PUPPY SUPPLY LIST
ITEMS YOU NEED
Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Puppy Food
You should keep the puppy on this food for up to a year. After that, you can switch to an adult food. We like most Purina Pro Plan foods. The Sport line is good if your dog is more active and the Focus line is good for not as active. Please do NOT feed your puppy a food that is not specially formulated for large breed puppies. This can cause their joints to grow too fast and cause issues like Panosteitis or other joint problems. If you are switching food, it is important to slowly mix the food and not just do a "cold switch." Also, if you have free time, please do a little research on the new update the FDA released on the link between grain free dog food and heart disease (DCM) specifically in Golden Retrievers. This is HUGE news in the dog world today, and we are strongly advising people feed a food that meets the WSAVA guidelines (Eukanuba, Purina Pro Plan, Royal Canin) until we know more about this study. Because of the statistics in this study, we are currently not willing to do a health guarantee on your puppy's heart if you are going to feed a grain free diet. Please consider grain inclusive options.
Choose a wire or a plastic crate. A wire crate with a divider so the crate can "grow" with the pup is a great economical option. We would recommend opting for one with a double door and order one that is around the 42" size (large). Crates are essential for potty training, and it's a safe place for your puppy to be unsupervised. Don't skip this item!
Collar & Leash
This can be whatever you prefer. If your dog is going to spend a lot of time outdoors or in the water, we love the Tufflex collars from Gun Dog Supply. You can get a free custom name plate too. Even for an inside dog we like this brand. With a puppy we personally use a cheap collar from Walmart or Fleet Farm because they grow insanely fast, but the Tufflex ones are great for adults. When you bring your puppy home at 8 weeks old, they typically need a 6-9 inch length collar. Do not buy a retractable leash. They are dangerous and only teach your dog to pull. I also don't recommend slip leads for puppies.
Food & Water Bowl
We like the stainless steel ones and opt for a bigger water bowl than food bowl.
Millers Forge Nail Clippers
Your dog should have its nails clipped every 7-10 days for best results and to avoid the quick growing out too far. Be sure to choose a nail clipper that works like a scissors and not like a guillotine. If you need assistance with how to do nail trims, remind us to show you on puppy pick-out day. We are more than willing to give you a tutorial.
A good quality brush will help with shedding. Remember to use treats to condition the behavior of standing nicely while being brushed. Puppy fur won't shed as much, so we recommend starting with a softer brush for better positive association, and then switching to the slicker brush later. We do not recommend Furminators as they pull out the dog's natural undercoat.
Oral Spray or Toothbrush & Toothpaste
We use the PetzLife Oral Care Spray. It is amazing and so much easier than brushing your dog's teeth. Good oral hygiene for your dog will literally save you from a $400-$1,000 tooth extraction bill down the road. A tooth brush with dog tooth paste works great too! Keep in mind, providing chews is important in keeping your dog's teeth clean as well.
We don't have one specific brand we recommend. Just know you are going to need some with a puppy around!
Confining your pup to a kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, etc. will make your life (and potty training) much easier for the first few months.
Raised Dog Bed
All our Goldens love their raised beds, and it's also an awesome training tool. You can teach your dog to go to his bed when guests come in the door (you'd be amazed how much easier talking to the pizza delivery guy is when your dog stays on his bed). The bed is not necessarily a need, but we love them! In regards to training, we wouldn't live without them! If you want a quality raised bed, buy a Kuranda bed, and it will last a lifetime. If you want a cheaper alternative, look up the Coolaroo bed on Amazon.
The one toy we wouldn't go without! Safe, strong, durable. Use this to entertain your puppy in the crate or at home by putting canned dog food (or softened dog food) into it and freezing. Hours of fun! A size large is good for a Golden.
Wonderful, long lasting chew that is a great alternative to a Nylabone (not a fan of these). We like the wishbone and the dental bone options in size medium or large.
These are a much safer alternative to rawhides, but they do smell (they make unscented ones if it bugs you). They are our preferred chews for puppies because they don't expand in dogs' stomaches like rawhides do. To make them last longer, put the stick in a cup of water and freeze with an inch of the bully stick sticking out still like a popsicle- hours of fun! Some puppies have sensitive stomaches, so just limit the use. Once your pup has adult teeth, you can opt for an antler chew, Benebone, or something a little harder that lasts longer.
True Chews Chicken Griller Treats
Dogs love these treats. They are big, so you should only rip off and give your pup about a pea sized piece at a time. Great for potty training and behavioral training! I also like the Zukes treats as well.
Food games are a great way to keep your puppy busy and her mind engaged. Just use their regular food in here (no treats necessary). I like the "Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom" and the "Rogz Tumbler Dog Toy" best, but there are endless possibilities of options for food games! You can find these on Chewy.com or Amazon.com.
Gentle Leader or Prong Collar
I am a huge advocate for taking a puppy class and training your dog. Whether you take a class or not, do NOT let your puppy pull you around on a leash. Harnesses are not a good option for a pulling dog (they can cause shoulder injuries over long term use). The best option is a gentle leader or a prong collar. I know these look "mean," but allowing your dog to pull through a harness or even a regular collar (dogs can get collapsed tracheas from pulling on normal collars) is going to do much more damage than using some type of training collar. Despite what you may have heard about prong collars, they do not pinch your dog. They simply apply pressure when they pull, which in turn causes your dog to not want to pull. Not all brands are equal either- I highly recommend the Herm Sprenger prong collar in the size 2.25 mm as it is good quality and has blunt tips. As your pup grows, just buy more links. You don't need to buy a different collar or bigger prongs (smaller is actually better). You may not need to use a prong collar right away. Our dogs usually started to pull closer to 4 months old. When your puppy starts pulling, it's time to start thinking about an option like a prong collar or gentle leader. In regards to gentle leaders, these are a wonderful option. The reason I like prong collars over gentle leaders is that gentle leaders take a lot of practice and conditioning to get your dog willing to accept something over his nose. If you are able to put the time in though, these are awesome! Most service dogs in training use gentle leaders. Just a reminder, prong collars and gentle leaders are for training only. Your dog only wears them while walking or training, and that's it. Do not leave them on around the house, in the yard, or while playing with other dogs.
We recommend putting your puppy on a supplement in addition to his or her food. We were never believers until we purchased Cinder. She has been on them since we bought her, and she by far has the best coat, sheds the least, and is healthy! Puppy immunities are so fragile for the first year, so it's nice to have an added bonus to boost their immunities. We also started giving them to all the girls when they are pregnant and nursing, and it's been awesome! Needless to say, our dogs are all now on NuVet! It is not a requirement that you purchase these, but we would strongly recommend them based on our own experience. Your puppies will already be taking these daily starting at 5 weeks old. Learn more about NuVet here.