So, you decided to get a new Labradoodle puppy. Congratulations! An Australian Labradoodle will bring lots of joy and love to your household for years to come. I know you’re excited – who wouldn’t be? However, in the midst of this excitement, it’s important to prepare for your new fluffy family member. By gathering all the essential supplies in advance, you’ll be able to enjoy the company of your new puppy from day one. The following is a list of must-have items that will help you raise a healthy, well-behaved Labradoodle puppy.
Kennel and Exercise Pen
A new puppy must be supervised or confined to a safe, puppy-proof area at all times. Proper confinement aids potty training and keeps your puppy from engaging in potentially dangerous activities, like chewing electrical cords or getting into the trash. A kennel provides a cozy, private place where your puppy can sleep at night and rest for short periods during the day. If you’re going to be away for more than a couple hours, an x-pen gives your puppy more space to roam while still being confined to a safe area.
Kennels are typically metal or plastic and come in a variety of sizes. Most adult Labradoodles require a 42-inch crate. At first, you’ll need to purchase a smaller kennel or one with a divider that allows you to gradually expand the area. X-pens are available in metal or plastic and can be easily configured to fit a variety of spaces.
Bedding will keep your puppy comfortable and cozy while in the kennel or x-pen. Be sure to choose something that is comfortable, but easy to wash. Old towels or blankets will do, or you can purchase bedding made specifically for dogs.
Collar with ID Tag and Leash
When selecting a collar and leash, there are many colors and styles to choose from. Your puppy will grow fast, so select a collar that can be easily adjusted to different sizes. Be sure to attach ID tags with your address and phone number, in case your puppy gets lost. A 6-foot leash is usually the perfect length. I don’t recommend retractable leashes because they encourage pulling and make it more difficult to control your puppy.
Toys, Chews, and Treats
Puppies love to play, explore, and chew on everything in sight. It’s important to provide a variety of appropriate toys and chews that will keep your puppy occupied during the day. Tennis balls, Frisbees, fleece toys, Nylabones, and Kongs are all great, inexpensive choices. A variety of treats can be used to reward your puppy for good behaviors.
Food and Water Bowls
Choose ceramic or stainless steel bowls for your new puppy. Avoid plastic because it’s easily destroyed and can retain bacteria. Purchase a good quality dry food from a pet supply store, as opposed to the cheaper brands sold in most grocery stores. Quality food has fewer preservatives and the essential nutrients your puppy needs to live a long, healthy life.
Accidents happen, which is why you’ll need to have an enzymatic cleaner on hand that neutralizes odors. By reducing or eliminating the scent, your puppy will not be tempted to return to the same area to repeat the offense.
If walking your puppy in a neighborhood or park, you’ll need some pet waste bags and a dispenser that attaches to your leash. For yard cleanup, a pooper-scooper is the ideal tool to get the job done.
Since Labradoodles don’t shed, they need to be groomed regularly to avoid matting. Use a soft bristle brush on your new puppy, gradually introducing a soft slicker brush. Ideally, your puppy should visit the groomer every 3-4 months.
Love and Affection
Enjoy your new puppy and have fun! There are bound to be mistakes along the way, but time really does fly. Remember to take plenty of pictures and videos as your puppy transitions into a well-behaved adult.