I've put together a list of my favorite puppy essentials, and tried to link everything to Amazon so it is easy to buy. 

Crate I like the 30 inch size and the double door makes it easy to fit into different areas. 

Bed Just the right size for the crate and easy to throw in the washer. I have a few of these so I can rotate them through the wash. 

Round Bed I think because it is small and round and furry it is comforting to the puppies.  They put their little head up on the ridge like its a pillow and then snuggle down in the grooves. 

Food and Water Bowls They need to be stainless steel like these, or ceramic. Plastic can be chewed and can make them itch or give them a fungus that changes their nose color. I like these because they have the silicone mat that comes with the set of 2, and they can't tip or spill them as easily. 

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy is the food your puppy will come home eating. They can stay on this for the first year. As your puppy gets older, you can switch to Diamond Naturals All Life Stages

*Good dog foods are hard to come by. I previously had all of my puppies on a different and very expensive brand of dog food that is only available online through that company's website, and would take weeks to ship. Since the price and the shipping made this difficult for people to buy, they would resort to walking around the pet store and trying to find a substitute, which almost always resulted in them feeding their dog crap. You want to find a dog food that is 20%fat and 30% protein.  The first ingredient should be a whole meat.  For example, chicken, NOT chicken meal or chicken by product. It needs to have high quality ingredients for maximum absorption and the right amount of fiber to keep your dogs poops small and firm.  Grain free diets are associated with heart problems, and actual grain allergies in dogs are very rare (as the vet said "a once in a career occurance"). You do want to make sure that the amount of grain is appropriately balanced and from a high quality source of grain.  I decided on Diamond Naturals because it meets the above criteria and is moderately priced and available on Amazon for convenience. My dogs and puppies actually like to eat it, which eliminates a lot of worry and frustration on my part.  If your dog isn't liking this food, or gets bored of this food, please talk to me about other brands that you could switch to.  I found a few others that are possibilities, but taking everything into consideration, this was the front runner. 

Clearly Loved Pets Pen or Pop Up Pen or this Play Pen. You need a safe space to put your puppy if you can't keep an eye on them or if you need to leave the house for a few hours. The play pen should have 4 areas:  Sleeping, Eating, Potty, and Play.  The Clearly Loved Pets pens are expensive. I have a coupon 10%POPPINS that you are welcome to use.  It took me awhile to actually decide to buy these because of the price. But I have been through at least 5 other pens, and was frustrated with all of them for different reasons, and now I wish I had just started with this one. They are sturdy. The dogs and I like to be able to see each other. I like that they can be in a rectangle or square and put up against a wall or in a corner.  Most pens aren't stable unless they are in an octagon shape, which didn't fit easily against a wall and felt like a waste of space.  My dogs can easily hop over the 27 inch pen, so go with 36 in height. 

Vinyl Floor Mat

I have these all over my house under puppy areas. Great portable flooring to protect your floor in your puppy play area. Easy to wipe. The Pop Up Pen (above) comes with a fabric bottom that kind of helps to keep things off the floor. 

Litter Box and Alfalfa Pellets, or Paper Pellets

My puppies are trained to go on a litter box.  It is SO nice to be able to have a safe space for them to go inside when you can't take them out.  Some owners leave this litter box in their play area so they can run to the grocery store and not worry about accidents.  I know a lot of my puppies go to cities where it isn't as simple as opening a door and allowing them to go to the backyard, so this is a great solution for them.  The alfalfa pellets smell like grass; I use those as many like to transition to going outside. The paper pellets are great too. They have charcoal that absorbs smell. 

Shampoo I've really liked this one for how gentle it is. Please be sure to use a shampoo made specifically for puppies as it's awful to see them get irritated and itch.  I also spray them with this detangler spray before brushing them out. Smells amazing and makes them soft and silky! 

Ear Rinse + Dry  Our puppies have adorable longer ears, which means you need to make sure to keep them clean and dry. This is essential to avoid ear infections. You put these drops in (I usually do once a week after bath), massage outside the ear canal, and then wipe out with a cotton ball. 

Hair Brush Gently detangles and great for a fluffy blow dry.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste Brushing their teeth every day would be awesome, but at least once a week on bath day. Get them used to it young. 

Small Nail Clippers These have a built in light that makes it easier to trim tiny nails. Puppy nails grow FAST. If they aren't kept short, it affects how they walk, and can put stress on their joints and tendons. They should be trimmed every week. 

Seatbelt Please help them ride safely in the car!  This clips into the seat and their harness or collar, to keep them from slipping with a sudden stop or crawling into your lap while you drive. 

Carseat Another option for the car is a carseat.  Put a blanket in there and they'll feel cozy and the box will keep them from slipping around. 

Harness, Collar, Leash, Seatbelt High Quality, Reflective, Comfortable, and MATCHING SETS, Yes please!  Leash training goes way better with a harness. 

Long Lead for Training When you are home with the puppy, it's a good idea to not give them free reign of the house at first.  You don't want them sneaking off to make accidents. And they are expert at this.  A long lead clips to you, and allows the puppy to explore but still stay where you can keep an eye on them. It also helps teach them commands like "come" with a gentle tug as a reminder. Always reward with treats and praise!  My favorite training treat is just tiny (like tic tac size) pieces of boiled chicken or cheese. 

Chew treats like Bully Bites: I send these home with the puppies and every new owner texts me later to ask where I got them. They are the one treat all of my adult dogs consistently love, and a huge bonus is that it keeps their teeth clean, breath fresher, keeps them happy and occupied, and satisfies their need to chew. Think of it like a puppy binky! A word of caution, sometimes dogs can swallow these and that can be dangerous. There are holders like this that make them more safe. The Kong Toy is another great chew toy.  They are so cute trying to get peanut butter or cheese out of the middle, and it helps their teething gums. LickiMat is sensory and keeps their little mouths occupied. I freeze peanut butter on it and it keeps them busy for a long time. 

Toys - no end to what you can find for puppy toys. The more things you give them that they CAN chew on, the less they will chew what they AREN'T supposed to chew on.  Plus it's really cute to watch them get attached to things. One toy that is good for baby puppies is a Snuggle Puppy They wuv their little snuggle pups.  It is warm and has a heart beat and makes them feel like they are snuggling with a littermate.  Great for helping to keep them calm in their kennels when they are so little and adjusting. 

Enzymatic Cleaner for potty accidents. If your kids have ever had an accident on their bed this works for that too.  Dogs can smell a spot where they, or another pet went to the bathroom, even after we think we've cleaned it up with Vinegar or another cleaning product. And that means that they will continue to go potty there. So you need an enzymatic cleaner to break it down.  I've tested this with the black light and it does get rid of organic material. 

TRAINING: We use the Puppy Culture method, and this helps to give them lots of exposure and early training.  It would be a great thing for you to watch and understand!  You may also want to start watching Zac George's Puppy Training Program.  It's free, and really helpful for training a new puppy!   It's also great to sign your puppy up for a kindergarten training class - sometimes local Pet Stores offer these. The Cavapoo Handbook is a fabulous book, as is Zak George's Dog Training Revolution. 

 

 

FELLOW BREEDERS - Here are links to the items I get asked most about. This way I don't have to go in and keep finding the links on amazon to send to you, but can just say "it's on my website". How's that for simplifying? Ha! 

Whelping Area Panels and Posts

Whelping Area Gates 

Whelping Box (Garden Box)

Vinyl Floor Tiles and Vinyl Floor Mat

XS Puppy Collars They are smallest collars I have found.  At 5-9 inches they are usually small enough to stay on newborn puppies. They have a safe break-away clasp.