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Bringing home a new puppy
what do I need?

21/07/2021 — Housing & purchase — Dog

Bringing home a new puppy, what do I need? A checklist

Buying or adopting a puppy is incredibly exciting. It won’t take long before you fall in love with his clumsy paws, little button nose, fluffy tail and irresistible noises 
 You probably can’t wait for your little friend to arrive. Or perhaps he has already moved into his new home? Don’t worry, we’ve listed all the puppy essentials you need to make sure you get the most out of your time together.

To crate or not to crate?  


Crating your dog or not? Opinions are heavily divided on this topic. However, using a crate can offer a number of benefits. There are just some things you should keep in mind. Let us briefly explain:

The benefits of using a crate:

  • When combined with a soft crate cushion, it will become a super cosy and warm den to relax in if tired.
  • It's a great tool for housetraining your furry best friend, as most puppies don’t like to mess up their own place.
  • It’s a safe place for your new arrival when you can't keep an eye on him or need to get out of the house.
  • If your dog has had surgery, and crate rest is required, it can be helpful that your four-legged friend is already used to a crate. 

Things to keep in mind when using a crate:

  • Because of the limited space, it’s important to crate your dog only for short periods of time. Make sure he can move around freely before and after being in the crate.
  • Crating your new canine companion for too long can lead to hyperactivity and a cry for attention.
  • If your puppy is crated, he’ll have less opportunity to socialise with other dogs and people.
  • Leave food and water available in the crate, especially when you’re away from home for several hours. 

Conclusion: a crate is a helpful tool and a safe place for your puppy to calm down. However it’s best to use it effectively. For example, to sleep in at night and/or for a few short moments during the day. You also need to give your puppy the time to get used to his new crate. That’s what we call crate training.
puppy sitting in run - puppy zit in ren - flamingo pet products

Crate training? This is how it’s done: 


  • Introduce your pup gradually to his own safe place. You can do this by crating your little friend when he’s tired, starting by leaving the door open. Then you can extend the time he spends in the crate step by step and close the door once in a while.
  • Never crate your puppy as a punishment. This can lead to all kinds of behavioural problems and will certainly not benefit the crate training.
  • Feed your new family member dinner and treats in the crate. This helps building a good association between your puppy and his crate.
  • Puppy whining in the crate? Wait for a moment and let him out as soon as he’s quiet again.
  • Crate your pup when you leave the house, but don’t let him out immediately upon your return. Also when you’re in the room you should crate your puppy from time to time.
  • Do you prefer to buy a crate that’s big enough for your pooch to grow up in? An oversized crate makes it harder to housetrain your puppy. With a little creativity you can adjust the crate size to the size of your puppy e.g. by placing a wooden wall or empty feeding/drinking bowl inside.
  • At first, keep the crate close to you. This will reassure your puppy. Afterwards, you can move the crate further and further away until it’s in the location you prefer. 

Dog basket or cushion for sweet dreams


As an alternative or combined with a crate, a dog basket or cuddly cushion. can be the perfect spot for your pup to dream away happily. For example in a safe room. With a crate cushion you can turn your crate into a warm and cosy den.

For your new arrival a low-maintenance dog basket or cushion is the best choice. Because, let’s face it, accidents will happen. A cushion with zipper or a washable basket look as good as new after being washed. Always follow the washing instructions. Not sure what size of basket you need? 

Want to offer your new canine companion the necessary freedom? Then a dog barrier can be the perfect solution. It prevents your little sweetheart from falling down the stairs, when you’re not paying attention for a second. But it’s also perfect to prevent little paws from getting into rooms where they shouldn’t and which do not have doors.

Housetraining with puppy pads


Puppies are not yet able to hold their pee for very long. Often they need to pee almost every 30 minutes. Especially after sleeping, eating and playtime it’s a good idea to take your little friend outside. Fortunately, there are some useful tools that help you make potty training easier and more pleasant.

What are puppy pads and why are they so useful?


There are many useful tools that help you to housetrain your puppy quickly. Puppy pads (also called training mats) and a training spray are great ways to gradually housetrain your puppy, while your interior stays dry and clean. Puppy pads absorb urine and have a waterproof bottom layer. That makes them easy to clean up. Very useful when you struggle getting your pup out on time, e.g. at night, when you live in an apartment or when you have to go to work.

How to use puppy pads?

Position the puppy pad where your puppy is allowed to do his business. Overtime, move the pad closer to the door and eventually outside, where your pup will have to go to do his business. As long as your furry friend is not potty trained yet, you can also put the pads in the crate to keep his safe spot clean for longer. Or create a real dog toilet with a puppy pad holder that is specially designed to keep the pads in place.
In addition you can put the puppy pads inside a cushion with zipper. This way, your dog cushion is protected against accidents even better. 
The puppy training spray can be used to make the puppy pads (or any other place where your puppy can do his business) even more attractive. Some sprays, on the other hand, prevent puppies from doing their business where they shouldn’t.
Husky puppy sitting on puppy training pad - Husky puppy zit op trainingsmat - Flamingo Pet Products

Walking accessories especially for your puppy


In the beginning puppies are not into long walks. A good rule of thumb is a ratio of 5 minutes per month of age until the puppy is 1 year old. Another well-known rule of thumb is 1 minute per week of age. Over-exercising your puppy can increase the risk of your pup developing joint problems later in life, as the growth plates have not yet fully closed.

However, it’s important to start exercising from an early age and introduce your new four-legged family member to the outside world. Several short walks a day are ideal. That’s why you need a collar or harness and leash. At first, your puppy will regularly grow out of his collar. For this reason, it’s best to choose an adjustable one and to have his neck circumference measured.

In addition, it’s better to buy a leash that is sturdy and not too long or a retractable leash (Flexi). Your puppy still has to learn how to walk, so you’ll want to keep him short as much as possible in the beginning. Also, a leash that is too long can be very heavy for your little best friend.

Puppy toys for romping around


Puppies spend a great deal of time playing. As they lose their baby teeth and gain their adult teeth, they may start to chew on things and bite. You can help your furry friend through the biting process by providing sufficient variety combined with the right toys. This will also help protect your furniture. Make sure to include some sturdy chewing toys. Rubber toys are always a good choice. Dipping a rubber toy in water and then freezing it, will soothe you’re puppies poor sore gums.
Treat dispensing dog toys encourage your puppy to work for something tasty and keep him busy for hours. Great to fight boredom and stimulate his brain. Or when you want to focus on something other than your dog for a while. Because getting something done with a puppy in the house can sometimes seem like a difficult task. Don't worry, with some treats hidden in a toy and a puppy run, your little friend can keep himself busy while being safe.

Tip

It’s best not to give your little friend access to all of his toys at the same time. Just like us humans, they can quickly become bored with all of them. It’s therefore best to put a number of toys away for a few months and then give them back again. It’ll be as if your little friend gets a brand new toy!
Just to be on the safe side, never let your pup or dog play with a toy without supervision. For some dogs, the most enjoyable game is to take the toy apart or to remove the squeaker or bell. No toy is indestructible and small parts of toys can cause obstructions. Always make sure to keep an eye on him.

Everything for a trip with your new traveling companion


From picking up your pup from the breeder or kennel to going to the vet for vaccinations, bringing your new arrival home to the family or letting those little paws get used to the loose sand at the seaside. Your puppy loves to go with you. It’s therefore important to transport your puppy safely at all times.
Man and dog in car - Baasje en hond in auto - Flamingo Pet Products
Depending on the size of your pooch and what you like best, you can go for a transport box or a car seat cover and safety belt with harness for in the car. Or if your boot is big enough, a car seat cover and net between the boot and the back seat.

Is your puppy not ready yet to jump into the car boot? Or do you have a large breed dog and you don’t want to damage his joints? Then it might be a good idea to buy a collapsible step or ramp to make it easier to get into the boot and prevent your dog from hurting his joints.

Grooming and pampering


Of course you want to take care of your pet in the best possible way. To do this you’ll have to stop by the grooming section in the pet shop. We all like a bit of wellness, don’t we?

Puppy shampoo


At first you might think that you don’t need  puppy shampoo . But I can tell you that your puppy will always find new ways to get dirty. A mud puddle, a small accident in his crate, that rubbish bag that looks so tempting 
 you get the picture. A puppy shampoo is specially developed for your young friend and has a more gentle formula than a classic shampoo.


Toothbrush & dog toothpaste


It’s important to get your puppy used to  dental care care at a young age. This will help prevent dental problems when he’s older. You can start at an age between 8 and 12 weeks. Start by occasionally touching your puppy’s mouth and do this more frequently as time goes by. Then get him used to the dog toothpaste by letting him lick it from your fingertip. Once your puppy is used to it, start applying the toothpaste with your hand and then with a dog toothbrush. Brush the teeth twice a week.

Eye and ear cleaner


Dogs with floppy ears are prone to ear infections. To prevent such infections, you’ll need to clean the ears regularly with an ear cleaner
Also remove any fluid accumulation in the corners of the eyes with an eye cleaner in order to prevent eye infections. Is the pus in the corners of the eye bright yellow or green? Then it’s best to have the eye checked by a vet.

First-aid kit


A first-aid kit for pets is also useful. Puppies are quite boisterous and can sometimes get wounds or ticks. With a first aid kit, you can deal with most inconveniences.

Comb or brush

comb or brush specifically for puppy hair is a must-have. In your local pet shop they’ll give you advice on which comb would be best for your little friend, as there are different types of combs and brushes for each type of coat. That way, your little friend can get used to combing or brushing and you can keep his growing hair under control. You can also choose for a massage glove. This glove combines brushing with a relaxing massage for your puppy or dog.
How often should you brush or comb your dog or puppy? In general you can take into account this rule:
  • Long-haired dogs: Comb daily
  • Semi long-haired dogs: Comb every other day
  • Short-haired dogs: Once or twice a week
Dog getting combed at grooming salon - Hond wordt gekamd in het trimsalon - Flamingo Pet Products

Good food for a healthy start


Obviously, your lovely sweetheart needs to eat and drink. Your breeder, the animal shelter your puppy came from or the animal shop can give you advice on the type of food, the quantity and how often you should feed your new family member.
You don’t always have to feed your dog in a bowl. Let your little friend find his food in a playful way by hiding it e.g. in a sniffing carpet, a brain train toy or a treat ball. Make sure your puppy always finishes his food. Half an hour before and after eating his meal your puppy should take some time to relax. Slow feeders are a helpful way to feed greedy puppies and are also great to prevent gastric torsion. A condition that happens mainly in large dog breeds. And, of course, don’t forget a drinking bowl or fountain.


Training treats are an essential part of dog training and rewarding. Your little friend will often do anything for a tasty reward. Training snacks are smaller than other treats, which makes them ideal for training, because you can give more rewards in one day. Check the packaging to see which snacks are suitable for your puppy or ask the shopkeeper for advice.
Discover our tasty feeding and drinking range

Clean up after your pup: don’t forget your poop bags!


If you want to keep your surroundings clean or avoid a fine, poop bags are often a must-have. In many countries it’s compulsory to clean up dog poop. And it’s nice not to have to avoid stinky brown piles when you’re out for a walk as well.

Do you often forget your poop bags? Then a poop bag holder can come in handy. Attach one to your leash and you’ll never forget them again. And it looks trendy too! Just don't forget to refill the holder from time to time to avoid unpleasant situations. 😉

To pick up poop in your garden, there are some excellent poop scoopers available. You can put a poop bag around your scooper to keep things even more clean. Easy-peasy!
There you go, now your pup has just about everything he needs for a good start. Enjoy your time together, because it won’t take long before your little friend reaches puberty!

In a nutshell

Your basic equipment should include a dog basket, toys, poop bags, a collar and leash, transport accessories, a feeding and drinking bowl, snacks, puppy shampoo and a first-aid kit. Depending on the breed or your situation, you may need more items.
Using a crate has several benefits. It promotes housetraining, is a safe place for your pup, prevents your dog from moving too much after an operation and is easy to turn into a cosy bed.
Puppy pads are ideal to use when you can’t take your dog outside for a pee every 15 minutes. They attract your dog and have a waterproof bottom layer. Put them somewhere where your puppy can do his business.
A long-haired dog should be brushed or combed every day. Short-haired dogs and puppies can be brushed once or twice a week. During the shedding periods, the coat needs more intensive care and therefore extra combing.