I didn’t think it would be this hard.

Tomorrow I bring my new four-legged friend home. Today’s goal is to get everything I need so that I’m prepared. It’s been so long since I’ve had a puppy and I can’t remember there being so many choices.

What do I get? There are 4’, 6’, and 12’ leashes. This includes nylon, leather, chain, and the braided ones. Then there’s retractable and hands free leashes. Collars include flat, choke, prong, and martingale ones. To further complicate matters there are no-pull, fancy fabric, and complicated harnesses. It’s overwhelming and I haven’t even got the puppy yet!

If you’re confused about the equipment, just relax. Try to keep it simple. All you need to start with are some basics.

  • First you’ll want to get a properly sized crate, and do some planning as to how you’re going to confine the puppy. Puppies and even adult dogs need to earn the rights of your house.
  • Secondly, choose a flat collar. Make sure that it is properly sized for the breed and size of your puppy. Getting a measurement of your puppy’s neck from your breeder before going shopping will be helpful. Keep in mind that you will be purchasing multiple collars while your puppy is growing. Pong, choke and martingale collars are training collars that you may or may not need once your puppy gets older.
  • Next you’ll need at least one leash. A six foot leash is recommended. The width will depend on your collar size and the size of your puppy. You may also want to pick up a long leash—15 foot or longer—that you can use outside to give your pup added freedom to explore without pulling you. I do not recommend retractable leashes. These can be harmful to both your puppy and yourself.

Other items that you will need to get include food and water bowls and your puppy chow. I would recommend that you stick with whatever brand of food the breeder is feeding until your pup has settled into your home.

Researching good food is definitely something that you’re going to want to do. It’s eye opening what is in a lot of food called “Dog Food.” You should strive to feed your pup the best food that you can afford to feed. So do your homework.

Lastly you will want to get an ID tag for your pup. This should include your puppy’s name, your name, and phone number. Your address is also helpful if there’s room on the tag. Attach the tag to your collar and you should be all set to go get your puppy.

Now go get your new friend and enjoy!