Puppy Essentials – What To Buy!


Somewhere to sleep!
A crate suitable to your puppy’s size! Too small and it won’t be a comfortable space and too large and they’ll use it as their private bathroom too! Puppies should be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in their crate.

  • For small breeds a 24-inch crate is the correct size
  • For medium breeds a 30-inch crate is the correct size
  • For large breeds a 32-inch/40-inch crate is best.

Bear in mind that you will be choosing the crate size for how big your puppy is now and not how big they will be when they are older. Therefore, you will need to buy a larger crate as the puppy grows.  Crates are used as a valuable tool to aid toilet training and to keep puppies safe when they are unsupervised. If you cover it with a blanket and pack it with a comfy bed and some toys, your puppy will learn to love their den!

Safe, washable bowls for food and water. Always have fresh water available at all times (this is a requirement by law to allow your puppy access to water at all times) and consider a non-slip travel bowl if you plan to do any long car journeys and a portable water bowl for when you are out with your puppy.

A good variety of toys both soft and hard are really good to help a puppy settle into their new home and explore their new surrounding. Playing with toys is also a lovely way to bond with your puppy!

  • KONGS – use to stuff wet food into
  • Rope Toy – great for tug of war games ensuring puppy has one end and human hands are safely at the other end!
  • Nylabones – GREAT for teething puppies!

Puppies have around 4-hours worth of chewing to do EACH DAY! So we want to offer them items which are safe to chew and which they enjoy chewing rather than letting them explore and start to nibble at our furniture instead!

Natural chews are always better in terms of nutrition than the typical ‘chain shop bought’ chews which pet shops would like us to buy. Here’s a few of my favourites:

  • Cows Hooves – SUPER smelly but FANTASTIC for teething puppies
  • Antler Chews – no smell and a good natural chew
  • Pizzle Sticks – a great, natural and edible chew – very smelly

This is a huge minefield for new puppy owners! I personally feed a Raw Diet but many owners still feed a commercial dry dog food diet out of convenience or simply because that’s what the breeder was feeding. Remember that you can change your puppy’s food and if you feed a highly nutritious diet, your puppy will live a healthier and longer life… and wouldn’t we all want our dogs to live longer! Please refer to the blog on Raw Feeding for more information on this subject.  

Poo Bags
You can use scented nappy sacks or biodegradable poo bags as you’ll be going through A LOT over the next few months:

I would recommend a good enzymatic cleaning product to not only clean up any accidents but to remove the smell so that your puppy doesn’t keep going back to the same spot to toilet again

Collar and Comfortable Harness
I would advise getting your puppy used to wearing a collar as soon as possible. Something thin and light in weight. Most puppies will scratch at their necks for a few days upon wearing a collar for the first time and then soon get used to the feeling of wearing one. Pets shops sell an array of collars but one of my favourite brands for puppy collars is Red Dingo which you can purchase online.

Please remove any collars and harnesses when your puppy is inside its crate – accidents can happen and collars can get caught on things!

Dog Tag
By law, all dogs need to wear an ID tag with the name, address and postcode of their owner engraved or written on it. Remember not to get a really large tag as your little puppy will need to carry this around on their neck – so something lightweight and small.

I would always advise walking puppies on a comfortable harness to protect their necks whilst on walks. When they are older you can transition to walking them on a collar – and as you have already got them used to wearing a collar, it will make the transition seamless! My favourite brand of harness is PUPPIA.

Nutrition & Raw Feeding

Are you still feeding your dog a commercial ‘dog food’ diet? 

I always try to educate owners on the benefits of feeding a RAW DIET which also includes raw bones. 

Commercial ‘dog food’ consists of needless carbohydrates, harmful additives and preservatives and off cuts of meat (I’m talking about carcasses here) which are left over from the human industry as they aren’t fit for human consumption. Instead of ‘wasting’ these off cuts of meat which have been rendered inedible for the human industry, these are used for the pet food industry instead. 

These ingredients are then mixed together and heated to extreme temperatures before being formed into the small round balls we all know as ‘kibble’. These are then wrapped up in fancy, marketable packaging (with severely ambiguous branding and adjectives to entice you, the consumer) ready and waiting for you to select from the shelf. 

A raw diet is biologically specific for our dogs as well as being HUMAN GRADE. It contains no carbohydrates or inexpensive ‘fillers’ which the pet food industry likes to add to create a HIGHER QUANTITY to sell to dog owners (…and resulting in a much LOWER QUALITY of food). Of course it’s cheaper to add potatoes and rice to a meal than to add more fresh meat… and dogs do not need carbohydrates in their diet. 

Here’s a fact… a RAW diet has a SHELF LIFE of 3 DAYS. A DRY KIBBLE diet has a SHELF LIFE of several YEARS. So how many preservatives do you think are packed into your dogs’ dry kibble to keep it ‘fresh’ for several years?!

Companies who sell raw dog food – delivered to your door:

Below are links to some good companies who supply complete, frozen raw food:

Your puppy would be fed an amount according to their age and weight and most (if not all) of the companies above have a ‘raw feeding calculator’ online where you can work out the correct amount. The food arrives in tubs which you can simply defrost and then scoop out and weigh into their bowl. Poppy’s Picnic sell a ‘meatball’ range which I personally find easier as you don’t need to weigh the food out each day from a tub but rather feed a set number of meatballs. The food is exactly the same, it is just packaged in two different ways.

All of these companies offer human grade meat and the correct balance of protein, bones, fruit and vegetables… no additives, preservatives or grains or carbohydrates!

Dry Dog Food Alternatives

Not all owners are able to feed their puppies a raw diet – either as it isn’t convenient or due to a lack of freezer space. The best dry dog food alternative is Eden 80/20. This dry, packaged dog food consists of 80% protein and 20% fruit and vegetables and is one of the very best currently on the market. You can purchase this at pet shops or via amazon prime.


Additional Resources:

Watch the documentary called Pet Fooled – it’s a really good, easy to digest documentary explaining the commercial pet food industry.

Your veterinarian may advise that you feed your puppy Hills Science Plan or Royal Canin. Both are low value commercial dog food brands (roughly 25-28% protein content!) which vets work with on a commission basis with…!