The puppy checklist: What to get for your new furry friend

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Kenai joined our family in late summer when he was 9 weeks old. Kenai is a Goldendoodle F1, which is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle. We chose that breed because they are known to be gentle with children as well as intelligent and energetic. My husband, who is partial to yellow labs, was willing to be flexible if it meant we were getting a dog. I’d been saying for the last year I couldn’t handle both a new baby and a new dog, but now that the baby is 18 months old, I figured it was time. I wanted my children to have the experience of having a family pet. Goldendoodles are also supposed to be low or no-shed dogs which was important to me as I’m the one cleaning the house!


A healthy dog is a visibly happy dog, and feeding your dog the best quality food can make a big difference in how your dog looks and feels. When we were selecting a food for our new puppy, we immediately knew we wanted to go with an IAMS™ brand dog food. Fortunately, IAMS™ makes a quality puppy food for large breeds that includes fatty acids from fish oils, which promote excellent skin and coat health.

Bringing a new puppy home can be a stressful time for everyone in the family, including the new puppy. Make things easier by preparing for your family’s new arrival ahead of time. I’ve made a list of items that are essential to bring your new furry friend home:

  • kennel or crate, small enough to make your puppy feel secure but not so large they will eliminate in it (a wire crate with movable divider is perfect for your puppy’s new home as it can grow with him)
  • collar, sized to fit your puppy, or a harness if you prefer
  • name tag, engraved with dog’s name and owner’s contact information
  • food and water bowls as well as a tray to set them on
  • food storage container and scoop
  • IAMS™ brand puppy food, either large or small breed
  • old blanket or towels for bedding (you want these to be easily washable as well as something you don’t mind if puppy tears apart)
  • toys (try and buy a variety as you never know what your puppy will prefer — you want ones that are “smart” or keep him entertained such as ones you can put a treat in and they have to work to get it out as well as rope toys for all the puppy tug of war)
  • basket to store toys
  • rawhide chews (your puppy will want to chew everything, including the furniture, so distraction and appropriate chew toys is key)
  • bitter apple spray to deter chewing
  • leash, 6-foot for walks and a retractable leash for those trips to the dog park where you want your puppy to run and play but don’t want to let him off leash
  • nail clipper
  • dog shampoo
  • dog brush appropriate for your dog’s coat
  • poop bags (necessary for going on walks with your new furry friend)
  • pooper scooper for the yard
  • enzyme spray for accidents and carpet/hardwood floor cleaner
  • baby gate to keep puppy in one small area of your home as he gets used to his new environment and learns to potty outside
  • water gun, perfect for training puppy not to jump up on people or the furniture

You also want to be sure to have a veterinarian chosen as your puppy will need a once-over after you pick him up and a series of vaccinations over the first few months as well as heart worm and tick preventative. Most veterinarians can also microchip your dog, which I highly recommend. We microchipped Kenai when he was four months old. He’s not always good about coming when he’s called and if he gets out without his collar we wanted a way to get him back home.


One important thing to do when you get your puppy is to be sure they send you home with some of the food your puppy has been eating at the breeder’s/shelter. You’ll want to mix it in with your new IAMS™ food as you transition them over to a better, higher quality food. Doing this a little at a time can reduce intestinal upset for your new puppy, according to our vet. IAMS™ customized mix of protein and carbs contribute to healthy energy levels for your dog and a beautiful coat. Did you know that beet pulp is added to all IAMS™ brand dog food to help dogs maintain intestinal health and improve their ability to absorb nutrients?


IAMS™ offers a 100 percent money back guarantee, if you don’t like the product and what it does for your dog, they’ll refund your purchase price, no questions asked. Want to win free IAMS™ dog food for a year or a Walmart eGift Card? Simply enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win! IAMS™ dog and cat food is sold nationwide at Walmart.

For more information on all their products for both dogs and cats, check out the IAMS™ website and don’t forget to register!




Just look at that face! We’ve had Kenai for a couple of months now and it’s been quite the family adjustment. Our youngest absolutely hated the puppy and would cry every time he looked at her for the first month. There was a lot of training the baby as well as the puppy those first few weeks. Our adorable little ball of fluff has turned into a much larger four month old puppy. His adult coat is starting to come in and it’s beautiful, thanks the to the high quality food we’re feeding him! Our vet predicts he will be about 80 pounds full grown, so he’s going to be a big dude! Right now we’re looking into obedience classes for new family addition, which I highly recommend, especially if you have small children at home.

If you’re looking to get your pup off to a high quality start, check out IAMS™ and pin the graphic below for future reference!