Preparing for Your Puppy’s Arrival Home

The following items should be purchased before your puppy’s arrival home.

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I will provide a small bag of food for the first few days. You can purchase this at your local quality pet food store or order a large bag and have it shipped right to your door from here: Instinct Be Natural Puppy Food

We chose this food as it is highly rated and has not had any recalls. Pricewise, for a high-quality dog food this is reasonably priced. There is a significant difference in quality so please don’t risk feeding your pup foods that may be recalled or source ingredients from China where quality may not be the same as in the US. Puppies should stay on a high-quality puppy food until they reach 12 months.
Dog Food Advisor give this dry large breed puppy food 4.5 stars. You can review it here: Dog Food Advisor Review of Instinct Puppy FoodWhole Dog Journal also rates this as the Best Puppy Food for 2023.


The selected bowls should be of a heavier weight and/or have a rubber base so the puppy doesn’t have to chase the bowl across your floor. I recommend either a stainless steel or a ceramic bowl. Two bowls are generally best – one for water and one for food. I recommend getting the size your dog will grow into. Occasionally puppies will try to wolf down their food and a larger size bowl will allow you to place a cup in the middle to slow them down.  You can also consider a “slow feeder” type bowl from Outward Hound


Midwest Life Stages Double Door Folding Crate (or similar type)
Recommend Medium-Large to Large size which will hold a full grown dog of up to 50# and your puppy will grow into 20″ to 22″ tall at the shoulders. Two size options suggested include:

36″L x 24″W x 27″H
42″L x 28″W x 31″H


Dog bed to fit the crate size you select. This provides comfort for your puppy while in the crate. We highly recommend the Wash’nZip Bed. It is easy to clean and hard to destroy! My doodles LOVE this bed and I love the fact I can unzip it and throw it into the washer followed by the dryer. Easy peasy!!  Use discount code RRD for savings!   


For training you may want a 30 foot at some point, but 6 foot is
sufficient to work on training at home.  Your puppy will come home with a collar that should fit through a few months of growth.  


Nylabone, Outward Hound, Benebone, Kong, StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy, Chuck-It are some of my favorites for dogs that are for teething and to keep them busy.  

AVOID any rawhide type products!  Bully Sticks are OK only occasionally with supervision as dogs may swallow whole and you could end up in the emergency room as a surgery candidate removing the item from your puppy’s gut.  


Training Treats

I generally recommend that you utilize your puppy’s kibble as treats for the first month or so. Any change from their normal diet can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, so proceed cautiously. 

When you are training, it helps to occasionally offer what is referred to as a “high value treat.”  This can be tiny pieces of cheese, all beef hot dogs, apple squares, or sweet potato squares – Something your dog doesn’t get often but they really love!  

Other Suggestions

  1. Ultra Absorbent Microfiber Dog Door Mat, Durable, Quick Drying, Washable, Prevent Mud Dirt, Keep Your House Clean (Sizes: Medium, Large) I love these and they keep my floors cleaner!
  2. Resolve Pet Oxi Advanced Carpet Stain Remover – I wish I could say you will never have an accident :<)  Better to be prepared
  3. eCloth Pet Cleaning and Drying Towel – Super absorbent microfiber 

**Prep kids (and adults) to pick up things they love like socks, underwear, favorite toys and books. Dogs love these human flavored items. These can be very expensive as often surgery is required to remove from dog’s gut. **