The New Puppy Checklist
- Food Bowls
- Puppy Food
- Bed or blanket
- A Game Plan
We are often asked by new puppy parents which supplies are needed for their new puppy. We want you to use the things you like, but we can offer recommendations based on our years of experience with Labs.
We choose food bowls that are stainless steel for two reasons. One being that Labs like to chew, the other being that they are dishwasher safe. It makes cleaning as easy as throwing them in your next load of dishes.
As far as puppy food goes, we choose to use only 4 and 5 star foods for our dogs. We have been using Purina Pro Plan Sport for years. It was recommended by our Veterinarian, & we have observed the way it works well for us. You may want to select a different brand. Dog Food Advisor is a helpful tool that provides unbiased reviews. You can visit the website here. We will provide you with a sample of the food we are feeding on Puppy Pick Up Day. You can choose to continue with that brand, or you can change their food by mixing the baggie we provide with the food you are transitioning them to.
By design Labs are bred to want things in their mouth. Often we hear about a Lab's "soft mouth". I have watched our Shelby carry Easter eggs around our yard without cracking a single one. That said, when it comes to chew toys all bets are off. We bought Bully Sticks for our Labs last Christmas. They are designed to last for days - maybe even a week. Gabby had finished hers within 30 minutes. Through our experience we've found that KONG brand toys can withstand even our most avid chewers. Just a tip. :)
Dogs are instinctively den animals. In the wild they sleep there, hide from danger there, and raise their families there. Crates can provide the same comfort for domestic dogs. We find crates to be highly beneficial when it comes to housetraining. The crate limits their freedom to roam while they are still learning the rules of the house. Never use the crate as punishment. The puppy may develop a fear of being put in there. You should only expect the puppy to be able to hold its bladder 1 hour per month of life. For example, a three month old puppy should be allowed to potty every 3 hours. Also, after eating and after waking from a nap. Crate size is important. Our suggestion is that you buy a crate that is large enough for an adult lab, but comes with a divider designed to allow the space to grow as the puppy grows. This is the most economical route to take as you only have to buy one crate.