By Andrew Fischer
New Labrador Puppy Checklist -Everything you need for a new Labrador
Our checklist applies mostly to Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. Other breeds may have different specific needs that aren’t reflected in the list below.
Toys for Labrador puppies
Labrador puppies need mental stimulation and toys are a very suitable and convenient way to provide both a mental stimulation and fun for your dog.
Remember, there is a difference between toys for Labrador puppies and toys for adult Labradors. Toys for puppies are specifically designed, they are a bit smaller and work better with sharp puppy teeth.
A dog crate is definitely needed. A good dog crate allows your Labrador to have a feeling of safety and helps to minimize his inappropriate behavior, accidents and other issues.
Many people love to crate their puppies whenever they cannot watch them.
A good dog chew
Labrador Retriever puppies love to chew. If you never had a Labrador before then you should definitely get ready for some intensive chewing of your furniture, shoes, and carpet.
Therefore, a good dog chew is definitely an essential equipment, as it will redirect your pup’s unwanted behavior.
If you have a Labrador Retriever, we usually recommend you to get a secure and sturdy leash as Labradors are quite strong and may easily damage a weak leash.
The same thing that applies to a leash also applies to a collar. You will need a secure and sturdy collar before you take your new Labrador for a walk because their strength may easily damage a cheap and weak collar.
A good practice is to buy a collar that is adorned with an identification tag that includes your phone number and address.
Dog Bed for Labradors
Some dog owners prefer their Labrador to sleep in a crate, others prefer to let him sleep in a dog bed.
Even if your Lab sleeps in a crate, it’s still a good idea to buy a dog bed for him, as he can rest on the bed during the day.
You should buy a bigger bed as Labradors tend to grow a lot. So make sure that the bed can also accomodate a grown-up Labrador.
Labrador puppies also love to chew so consider buying a dog bed that is made of durable material.
Also. good dog beddings should be soft and withstand a lot of washing.
Food for Labrador puppies
It’s important that every new dog owner gives to its new puppy the same food that he has been raised on. Moving to a new home is a very stressful experience for dogs so they shouldn’t be exposed to more unnecessary stress caused by a sudden change of diet.
You can change your pup’s diet once your Labrador puppy has settled in and feels comfortable in his new family.
Labrador puppies shouldn’t be fed regular kibble for adult dogs because puppies have different nutritional needs. There are specific kibble for puppies. Consult your vet about the best food options for your Labrador.
Food and water bowls
Your Labrador puppy will also definitely need a dedicated food and a water bowl.
If your pup seems to eat too fast and chokes on the food, consider buying a slow-feeding bowl. These are designed to help dogs eat at a slower pace.
Remember to put food in the bowl only at specific and regular meal times. Remove the bowl after 15 minutes, even if your dog doesn’t finish all the content of the bowl.
Fresh water should be available 24/7 to your dog. Remember to change the water in the bowl at least once a day.
Treats for your Labrador puppy play a crucial role in his training.
Remember, treats should be small, low in fat and calories, and easily chewable. You shouldn’t overfeed your puppy with them. Treats shouldn’t make up more than some 15% of your pup’s daily caloric intake.
Labrador puppies will make a lot of mess. Puppies don’t usually come fully potty trained so prepare to find a surprise from time to time on your floor.
Enzyme cleaners are especially suitable for removing urine and poop stains.
Labrador Retrievers also shed like crazy so consider buying a good vacuum cleaner.
Every country, state and municipality may have different requirements on vaccinations. A rabies, canine parvovirus, canine infectious hepatitis, distemper and other vaccines are usually required.
So make sure to find out what vaccinations are required by your country or municipality before you buy a puppy.
Dog insurance is usually not necessary but many dog owners choose to buy it anyway. Dog insurance can cover various veterinary bills and damages caused by your dog to your or others’ property.
Prices of dog insurance vary a lot, depending on coverage options.
Grooming tools for Labradors
Labradors have medium requirements on grooming so you should have at least some basic grooming products at home.
You will definitely need a dog-friendly shampoo, a brush, nail clippers, and a comb.
A good dog shampoo should be natural and not only clean your dog but should be also gentle on his skin and fur.
Also, unless you plan on taking your Labrador to the groomer once a week, we recommend you investing into a high-quality nail trimmer for your dog.
Foldable Exercise Pen
Foldable exercise pens are great for potty training and puppy-proofing.
Labrador puppies love to chew on things so whenever you can’t supervise your pup you will want to be sure that they’re confined in some area where they can’t cause any damage and accidents.