How to prepare for a new puppy

So you have a new puppy coming home. Firstly congratulations you are in for a lot of love and fun. But you need to know what supplies you need.

Here is a checklist for what you need for a new puppy.

Collar  The choice for collars is endless and it will all depend on taste here. As a Puppy your toy poodle will need a small or even extra small. As it happened with Ralph the one I wanted was only available in medium and the last hole was the right size. You need to be able to get two fingers into gap between collar and neck. So Ralph still has the same collar and as he grew the hole I used just changed. It doesn’t look any different to when I first purchased it. Not that you really see it with all that curly fur! 
I will admit that when I tried to add lead in the early days he was easily able to pull collar off but we were only practising anyway as he was not allowed out as he still needed his final inoculations. He was also not too happy with wearing collar to start with either,he would try and scratch or bite it off. So we tried wearing it for short periods of time and then daily, taking it off at night and he got used to it within a couple of weeks. He wears it constantly now unless it’s bath time.
Lead or harness  Everyone has a different viewpoint on whether to have a lead or harness lead. You certainly get more control with a harness but I have never felt the need to get one. How hard can a toy poodle pull for goodness sake! I started with a basic leather small lead and as is usual he was not keen to start with, but patience and practice in the garden made me more confident in taking him out for real walks.
I progressed to an adjustable length as he grew as this gave me more leeway on our walks as to how much freedom he has. Short lead on pavements, long lead when on park but too near the exits and now no lead once on main body of park. It took time for this to happen though and will still adjust lead back to short if there is an known unfriendly dog in the vicinity ! Ralph thinks all dogs should be his friend. I also still use original lead for visits like vets or places where long lead is inappropriate like garden centres as it is less bulky to hold.
Name tag  In the U.K. It is legal for your dog to have a name tag with dogs name, address and telephone number. It is also a legal requirement to have them microchipped. A good dealer will already have done this and then you just change owner and address details. If your puppy is not microchipped then the vet can do this for you.
Bed  Nothing too big for a little puppy, they need to feel snug and warm. If you want to ensure they stay in their bed at night it is necessary to put them in their bed when they fall asleep during the day. They will naturally want to fall asleep next to or on you, so moving them to the bed will reinforce that is where they sleep. Not easy when they are so small and cute. You may also have to endure some whining and crying when you put them in to bed and leave them to go to your own bed. I am not an expert in this area because I broke all the rules. I work at home and Ralph sleeps on the sofa close to me working and sleeps on my bed ! Now if you don’t mind this then go ahead break the rules but it is hard to change your mind later. You have been warned. 
Crate  Now I will be honest and say I am not a big fan of crating your dog, but in some cases it makes sense if you will be out working for most of the day and you have a destructive puppy. They get used to it and it’s a good place to put their bed too if you are going to use one.
Puppy specific food  It is best to ask the breeder what they have been feeding your new puppy as a change can upset their stomach at such a young age. You can then gradually introduce your preferred choice by mixing amounts of new and original, gradually reducing the amount of the original brand.
If if you would prefer to feed your dog homemade foods then there are lots of appropriate recipes here.
Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Food and water bowls No explanation needed here. Your choice but not too big for a little puppy. I still use same food  size for Ralph but have a slightly larger water bowl.
Toys  The sky’s the limit it but do see my post best toys for puppy  before going out and spending too much.
Training treats and chew sticks. Plenty to choose from again but small and if not ones that are easily breakable. I started with Pedigee tasty bites cheesy nibbles. They do a range of treats. For chew sticks I started with Pedigree dentisticks for small dogs and I also buy the natural sticks which you can buy online or at your local pet store. These are unbranded and you buy them loose.
Puppy pads A must for most puppies for house training. Ralph however would sniff them and go next to them. Good job I have laminate flooring. See my post on housetraining for more advice.
Brush and comb The toy poodle does need grooming and it should start early to get them used to it. See My post Owning a Toy poodle fore more. 
Puppy shampoo/Nail clippers/ Ear cleaners Now if you are not going to use a professional dog groomer then these are a must but not something you will need before puppy comes home. You will want puppy to be really settled in to their new home before attempting these tasks.
 I hope you have found this post useful but if you have any questions, please leave a comment in the section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
I am always happy to receive your photographs for my doggie rogues gallery. You can send them to
With Grace and Gratitude
Karen & Ralph