Things you will need before you bring your puppy home:
You would be surprised how many people forget this, or leave it to the way home only to find the shop closed, or that it doesn't stock the right type of food for their pup.
Choosing the right kind of food for your German Shepherd puppy is important - they may have special dietary requirements such as grain free and hypoallergenic foods. We recommend AATU Dog Food as it is very high in quality meats and vegetables with a fantastic high meat content.
A must-have item are identification tags which should be firmly attached to your puppy's collar. Remember to include your current address and phone number. It's also a good idea to include a separate tag with your veterinarian's name and phone number. We strongly recommend NOT to include your pets name on the tags, as anyone who may try to take your pup will be able to call them by name and your dog may assume they are friendly.
Most pet shops offer over-the-counter tag engraving.
There are lots of leads to choose from; short, long, retractable, halty leads... There's really no one perfect lead and it's down to personal preference for you and your dog. We can however recommend that if you have a large or strong dog breed that you start off with a regular short lead, at least until your pup is well trained and can walk nicely on a lead. A shorter lead here makes controlling your pup easier and is better for everyone's safety. Perfect-Pets have a fantastic book available, filled with lots of help and advice on training your dog including lead training.
Stain Removers and Deodorizers
We can say for sure that at some point your puppy will make a big mess. Having good cleaning products ready to go is important to avoid any lasting stains or, more importantly, any lingering smells. If the area is not cleaned and deodorised properly, your pup will be able to smell it and will assume that this is the place to go to the bathroom. Remember that just because you can't smell it, doesn't mean that your dog can't - their sense of smell is much better than your own. Most stain removers do a good job, but we highly recommend the Simple Solution Extreme Stain Remover.
Grooming - Shampoo, Brush/Comb, Toothbrush/Paste
Yes, you're puppy needs to brush its teeth too! Poor dental health can lead to a number of health problems, but they are so easy to avoid. You can get an actual Dog Toothbrush, but in our experience a lot of dogs won't sit and allow you to brush their teeth. You can get Toothbrush Chew Toys and fill with doggy toothpaste instead - this will clean their teeth and provide entertainment all in one.
A lot of dog owners choose to have their pup professionally groomed, but if you want to bath them at home then you'll need a good shampoo. Puppies skin is sensitive, and even grown dogs can be prone to skin irritation from chemicals and substances present in a lot of grooming products. We recommend using a sensitive dog shampoo with no or only a mild scent, such as this Pro Pooch Sensitive Dog Shampoo.
Dog Bed and Crate
Your new puppy needs to feel safe and comfortable to have a good nights sleep, especially if you plan to have them sleep downstairs overnight.
We suggest getting a puppy crate and draping blankets or towels over it to create a nice little den for them. Placing their bed inside the crate makes it even more comfortable, and re-affirms that this is a safe place they should go to relax and/or sleep.
Realistically, your pup will outgrow their first or even first few dog beds quickly, so we recommend finding one that is comfortable but inexpensive such as this basic dog bed.
Once your puppy is all grown up, there are lots of great beds to choose from such as this highly rated ANWA Donut Dog Bed, or for dogs who prefer beds with sides (ours does!), this Memory Foam Dog Bed is a good one to choose.
Toys and Chews
Puppies love to chew. They normally chew to entertain themselves, or because they're teething or even just because they're bored. Having dog toys and chews that your pup has easy access to is important to avoid any destructive behaviour towards furniture, flooring, clothes or pretty much anything within reach!
Choosing toys and chews that are the right size, shape and texture for their growing teeth, mouth and jaws is important for healthy physical development.
Strong chewers such as Labradors, Rottweilers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers (to name a few) require tough chew toys - unless you want to buy new toys on a weekly or even daily basis. We have found toys like this Durable Dog Bone Chew Toy to be a good option.