So, you’re getting a Doodle puppy! Congrats! Trust me when I say that they are totally worth it. Doodles are an absolute joy to have as part of the family. Now the question is…are you prepared? We’ll go over every single item you’ll need in this comprehensive Doodle puppy checklist.
Before we get into it, though, I’d love to share with you Whitney and Chloe’s
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Survive the first year
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Puppy Proofing – Puppy Checklist
Anti-Chew Spray for Dogs
Puppies love to bite and chew, and it’s completely normal puppy behavior. But that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate it. You’ll want to start the process of training your puppy not to bite or chew – ideally from Day 1 – especially if you have kids. Consider using an anti-chew spray for dogs. These are safe deterrents that don’t taste very pleasant. Spray it on yourself or things around your home that have attracted his puppy teeth to curb the biting and chewing. Here is a highly-rated anti-chew spray for dogs:
Pet Stain Remover
You’ll definitely want something on hand for those early UH-OH’s. Get a pet stain remover product that both cleans and eliminates odors. Here are some highly-rated pet stain remover products:
Rags and Paper Towels
Be sure to have plenty of rags and paper towels on hand to clean up any puppy messes, as well.
Outlet Plug Covers
The last thing you want is a puppy’s curiosity gone wrong. Make outlets safe with plastic outlet plugs so he can’t lick the outlets or get his nails stuck in. Here is a highly-rated outlet plug cover product:
Dog Proof Trash Can
Store away your trash can, or if that’s not feasible, purchase a locking trash can to avoid any dumpster diving. This is extremely important as there may be foods and chemicals in your trash that can be fatal to your puppy. Here is a highly-rated dog-proof trash can:
Feeding and Watering Supplies – Puppy Checklist
Your breeder will probably recommend that you continue feeding puppy the same brand of food that they have been giving. Puppies typically have very sensitive stomachs, but you can change puppy’s food to whatever you prefer. Do not feed any products made in China.
Stainless steel bowls that can’t tip are always a great option for rambunctious puppies. Spill-proof water bowls are also wonderful to keep puppies from turning their water bowl into a swimming pool. (Thank us later). Here are two highly-rated dog food and water bowls:
Treats are great for training and rewarding good behavior. Avoid giving bones or rawhides as they can choke your puppy. Simple dog biscuits should do the trick for now, until you get to know your puppy’s likes and dislikes better. Here are some highly-rated puppy-suitable dog treats:
Crating and Confinement – Puppy Checklist
Dog Crates and Play Pens
A crate will be your puppy’s “room”/den and safe place. The crate should be just big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down in.
Now, we’ve done some research on dog crates. Metal wire dog crates can be dangerous and are not the advised crate-type by animal hospitals, especially if you have a strong and/or intelligent puppy (Lord knows Doodles are BOTH!).
Metal wire crates can severely injure puppies; sometimes paws are amputated, and they have apparently killed some puppies who have tried to squeeze through the wires. At the very least, wait until your dog is older and properly crate trained before getting him a wire crate. Use at your own risk.
In the meantime, a soft dog crate, or plastic one is safest. Even better if you can find a soft or plastic crate with a divider so you can enlarge the crate as your puppy grows.
If you want to have dynamic control over where your puppy can roam inside the house, baby gates are incredibly handy and easy to move. If you can, get something extra tall to prevent a hop-happy puppy from escaping. Here is a highly-rated baby gate product:
An alternative to using baby gates, a moveable play pen or play yard can give puppy a place to stretch out and play safely. Here are some highly-rated pet playpen and play yard products:
Learn more in our article on crate training, which includes the top recommended crates and confinement equipment.
Be sure to supervise your puppy while he’s near the baby gate or inside the play pen to avoid any accidents as mentioned above.
Auto/Travel – Puppy Checklist
Dog Travel Crate
Not meant to replace a full-size crate, a travel crate/carrier will be great for transporting your puppy and keeping him safe during car rides and road trips. Here is a highly-rated dog travel crate that will last your puppy’s entire lifetime:
Dog Seat Belt
Alternatively, if you don’t have room for a travel crate or simply prefer not to use one, consider a dog seat belt. Dog seat belt systems are basically just harnesses that come with straps that hook into your seats or click into standard seat belt buckles. Here are some highly-rated dog seat belt systems:
Dog Car Seat Covers
If you’re going to be letting your puppy roam freely or with a seat belt on in the back seat, protect your car seats from dirty, wet paws with a dog car seat cover. Here is a highly-rated dog car seat cover:
Bedding – Puppy Checklist
Blankets will make puppy’s crate or resting area more comfortable. Blankets are not only warm and cozy for your puppy to snuggle up and sleep with at night – they can also protect furniture from dirty paws and shedded hair to keep your home neat and clean.
Throwing in some old blankets will work, or you can check out some of our recommendations below. However, perhaps don’t invest too much in blankets to begin with as your puppy may learn to destroy them. Here are some highly-rated blankets for dogs:
Similar to blankets, a dog bed will make puppy’s crate or resting area more comfortable. You may want to opt for a donut-shaped bed with raised rims. This creates a sense of security within your puppy, especially during those first few nights in a new home. However, perhaps don’t invest too much in a bed to begin with, as your puppy may learn to destroy it. Here are some highly-rated dog beds for puppies:
Toys – Puppy Checklist
New Doodle puppy owners are swearing by these left and right. The Snuggle Puppy helps puppies with its pulsing heartbeat and heat pack, simulating the comfort of mama. It is perfect while crate training as it reduces whining and barking, and it helps puppies transition to their new home.
Durable Dog Toys and Puzzles
Be careful when picking out new toys for your puppy. If the toys are cheap and easily destroyed, your puppy may ingest parts of the toys, which can be dangerous. Balls are always wonderful to have on hand. Something that squeaks is a must-have. Anything that moves that he can chase is sure to be a hit! And puzzle games are a fun way to help your puppy develop his smarts! Here are a variety of highly-rated super fun and durable dog toys for puppies:
Chuckit Dog Ball
KONG Floppy Knots Dog Toy
KONG Puppy Binkie Soft Teething Rubber, Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Worker Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball
Ruffwear Gnawt-A-Stick Natural Rubber Dog Toy
Skinneeez Extreme Stuffing-Free Dog Toy
The Pig Dog Toy
West Paw Design Zogoflex Bumi Tug-o-War Toy
West Paw Zogoflex Tux
Puppy Teething Chews
Chews are imperative! They will save your hands and feet…and probably some bedding and furniture. Puppies love to bite and chew so be sure to have plenty of chews. They will also come in handy when you’re training bite inhibition. The following are safe for puppies, as they won’t break into choke-size chunks.
Restraining Devices – Puppy Checklist
Harness, Collar, Leash, and Name Tag
Essential items for any new four-legged family member. Be sure to get an appropriately sized collar that can be adjusted as your puppy grows.
Likewise for harnesses. Harnesses are great for outdoor activities and puppies who don’t quite understand how to walk comfortably with a regular collar yet. Any regular harness can also be used in car seat belt systems, as well.
Now, your puppy will probably chew at his collar and leash. As such, perhaps you’ll want to spend less on collars and leashes in the first year or two, until he outgrows the chewing habit. i.e. Don’t go out and buy the fanciest, most expensive collar/leash, because it’ll likely get destroyed quickly. 😉
Also, if you do get a harness, make sure it fits your puppy now so he can’t Houdini out of it (but you’ll need to size up as he grows).
Finally, a name tag for your puppy ensures he is identifiable if he ever gets lost, and is brought home safely.
Potty Supplies – Puppy Checklist
If perhaps you don’t have a yard, potty training pads will come in handy, as they can be used anywhere. This is especially helpful when your puppy is still under 16 weeks old and haven’t completed their vaccinations. Puppy pads are simply absorbent pads, similar to baby diapers. Lay one on the floor to give your puppy a place to go potty. They can be easily cleaned up and are a good solution when you don’t have access to a proper outdoor space.
Dog Potty Bell
Dog training bells are one of the easiest and most non-confrontational solutions to housetrain puppies. Using dog bells is a fun and win-win way for your dog to communicate his need to go outside, instead of barking, scratching, or not communicating at all.
Dog Poop Bags
I mean, dogs poop. Be a responsible owner and pick it up when out in public with high-quality dog poop bags.
If you have a yard, a pooper scooper is great to have so you don’t have to walk around hunched over and using multiple dog poop bags to clean it all up.
Grooming – Puppy Checklist
Best Brush and Comb for Doodles
The absolute best tools you can use to get a leg up on brushing, as well as to remove tangles and mats are a high quality slicker brush and a metal greyhound comb. Using these two tools together allows proper line brushing of your Doodle.
Check out this article to learn which brushes and combs groomers most recommend for Doodles.
Best Puppy Shampoo
Puppy shampoo cleans, soothes, softens, and conditions your puppy’s delicate skin and coat. These are typically very mild, extra gentle shampoos that are pH balanced especially for puppies. They are also typically free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals. Many of them are also tearless dog shampoo, which further makes them the best dog shampoo for puppies. Three highly-rated puppy shampoo include:
A dog towel is going to be your first step in drying your puppy after baths or adventurous outings. Using a dedicated dog towel will be extremely useful for drying a long-haired Doodle.
Specialized dog towels are super absorbent and can hold up to many times their own weight in water. Quickly dry your Doodle after bath time, or after a rompin’ outside with a dog towel that is made for tackling a muddy and soaked pet. Three highly-rated dog towel products include:
Dog Hair Dryer
After using a dog towel to get most of the water off your Doodle’s coat, you will want to use a dog hair dryer in order to keep mats at bay. Dog hair dryers are different from regular hair dryers in that they are higher in velocity. This means that they can forcibly blow out and dry dog hair quickly and efficiently. A dog hair dryer will dry a Doodle’s “undercoat” and eliminate after-bath “wet dog smell”. Three highly-rated dog hair dryer products include:
Dog Nail Grinder
Nail maintenance on puppies is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Learn how to trim dog nails and you can forever avoid the issue of overgrown quicks by properly maintaining their nails from an early age.
A dog nail grinder is the recommended type of nail trimming tool to use on puppies. A dog nail grinder is essentially an electric, motorized nail file. Apparently the only dog nail grinder tool that professional groomers recommend…is not even a dog nail grinder, but is actually a Dremel-brand Dremel.
For minor cleanup or when regular baths are not an option, use grooming wipes to wash your puppy’s face, paws, feet, and tushie without leaving wet residue or funky smells.
Dental Supplies – Puppy Checklist
Dog Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Dental Spray, and Dental Chews
Like humans, dogs can develop tartar, plaque buildup, and gingivitis. Vets recommend regularly brushing your dog’s teeth. The earlier you start, the better when it comes to caring for your puppy’s dental health. Always use a toothbrush, toothpaste, or dental spray specially formulated for pets, like the below products. Another easy way to take care of puppy’s teeth is by giving him a dental chew.
Be aware that many dog dental chew treats are made for older puppies and dogs, presumably because they’re choking hazards in young puppies.
Training Supplies – Puppy Checklist
Dog Clicker and Dog Treat Pouch
Doodle puppies, although super smart, need training. And if you’ve never trained a pup before, you will soon know the importance of having treats on hand. Keep them handy in a dog treat pouch, and use treats in conjunction with clicker training. Here is a nice set that includes a treat pouch and clicker.