Bringing home your new puppy is right around the corner. Here is a list of recommended items to help you be fully prepared for the first day with your new puppy, all of which are items we personally use when raising a new puppy:
Purina Pro Plan Puppy (chicken formula) is the dog food your puppy has been eating with us. You can always change to a different dog food, but we do recommend feeding Purina Pro Plan. All of our dogs stay on Pro Plan, but we switch to Purina Pro Plan Sport 30/20 at 6 months old. I do prefer the salmon formula for adults as some aussies can have sensitivity to chicken in their diet. Both types of food are linked below:
We use the basic folding, metal crates with all of our dogs. You can get a fancier crate, but we find it is unnecessary. You will want to get the 36" or 42" size (for larger males, 60lbs+). It is not necessary to get the biggest size out there, and you can use the provided metal divider to make the crate smaller when your puppy is still growing. Amazon is the cheapest place we have found for these kennels, and you can select either size option and single or double door.
You will not necessarily use a fluffy, comfy crate pad while potty training your puppy. They will use it to absorb any mess to keep their area clean, not to mention some puppies find them so fun to destroy. If you must put in a crate pad, we recommend these easily washable pads. They are like reusable puppy pee pads. They have a water resistant layer that prevents leakage, and they are very thin, without any dangerous stuffing while your puppy gets used to sleeping alone. The size linked below is designed for the 36" crate, which is the size crate we put all of our dogs in and shown above.
We really like a few bowls that may not have necessarily been on your list. Stainless steel pails are amazing for holding water in a crate, or you can get the attachment that allows you to clip a bowl to the crate. Either way, this gets the water/food attached to the crate and prevents spilling. Options are shown below. I use the attachment at home, but the pails on the road since they are easier to take in and out of the crates.
Dog Collars & Leashes
We could provide you with many, many options in this category, but this is more so a reminder to get something! We are huge fans of slip leads, but this is because we don't like our dogs wearing collars long-term due to maintaining their show coats. Try to make sure your collar choice is not rubbing your fur-baby's neck fur. Rolled leather collars are a nice choice for this. I have linked our favorite slip leads (the quality for the price of these is amazing) and rolled leather collar. Dog tags are recommended as well, so make sure to get one to had some extra information aside from your pup's microchip, just in case!
Your puppy will need toys and lots of them! The best way to keep your puppy from chewing YOUR stuff is to give them their OWN stuff to play with. Plus, if you engage an aussie with play and training at a young age, they will grow up to be more playful and eager to learn. My all time favorite toy for an aussie puppy is a lure stick. It is a great training aid too because you can use it to teach your puppy to have fun learning to walk on leash by "luring" them along or teach them fetch with a solid return since they can't run off with the toy on the lure stick! KONG toys are great for making treats. I will stuff them with wet/canned Pro Plan dog food and freeze to give the puppy at least an hour of entertainment. Here is a link to the lure stick that I use and the KONG in addition to a few aussome toy options on Amazon. Delta still has and loves her Invincibles Gecko, 4 years later! Avoid PetsSmart or Petco, toys are so expensive there. TJ Maxx and Marshalls have a good pet section for toy shopping.
The biggest thing I want to say here is please do not feed your puppy rawhide chews. Rawhide alternative or real cow ears are okay, but rawhide is hard to digest and can cause issues. Try the frozen KONG above to keep them entertained or even a raw marrow bone or knuckle bone as they get older. Also, with treats I like to use minimal ingredient treats as a lot of treats are loaded with fillers. Here is what I use for training. One ingredient, and I can break up the bigger pieces into smaller bits. The dogs love them, but you will want to mix it up to keep your dog interested in training. Sometimes I buy just the refrigerated chicken strips at the grocery store and use that (it really gets their attention and is just chicken).
Either of these books are easy to follow for training tricks and the sooner you start, the better. Your puppy will love to be intellectually challenged and you will be able to show off all the cute tricks!
You will get many more things for your puppy over time, but this is just to get you started. I will post more of our recommendations in different categories. Grooming at home will be next! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help make sure you have the best experience possible with your puppy!