & Worming Treatments

All dogs need fleaing and worming throughout their lifetime. You can take your dog to the vets and get the treatment or you can buy some tablets from a pet shop.

If you go to the vets they will give your pup a check up while they are there and discuss any questions you might have, they will weigh your pup and then give them flea, worm and tick treatment based on their age and weight.

We always treat our dogs and puppies before they leave for their new forever homes. When they are young the pups will be taken to the vets once a month to be treated; sometimes as our own dogs get older we will buy treatment from a pet shop.

If you buy from a pet shop, please make sure you check the information on the box and your pup’s weight so you choose the right tablets. Treatments will tell you the ages and weights the dogs need to be each dose on the box.

Some of the most popular and well-known brands of flea, worm and tick treatment you can buy in the shops are:

We have used all of these in the past – being prescribed Panacur, Frontline and Drontal by the vets first, then bought from the shop later. All of them have worked well and stopped our dogs and pups from having fleas, ticks or worms (thankfully!!).

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Essential No.10: Cleaning Supplies

You’re going to need a lot of disinfectant, cloths, kitchen roll, a mop, bucket, sponges and all sorts to keep your home fresh and hygienic once you bring a pup into your home!

Most dogs generally don’t even begin to be able to hold themselves until they are 9 months old. So it’s always best to be prepared and expect the worst!

Try and use animal friendly cleaning products if you can, if not then just make sure that your bucket of bleach isn’t left where your dog can get at it – because they will try and drink it! Ours did!!

There are some pet-friendly products out there, you just have to find them! Some can be expensive but they are worth it to keep your pup extra safe! Here are a few disinfectants and cleaning supplies you can find on Amazon:

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Essential No.11: Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Dental hygiene is important for dogs, just like it is for us. Not taking care of their mouths can lead to nasty breath, rotten teeth, abscesses and lots of pain!

You don’t have to brush your pup’s teeth twice a day every day, but just do it often and provide them with biscuits or doggy dental chews to help keep the tartare down.

Angled dog toothbrushes are specially made to make it easier to brush their teeth, you can also buy a rubber fingertip brush too. Try the different types to see which suits you and your pupper the best. Starting to brush your pup’s teeth from a young age will make life a lot easier when they are older and fully grown! We always introduce brushing to any pups we have bred as we believe it’s part of their grooming and socialisation training. (You can find out more about grooming your dog at home on our blog post – and remember grooming includes eyes, ears and teeth too!)

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Essential No.12: Soft Puppy Brush

Puppies need to get used to a lot of different things in a short space of time, so it’s best to be gentle and encouraging with everything

Dog brushes and combs come in all different types to suit different coats, to begin with, all you will need is a soft-bristled brush for your pup. This will help them get used to being brushed and not hurt them or scratch their delicate skin.

Personally, I prefer the really soft bristle brushes that seem like they won’t actually do a lot but they are great for fur babies to start off with, we then move onto whichever brush suits their coat best.

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Essential No.13: Shampoo & Towel

I always find that no matter how clean you keep the house or the puppies, they still smell lol. They have a unique puppy smell, like babies do. The natural puppy smell is intoxicating ❤❤ and I could smell it all day – but sometimes pups will need a bath because they smell like something else 😮

Once you get your new fur baby home you will want to give them a warm, fun bath. It’s a great bonding experience, they smell a bit too much like other er… smells and also you get to ‘wash off’ the breeder’s home and begin to tie your pup to your unique smell instead.

I absolutely LOVE bathtime! We all do here and have had arguments over who gets to bath the dogs… unless they are really, really muddy and then all of a sudden no-one wants to help Mum bath the dogs!!

For your babies first bath you will need a warm, snuggly fairly large towel so you can wrap them completely up in it to stay warm. You can buy microfibre towels especially for dogs now, but personally, I always use a large bath towel of ours we no longer use. We have a collection of dog towels, floor towels, bleached (hair) towels and people towels in our house!!

It’s your preference but also what your baby likes best too, it may be that their fur is best dried with a microfibre towel because their fur really holds the water (our dogs) and you’d rather not use three towels for one full-grown dog… ;P

Here are a few other options for drying your fur baby after bathtime:

  • A normal people towel
  • Microfibre dog towel
  • Noodle mitts/gloves
  • Dog towelling jacket/robe

You can buy microfibre towels from places like B & Ms and HomeBargains that are ok for puppies, but last time I looked they weren’t really big enough for an 8 week old dogue puppy, so it also depends on your pup’s size.

For bigger microfibre towels, you can get them from Amazon, eBay or PetsatHome, you can see some of the towels on offer using these links:

You can also buy noodle drying gloves and noodle towels – the towels look like bath mats if I’m honest 🙂 we have a blue bath mat that looks almost identical!

The dog product world is always expanding which is great for us dog lovers – but maybe not always good for our bank balances!

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To bath your pooch, you’ll also need shampoo! Most puppies wiggle a lot when they have a bath or try to climb out until they get used to it. They also have delicate skin and fur so it’s always best to buy them a gentle, puppy shampoo which is kind to the skin, eyes and good for their fur.

It doesn’t matter whether you have an expensive brand or a cheaper shampoo, they all seem to work as well as one another. Just go on what you like the best and what suits your pup, if they start showing signs of irritation like scratching, rashes or biting at areas check for fleas and ticks and try changing the shampoo.

You can find out some tips to make bathing your pup or dog easier over on our How To Groom A Dog At Home post – which is especially helpful during Covid-19 lockdown when all of the groomers are closed!

Here are a few options for puppy shampoos:

PDSA Puppy shampoo

Essential No.14: Vet’s Details

Probably one of the most important things you will need when you bring your new pup home is details for a good vet. You won’t need your vet straight away (thank God) but your pup will need to visit the vet at some point, for a welcome check up and just to get them used to going.

It can be a good idea to do some research on vets near you, don’t be afraid to call them up or pop in for prices, services and just for a feel of how they are.

One thing to remember is that just because they are expensive doesn’t make them perfect (or even good!), a cheap vet doesn’t necessarily mean they are shit. All vets are different and you might start off with one and then want to change later – this is fine, you have to use someone you trust!

❤❤ Our vets have been fantastic, for every problem and pet we have ever had, we are so grateful we have them and hope they never change!! ❤❤

There are a couple of stories on the blog of times when we’ve needed our vet, I will try to add them to the end of this post in case you ever fancy a quick read with a cuppa!

Bringing a puppy home should be an exciting and lovely experience, take any stress out of this special time by being prepared before you even pick them up by following some of the tips on this What you Need To Buy A New Puppy post.

A Couple of Times We (Really) Needed Our Vet:

If you love dogs, please share this!

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