Here is an in-depth look at everything you will need (and then some) before bringing a puppy home. The underlined words are linked to products that can be found on Amazon that I have either personally used, or are the size/etc. I recommend using. I hope this makes it easier for you to find correctly sized and good quality puppy supplies. Any purchases made through the Amazon links won't cost you anything extra, but will send me a small commission. While it isn't a large commission, it is appreciated when these links are used--a lot of work goes into keeping this page up to date! :) You are welcome to contact me with any questions about purchasing products or supplies.
Link to our complete Amazon supply list:
Diet has one of the largest impacts on our physical and emotional health---and the same goes for dogs! There are an infinite number of different brands and types of food on the market. Temple City puppies are sent home with a small bag of the food they are weaned onto. This bag is enough to last approximately a week, so you will need to have at least 15 lbs of food on hand before bringing your puppy home. (This is about a 2-3 month supply). While you can transition the brand/formula of food if desired, I don't recommend transitioning until your puppy is at least 4 months old, as their digestive systems are quite sensitive while they are young. After 4 months old, you can either keep your puppy on the same food or slowly switch to another brand if you would like.
It is advised to keep at least a 3-month supply of dog food on hand at all times. The exact amount will vary depending on the dog. A Toy Poodle will go through approximately 5 lbs of food per month.
For adult dogs, I highly recommend feeding a rotation diet and switching things up once in a while -- when done correctly, dogs benefit greatly from a vast variety of different food sources and nutrients. See our Facebook post on rotation diets here. If you would like a list of different brands my dogs have had success with, feel free to contact me. (The list is always growing)
Meal mixer: I always recommend having a meal mixer on hand (such as freeze dried raw, or canned food). This can be used in case your puppy has lost their appetite during their first few days at home, or simply to add some variety and flavour to their meal time. Only a small amount (maybe a tablespoon) needs to be mixed in with kibble, as serving a whole meal of something new when the puppy isn't used to it will upset their stomach.
Food & water dishes: choose something with a non-slip base.
Air-tight storage bin: these are used for keeping your dog's food fresh for as long as possible. It is important to keep this stored in a cool, dry place.
Kennel: For Toy Poodles, I recommend using a 22" wire crate with a divider. My dogs and puppies seem to greatly prefer wire crates over plastic crates (perhaps they feel more open and less isolating, as plastic crates are darker inside). While you can always transition to a plastic crate if that is your preference, I would always recommend starting off with a wire one.
Exercise Pen: If you would like to be able to step in and out, purchase a 24" tall x-pen. (I am 5' 5'' and can step in and out of 24" pens very easily.) If you would like added security to further prevent your puppy from climbing then get a 30" x-pen. These are also great for blocking off sections of the house you don't want your puppy to enter. (Staircases, offices, children's rooms, etc.)
Click here to learn more about how I recommend using x-pens and crates for crate training and housebreaking.
Dog bed: My dogs love soft beds with high sides, so they can curl up inside of the walls. These can be used around the house, or inside your dog's crate.
Clicker: I have tried a few different clickers, and really like the Clik-R brand. I have found it makes a softer sound, doesn't break down after only a few uses, and is easy to click. It is a good idea to have a few clickers on hand (for home, travel, etc.). Alternatively, you can just use the word "yes" as a reward marker, or use a pen (yes, a pen!) with a clicking end. To learn more about clicker training, click here.
Puppy Pads: Even if you plan to housetrain your puppy to go outside, I recommend having a package of puppy pads on hand. Read more about how we use them here.
Training Leash: Long leashes (I recommend a 30' leash) are handy for recall training, and for giving your pup a bit of freedom while still keeping them under control.
Treats: The most important part of any training regime is having a reward that your dog will work for. Treats encourage and reward good behaviour. There are SO many options out there; I recommend using freeze dried treats or soft treats that are easy to break up. Freeze dried and soft treats often have the strongest, meatiest scents, and picky puppies are more likely to show interest in working for them vs baked/biscuit type cookies. (I like to use crunchy cookies as an end-of-the-day snack). Purchase a few different types and see what your puppy likes the best.
Chews: use these for redirecting teething, putting in your puppy's crate to help them settle for the night, or for recreational chewing. Popular choices are bully sticks, chicken necks (or feet), fish skin, and beef tracheas.
Obedience Classes: Whether you are a brand new or a seasoned dog owner, enrolling in puppy training classes is always a great idea to get you and your puppy off on the right start. Select a trainer who has relatively small classes and uses positive reinforcement training. Some training facilities have waiting lists, so you may want to get your name on their contact list even if you haven't brought your puppy home yet. I recommend starting obedience classes right after your puppy is fully vaccinated (approx. 16 weeks old).
Grooming & Hygiene:
Professional Groomer: Unless you plan on grooming your puppy at home, you will want to have a professional groomer lined up. Just like training classes, you will want to call around to find a groomer that will suit your puppy's needs and who is taking new clients. To read about groomer etiquette and how to be a good client, click here.
Slicker Brush: I am in LOVE with Artero's flexible slicker brushes. They are soft but sturdy, and do a wonderful job at getting right to the base of the coat. Another good choice (although much more expensive) is the Chris Christenson Coral slicker brush. I have not used the Chris Christenson slicker but it is popular in the Poodle/groomer world.
Comb: My favourite is the Yento comb, which can be purchased at Tybrushe Pet Supply. (Amazon does not carry it).
Shampoo/Conditioner: Soos Mineral Rich Mud shampoo & conditioner is a favourite of mine. It smells wonderful and leaves coats nicely nourished and soft.
Ear Wash: Good to have on hand to flush out your dog's ears as needed.
Dental Care: With Toy breeds especially, dental hygiene is important to stay on top of. There are a lot of dental kits to choose from. Try to make a habit of brushing your dog's teeth daily or every other day, if possible. Natural chews/treats and raw bones such as chicken necks & backs can also aid in promoting good oral health.
Nail Clippers: Even though groomers will typically trim your puppy's nails during a regular groom, it is important to keep them clipped every week or two between appointments to prevent harmful overgrowth (which can lead to twisted nails and toes, arthritis, pain when walking, etc.). Resco nail clippers have been one of my favourites. I also like using a nail dremel.
Clippers: I love my Wahl Chromados. I use them mostly on face/feet/tail, as they are light and easy to use in these smaller areas, but for a single dog they will work fine for full grooms, if you want a pair of clippers at home.
Enzyme Cleaner: A must-have when housetraining puppies. Accidents happen, and an enzyme-based product will help break down the scent completely so that the puppy is less likely to go on that spot again. I love EZ-Clean and use it for more than just the dogs--garbage cans, litter boxes, laundry, etc.
Kongs: The Kong is a versatile, must-have dog toy. It can be filled with treats (kibble, yogurt, xylitol-free peanut butter, etc.), simply chewed on, or used for games of fetch. It's random bounce patterns make it extra fun for dogs to chase. Purchase at least one, if not a few more to rotate through (one in the freezer, one for outside play, one in current use for crate training, etc.)
Plush Toys: Plush squeaky toys are popular and are typically a universal favourite amongst dogs. Make sure to select a relatively sturdy toy and supervise playtime, as some dogs get a bit carried away with 'killing' the toy and enjoy destroying and destuffing them. Outward Hound has good durable toy options.
Chew Toys: When there is a teething puppy in the house, having several accessible chew toys is very important! Our puppies have loved Nylabone, Benebone, and Kong products, but there is a large variety of available teething toys to choose from. Select toys that are durable, and large enough so that they are not a choking hazard. Our dogs all time favourite is Pet Quirk's Barkbones. (Chaca, one of our Standard Poodles, loves her chicken Flavorit bone. It is also light enough for our Toy Poodles to enjoy.)
Puzzle Toys: these are a wonderful alternative to dog bowls when it comes to meal time. Hide your puppy's kibble in a snuffle mat, Kong wobbler, or other toy for mental enrichment, and to help tucker him/her out. Licki mats are a great tool for self-soothing and helping a puppy settle in their crate. (Spread plain yogurt, dog-safe peanut butter, chicken broth, etc. on the mat.)
Subscription Box, if desired: We subscribed to BarkBox a few years ago---it was like Christmas day every month for our dogs! While not necessary or essential by any means, it was certainly fun, and we still have many BarkBox toys around the house to this day. We found the toys to be decently durable, with good variety in size, shape, texture, sound, etc. There were also treats and chews included in the monthly box.
Travel & Gear:
Collar: Toy Poodles will typically fit collars that are 9" long. Make sure it is adjustable, as neck width will vary depending on how long your Poodle's hair is and it may need to be adjusted every couple of weeks. Until your puppy is very used to wearing a collar, I do not recommend leaving it on full time. (Take it off during the night, when they are in their crate, or otherwise not under your watch). **Tip** - start with a cheaper collar while your puppy is teething (as they will sometimes try to chew them off--a big reason it is important to supervise them while wearing it at first). Then graduate to a nicer quality collar once they are accustomed to wearing one.
Leash: A 6' leash will be needed for walks and any other time you are out-and-about. I personally like flat, thinner nylon leashes. Retractable leashes are wonderful for nature trails and other open spaces where you would like to give your puppy a bit of freedom while still having them under control. I do not recommend retractable leashes in the following scenarios: 1) hyper dogs who are still working on leash manners (especially large or rambunctious breeds), 2) walking in crowded spaces--not the time to let Fluffy explore and get tangled in everyone else's way! Always use discretion, and be responsible when walking your dog.
Harness: I recommend using these while on walks rather than a collar, as Toy breeds have softer/fragile tracheas and a harness will direct any pulling pressure to their sternum/chest rather than their throat. Mesh harnesses are great as they cover more surface area to distribute pressure. As these can be difficult to size, you may want to wait until your puppy is home before purchasing one, so that you can get their individual measurements.
ID tags: These can be purchased at most pet stores or ordered & customized online. As puppies are known for trying to chew these, you can expect to go through a few of them in the beginning. An ID tag usually has the puppy's name and your phone number (or email address). Make sure this information is kept up to date. (For those that order puppy food from TLC Pet Food here, you will receive a free engraved dog tag with your purchase.)
Airline-approved pet carrier: If you do a lot of flight travel and plan to bring your dog with you, you will need one of these. Check the sizing requirements for your airline before ordering, and ensure your dog will comfortably fit. You will also need one of these if you will be flying to pick up your puppy.
Plastic Crate: You can choose to use a single crate for both home use and travelling, or have one for each purpose. Crates are one of the safest ways for dogs to travel in a vehicle. In the case of an accident, or even a sudden stop, a crate is much more likely to keep your dog well contained and prevent them from being injured. Having your dog crated will also prevent them from distracting you while driving. Wire or plastic crates can be used---I personally prefer using a plastic crate for travelling, and wire crates for home use.
Crate mat: choose something comfortable and that fits inside of your puppy's crate. You will want something that is easy to wash -- accidents and illness happen. You can also use a dog bed or a blanket.
Travel bowls: collapsible travel bowls are a must-have. I always bring these on the road with me to agility trials and dog shows.
Waste bags: Keep these accessible--near front and back doors, in your purse, in your coat pocket, etc.
Here are some things you can add to your dog's food to add some variety to their meals, for added health benefits. All of our pregnant mama's are given probiotics to support the immune health of the puppies, and omega-rich oil to aid in proper brain development. We continue to feed these supplements throughout nursing, and add them to the puppies' food once they start weaning.
Omega 3, 6, & 9 Oil: good for skin, coat, and brain health. I love the Ultra Oil brand as it includes both fish and hemp oils, along with Vitamin E for optimal absorption. One pump of oil a day for a small Poodle is all that is needed.
Probiotics: for overall gut health. This is always in my dog cupboard, especially in case of upset stomachs/loose stool.