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We have compiled a list of things that might be helpful in preparing to bring your puppy home. It probably looks lengthy, but not everything listed is "essential”. These are things that have made our lives easier as we have learned by experience. We're STILL learning, by the way. 

*Vest-type harness and a leash* We prefer this type of harness over a plain collar because it is safer when the puppy is small and perhaps there develops an emergency situation.  Maybe an aggressive dog unexpectedly attacks. With this type of harness you can snatch your puppy up into your arms much quicker and with less harm to him than if he was just wearing a collar. You wouldn't want to choke your puppy or injure his neck. Also notable is that puppies usually rebel less against a harness than they do with just a collar that's tugging on their neck. Once they are bigger and less vulnerable, a collar is fine. 

*Travel crate* big enough for them to be transported in as an adult. This will also serve as their bed until their potty training is completed. (See the previous post “Crate Training and Benefits”) If the crate is too big it will be easier for the puppy to decide to make a "potty area" inside the crate. It's better if it's small enough that the entire crate is viewed as it's bed. Not as it's apartment.

*Several thin bath towels* for using as easily washable bedding mentioned in “Crate Training and Benefits”. These towels are great to use until potty taining is complete.

*Water bowl and food bowl* We prefer separate bowls because it's less hassle when you need to clean one out. You can also remove access to food while still leaving water. We also like heavier ceramic or the wide bottom dishes so they don't tip and spill easily. 

*Rubber chew toys* They like to chew on things that are kind of spongy. 

*Squeaky toys* No plastic eyes or noses that can be chewed off and swallowed. 

*Ball* appropriate to the size of the puppy. Tiny puppies love the ping pong balls. But you have to make sure that as they grow the ball has not become small enough to be a choking hazard. 

*Rope Toy* for tug-of-war.

*Jerky chews or pigs ears and bones* Encourage chewing for recreation as well as their dental hygiene and health. VERY IMPORTANT! Bones clean their teeth. If their teeth stay clean, there will be less vet bills for teeth cleaning and health issues related to gum disease. Some pet owners prefer to brush their puppy's teeth instaead of allowing them to chew on things that might be a choking hazard. Supervision is always a good idea. 

*Treats* that are relatively soft so they can be broken into tiny tidbits for training. You don't want them to “fill up” on training treats. 

*Good dietary supplements*  for healthy skin and coat as well as for their bones and joints (Glucosamine/Chondroitin) should be started as soon as they meet the appropriate age and weight for the supplement you choose. We shop for these supplements at Costco or online at

*Gate or barrier* to keep puppy confined to a non-carpeted area (like the kitchen) until they are potty trained.

*Spray bottle* for white vinegar and water for cleaning and training - 1 part vinegar to 8 parts water. (See “Potty Training Part 2”) 

*Tangle Teezer brush* from Sally's Beauty Supply is better in my opinion than any of dog grooming brushes that I've tried. 

*Melaleuca Oil* to add a couple of drops to their shampoo for safe and natural flea and tick deterrent.

*Kitty Litter - Unscented clay non-clumping* to spread in the area that will be designated their potty area. (See the previous post “Crate Training and Benefits – THE POTTY AREA”.