Checklist: Preparing for a new puppy

Congratulations! It is always very exciting to have a new furry addition to your family. As a responsible owner you try to get everything ready in time and organize your schedule accordingly to welcome the puppy. It may feel overwhelming to think of all the items you must not forget to purchase before the puppy arrives first time to its forever home. For situation like that I created this cheat-sheet of basic items.

1. Crate or playpen – is a MUST for every puppy home. Whenever you are not able to watch the puppy, whether you are at work or in another room, keep a puppy in a crate or a playpen. This will avoid any unwanted accidents – from peeing on your favorite shoes to chewing on an electrical cable. This is a precaution to keep your puppy safe and healthy. It is similar to keeping a toddler in a playpen while mom is cooking dinner.

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2. Transportation kennel – your puppy needs a space to feel safe and cozy on the road. Whether it is picking up from the breeder, trip to the vet or car ride to the cottage.

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3. Water and food bowls – for a chihuahua puppy any small bowl will work, but if you have a larger breed it is better to place a bowl at the withers’ height, it helps the spine of a puppy to develop properly. Again, it is done for the same reasons as having a kid sit with a straight back while writing/reading, it prevents spine issues. Do not forget to prepare more portable types of bowls, if you have an active lifestyle and plan to travel with your dog.

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Travel food/water items →

Water dispenser for a crate (optional, but useful) – a puppy should always have access to water, either inside or outside the crate. As a bowl can be easily flipped by a puppy, a dispenser gives water access in the crate while preventing unwanted water spillage.

Puzzle bowl aka Quick eater bowl →

4. Dog bed – keeps a puppy cozy in a crate and can be placed outside when crate is no longer needed/used.

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5. Dog food  – ask your breeder what food the puppy is eating. A breeder may give you a sample of food. If you decide to change to a different brand, mix the sample with new food in 50/50 proportions and increase the percentage of new food weekly. We raise our puppies on Royal Canin Small Puppy and feed our adults Royal Canin Small Adult.

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6. Collar or harness – should be of appropriate size for a puppy. If it is too big, the puppy has an opportunity to escape, run away and hurt himself/herself. Make sure the collar/harness is not too tight either, to not suffocate a puppy, but also not loose, so it doesn’t slip easily over the puppy’s head. I personally prefer collars.

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7. Leash – you can choose either flexi type (retractable) leash or a regular one. If you choose flexi take tape, not cord and do not get longer than 3 meters. If longer – you have less control, also when a dog is 5-7 meters away from you the leash may tie around the tree, around your dog’s legs or simply be on the way of other pedestrians (my pet peeve). In most cities and towns in Canada maximum allowed leash lengths is 3 meters. Normally, you use a leash in crowded places to keep you dog close to you. For other cases your dog needs obedience and a good recall training. Therefore, there is no need to buy a long leash.

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8. Grooming tools – it is important for the puppy to start getting used to grooming procedures from very young age. It will help him/her to be relaxed and trusting as an adult. For a complete list see my post “Checklist: Chihuahua Grooming Supplies” here on the website or search on my social media pages under hashtag #applegardenchihuahuasblog

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Enjoy the time with your new family member!

Sincerely, Applegarden Chihuahuas

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