20 Things You Need for a New Puppy

You're getting a new puppy! Praise Wibblesniff! Life is good! Here are 20 things you need for your new teeny friend.

20 Things to Buy for a New Puppy

20 Things to Buy for a New Puppy

The day you bring a new puppy home, your life will change in a big way. You'll spend hours bonding with your new friend and at times the constant supervision may feel overwhelming. So get the whole family involved and take turns to look after him.

Everything in the house is new to your puppy. He'll try to chew on everything, explore every crevice, and make all kinds of mess on the carpet. Here's my list of 20 things you need to get before you bring your new puppy home so you're prepared for the mischief and mishaps that lie ahead...

1. A Water Bowl

Dogs need access to clean water day and night. Choose a basic but heavy bowl like this Stainless Steel Water Bowl so it doesn't skid or tip over when your puppy drinks. You can temporarily use an old ice cream container but your puppy will soon chew this to pieces. A permanent bowl is durable, easy to clean so it stays mold-free, and will last the life of your Shetland Sheepdog.

Water Bowl for Shelties

2. A Food Bowl

I recommend the Outward Hound Fun Feeder to prevent your dog snarfing down his food too quickly, which results in hiccups, bloating, and indigestion. If you have more than one dog in the house, the slower eating also helps them focus on their own food and prevents resource guarding and fights.

Slow Feed Dog Bowl for Shelties

3. Quality Puppy Kibble

Try to stick with the same brand of food your Shetland Sheepdog puppy has been fed by his breeder. This minimizes stomach upsets, which are common when switching brands because puppies have relatively weak gut biomes. If you can't source the same brand, choose a high quality kibble like Hill's Science Diet for Puppies that's low in grain and high in meat content.

Puppy Food for Shelties

4. Puppy Training Pads

You should start housetraining your Shetland Sheepdog puppy from day one. Choose an area of the house that's easy to clean and put down some puppy training pads such as AmazonBasics Pet Training Puppy Pads. These absorbent pads will protect your floors better than newspaper and help define where your puppy is supposed to pee and poop indoors.

Puppy Pads for Shelties

You only need to use puppy training pads until he's house trained. From around four months old, his bowels and bladder are strong enough that he can hold it in until you let him outside. Of course, there will be accidents. Your carpets are right to be looking nervous when a new puppy enters the home...

5. Carpet Stain Remover

You will inevitably need a good carpet stain remover. Rocco and Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator is enzyme activated, with good bacteria that feed on the ammonia crystals in dog urine until it's completely eliminated. This will be valuable throughout your dog's life, as there will always be sporadic pee, poop, and vomit stains to handle.

Carpet stain remover for dogs

6. A Dog Bed

Your puppy needs his own safe place to which he can retreat for warmth, security, and comfort. For a greater sense of protection, choose an enclosed bed like Pet Tent-Soft Bed. Or for extra comfort, choose a snuggle-fest like the Shag Vegan Fur Donut Cuddler.

Dog Bed for Shelties

Make sure the bed you choose will be big enough when he's fully grown. And put it in the bedroom with you; I always urge dog owners to let their pooches sleep in the same room for companionship and security. For more dog beds that cater to different needs (like colder climates, arthritis, anxiety, and travel) see my article on the best dog beds for Shelties.

7. A Collar and ID Tag

Your puppy needs a collar and dog tag from day one. Even if you have a fenced yard and aren't taking her out on walks until she's fully vaccinated, there may still be unforeseen opportunities for her to escape.

Get a small collar like this Blueberry Dog Collar as Shetland Sheepdog puppies have the tiniest necks! While most collars are adjustable, you'll need bigger ones over her lifetime as she grows.

 for Shelties

An ID tag is essential because most young puppies aren't microchipped. Microchip injectors are big, so it's better to get the insertion done under the general anesthesia of de-sexing at 6-12 months. (The ideal timing of de-sexing your Sheltie depends on whether you're spaying or neutering.)

Without a microchip, an ID tag is the most likely way you'll be reunited with your puppy if or when she escapes. Add a personalized engraving to a Stainless Steel Pet ID Tag to attached to her collar. Include your dog's name, as well as your phone number and street address.

ID Tag for Shelties

8. A Dog Leash

Start taking your puppy for daily walks after her final vaccinations, given at 14-16 weeks. Expect to do some leash training, as being led around on a cord doesn't come naturally.

Standard leashes like this nylon Blueberry Pet Leash simply hook onto the collar. A 5-foot leash is long enough for your Shetland Sheepdog.

Dog Leash for Shelties

If you have a particularly feisty Sheltie, choose a halter leash like this Blueberry Pet Harness. It goes around your dog's arms and back to prevent him from pulling and straining at the neck.

Halter Leash for Shelties

9. Chew Toys

Like babies, puppies go through teething stages where they're compelled to chew to encourage the puppy teeth to fall out and the adult teeth to emerge. You'll find this behavior lessens significantly in adult Shelties, when its main purpose is to provide mental stimulation.

It's far better your puppy chews on a dog toy than your TV remote, eyeglasses, or smartphone... which they will do happily! Our first Sheltie puppy loved to chew on a Chew King which you can stuff with treats for extra satisfaction.

Chew Toys for Shelties

As he grew older, Howard preferred to chew on soft plush toys designed to withstand chewing, like Skinny Pelts. Giving your Sheltie puppy a few different chew options also helps keeps his jaws off your valuables.

Soft Chew Toys for Shelties

10. Dog Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Take care of your puppy's oral health, just as you do your own. Brush his teeth (preferably every night) with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs, such as Vet's Best Toothbrush and Toothpaste Kit for puppies. It's always awkward at first, but repeat exposure will get him used to the sensation of the brush in his mouth. And it's 100% worth the fuss.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste for Shelties

11. Dental Chews

If you don't brush your Sheltie's teeth every day, offer dental chews like Virbac Oral Hygiene Chews with enzymes for antiseptic action and an abrasive texture to loosen tartar.

Dental Chews for Shelties

12. Plaque Remover

Another great option is a water additive like TropiClean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover. Put this in your Sheltie's water bowl and it acts as a natural mouthwash that's safe to drink, staying in the saliva for hours to remove plaque and tartar. I strongly recommend extra measures like this to reduce the likelihood of painful cavities and tooth extractions down the line.

Plaque Remover for Shelties

13. A Detangling Comb

Being a long-haired, double-coated dog breed, Shelties need weekly grooming from about 5-6 months old. The main tool you'll need is a detangling comb like this 2-in-1 Detangling Comb. It's extremely effective at loosening the undercoat with minimum fuss. This strips out the fluff which otherwise suffocates your Sheltie's skin and leads to painful mats over time.

Detangling comb for Shelties

For my step-by-step grooming guide see How to Groom a Shetland Sheepdog.

14. A Fine-Toothed Comb

This Pet Comb by Poodle Pet is excellent for detangling tight knots in small spaces. I use it to precision comb all the nooks and crannies (behind the ears, under the collar, and under the armpits) which are inaccessible with larger combs and brushes.

Fine-toothed comb for Shelties

15. A Slicker Brush

The final part of the grooming process requires a pin brush like this Self Cleaning Slicker Brush. It removes tangles and debris from the outercoat, distributes the coat's natural oils, and gently stimulates the skin for improved blood circulation.

Slicker brush for Shelties

16. Dog Nail Clippers

Dog nail clippers are different from human nail clippers. They're stronger and open much wider to cut the thick, curved claws with a guillotine style blade. Once a month, trim your dog's claws with Dog Nail Clippers that feature a safety guard to prevent you accidentally over-clipping and hurting your dog.

Nail clippers for Shelties

17. Pet Scissors

You need a pair of scissors to trim out the inevitable knots that form on double coated breeds like Shelties. You should also trim out the excess fur that grows between the paw pads. You can use regular scissors or Pet Grooming Scissors—the main difference is that pet scissors have rounded ends to prevent sudden jabs if your dog gets twitchy.

Pet scissors for Shelties

18. Dog Shampoo

The most you need to bathe your Sheltie is once a month. Shetland Sheepdogs lick themselves clean, and tend to avoid rolling in animal poop which are the main culprits of bad smells.

Choose a shampoo formulated for dogs like TropiClean's PerfectFur Dog Shampoo. This one is designed for dogs with double coats, to help exfoliate the skin and loosen the undercoat to reduce excess shedding.

Dog shampoo for Shelties

19. De-Worming Tablets

De-worming your puppy regularly is essential: a single pill prevents parasitic worms setting up home in his intestines and heart. Find the right dose for your small puppy like these Durvet Wormer Tablets. Coat it in peanut butter and put it in the back of your puppy's mouth so he doesn't spit it straight out.

De-wormer for Sheltie puppies

Check with your breeder for his de-worming schedule and what specific worms are prevalent in your part of the world (most need to treat for roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, and heartworm). Puppies need to be de-wormed monthly, while adult dogs should be treated every three months.

20. Flea Treatment

Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of mammals like dogs, cats, and humans. They live among hair and fur, but can also lay eggs in the carpet which can remain dormant for months. Many dog owners are pro-active about preventing fleas with a routine topical application like Frontline Plus.

Flea Preventative for Sheltie puppies

Drop the liquid directly onto your puppy's skin behind the neck where he can't lick it off, and make sure you choose the correct dose for your young puppy, choosing the smallest amount needed.

If you're not overly concerned with fleas, you don't have to use any flea preventative at all. However, if your Sheltie does start scratching himself, I highly recommend a fast-acting pill like Capstar Oral Flea Treatment which enters the bloodstream and kills the fleas within hours. Then double down with a longer-lasting flea preventative on his skin to stop re-infestation.

Flea Treatment for Sheltie puppies

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Rebecca Casale, Creator of Sheltie Planet

Rebecca Casale is the founder of Sheltie Planet and Science Me. Meet her famous Shetland Sheepdogs Howard and Piper and download Shelties: The Complete Pet Owner's Guide.