Preparing For Your New Puppy
Preparing for your new puppy involves assembling puppy supplies and puppy-proofing your house. Puppy-proofingCurious puppies can get into trouble, not because they are bad, but simply because they are learning and growing through investigating the world around them. It is the family's responsibility to ensure that the puppy cannot come to harm. Dangerous items that should be secured include: electrical cords, cleaning agents, antifreeze, poisons, and fertilizers. Use your common sense and be vigilent about surveying the environment in which your puppy lives.
Crates ~ are available in two varieties: molded plastic and wire. Either variety works effectively for Labradors. The crate you buy for your puppy should be able to house your dog as an adult. In general, the crate dimensions should be about 28" wide x 42" long for an adult male and 24" wide by 36" for an adult female.
Feed and Water Bowls ~ Some dogs have allergic reactions to plastic, so stainless steel is a good choice. For feeding: a 2-quart stainless bowl and for water: a 2-quart or larger stainless pail.
Collars and Leads ~ An appropriately fitted collar and a lead are necessary when taking your puppy anywhere outside of a secure, fenced area. Collars are available in flat traditional or quick release buckle and slip (or choke) collars. Flat collars can be worn safely at all times; choke collars should be worn only for training or walking sessions - they should not be left on as they can catch and strangle the dog. Flat nylon collars are light-weight and generally appropriate for puppies. Adults may wear nylon or leather collars of the flat or rolled variety.
The following collars are recommended: Puppy ~ a flat, nylon collar that is fully adjustable with a quick release buckle (has no preset holes) ~ usually the 10" - 14" size fits. Adult ~ flat nylon or flat or rolled leather ~ usually 18"-22" generally fits females and 20"-22" generally fits males. Training or leash walking collar ~ nylon slip collar recommended for dogs under 12 months old and a medium brass chain choker is recommended for adults. Any 4' to 6' leather or nylon lead (no chain leads) is recommended. A Flexi Leash is also very useful.
Grooming Supplies ~ The following supplies will be needed to groom your puppy's coat ~ a rubber curry brush, we really love the zoom groom, a small slicker brush and a fine flea comb (22 teeth per inch). You will need a nail trimmer. I use the guillotine style trimmer, but other styles can also be used. You will also need an ear cleaning solution and gentle shampoo (use only shampoos formulated for dogs, as others can be too harsh).
Toys ~ Golden puppies are very playful and can be easily entertained with a variety of toys. As with young children, be sure that toys do not have small, easily detachable parts that the puppy could choke on. I recommend Nyla Bones, latex squeak toys, rubber bones and balls, Kongs and fake lambs wool plush toys.
Pet Supply Catalogs ~ Pet supply catalogs can offer pricing that is more attractive than the local pet supply stores. It is worth checking the catalogs and evaluating the price, including shipping, in comparison to the pet store prices. The following companies have a large selection of pet products.