Puppy Supplies Checklist!
Updated: Aug 12, 2022
I can't think of many things in this world that are more exciting than bringing a new puppy home! With that, shopping for "all things puppy" can be super fun also stressful as of course you want to make sure you get everything and do good by your new family member. With so many things out there the choices can be overwhelming.
This is why I've compiled a list of things you will need for your new pup as well as links to some not so essential but super useful products that I absolutely love. To make it easier on you, I've marked the essential things with a "*".
I do not get paid to recommend any of these so its truly things that I've tried and loved or that people I trust recommended to me. Happy shopping!
1. Dog Food *
I'm a huge advocate of raw feeding. That being said, teaching your dog to eat kibble as well is never a bad idea. Especially when you are going on trips with your pup, attending shows or sporting events, or even leaving your dog with someone who's going to puppy sit for you. Actually, with my own dogs, I prefer to feed them one meal a day raw and one meal kibble as that's the regimen they do best on.
I have tried so many brands of kibble out there and have often been left disappointed. Kibble usually made my dogs super gassy and gave them runny poops. After a ton of research, I've found 4 brands that you constantly hear Dobermann people recommend and after trying them I can honestly say they work great! Don't ever feed your Dobermann puppy a "puppy diet". You want to either go with all life stages, or adult diets. There's Purina Pro Plan Sport 26/16, Performance 30/20 or Active 27/17, Farmina Ancestral Grain Adult (really like their lamb and their ocean codfish options), and Fromm. Do not feed grain free as it has been linked to DCM. Also try to keep the protein as low as you can which is why the Pro Plan 26/16 is at the top of my list, having 26% protein when most foods have 30%. I personally have never tried Fromm with my dogs but have added them to the list because many, many Dobermann people swear by it just like Farmina and Purina Pro Plan and I want you guys to have options. Below are the links to some of the foods I mentioned, although most of these can also be found at your local Tractor supply or even smaller "boutique" pet stores.
**** I must also make note that kibble will make your pup's teeth have plaque on them while raw does not. So... If you go the kibble route, make sure that you're giving your pup meaty raw bones (never weight-bearing and never heat treated), raw duck heads, chicken feet, tracheas, chicken necks...ect. a few times a week. This will serve as a nice treat and it will help their teeth stay clean. Also, add a can of sardines in water a few times a week to their kibble to promote healthy skin and coat. Sardines are fantastic and have countless benefits. I would never rely on just kibble alone. Taking these extra steps will not only keep your pup healthy, but also save you money at the vet as dental cleanings are not only expensive but also require your dog to be put under which is not something you want to do unless necessary. If you're interested in going the raw route, please contact me and I can help you find a local co-op in your area where you can get already balanced blends which make it super easy and affordable to feed raw. Below is a link for a raw food supplier that ships nationwide. ****
2. Supplements for Immune System, Ear Cartilage, Healthy Bones and Joints *
NuVet is my favorite all around brand of supplements that I send home with each puppy and actually require my puppies to stay on for my health warranty to be in affect. It is packed with every single nutrient your puppy (and adult dogs) will need in addition to their everyday diet. I love these particular supplements as they are not only a multivitamin but also a probiotic and immune booster which is super important especially for young puppies that are going through a lot of changes when they go to their new homes, and don't yet have a fully developed immune system. First one of the two is the NuVet Plus which you can find on the link below. WHEN ORDERING FROM NUVET USE CODE 649644 IF USING THE LINK PROVIDED BELOW, or simply click HERE and it'll take you to the page where you can order without entering the code. I also recommend you select auto-ship as that will give you 15% off on your orders.
In addition to the daily NuVet Plus supplement, it is VERY important to give your pup a supplement that will support ear cartilage as well as their joints. Glucosmanie is imperative in helping ears stand as well as supporting joint and cartilage in dogs of all ages. Not all glucosamine is derived the same way and in my experience glucosamine derided from shark cartilage has been the most effective. This is where NuVet Joint Plus comes in. Using these supplements can mean having to post a few months shorter than you would have to without proper supplementation. It can mean being done at 7 months rather than 13-14 so the difference is definitely worth investing into these supplements. Not to mention, you help minimize growing pains and help your puppies overall bone and joint development.
CODE TO ORDER IS 649644
As I always like to have more than one option for you guys, an honorable mention goes to Fido Vitte. This is another very nice all around supplement that provides all the nutrients and probiotics your dog needs to fill the gaps that kibble and even raw do not cover. Fido Vitte comes in powder form so it is not as convenient as NuVet, but if your dog by any cache doesn't have a taste for the NuVet wafers (which I have yet to see happen as dogs love them) your can go the Fido Vitte route instead.
You can use my code "ID" to get 10% off of your Fido Vitte order!
3. Treats *
Healthy treats are not only a great way to reward your pup but also will help you keep them busy while staying happy and healthy. Below are some of my favorite go-to's for awesome snacks your pups will love!
FOR YOUR HOME
4. 48” Crate *
As Dobermann puppies tend to be lanky, you want to get a big crate so they can comfortably stretch their legs in it. Since I'm not a fan of wasting money, I suggest you make it big enough so they'll fit in it when they're grown as well. This is why I love the Frisco crate from Chewy (added an alternative from Amazon as well). It is sturdy, affordable, has 2 doors and it also comes with a puppy divider so you can limit your pup's space to prevent it from eliminating in it's crate until it fully grows into it. For people that want to invest money in something more sturdy and pleasing for the eye (especially great for high anxiety dogs) I highly suggest the 48" Impact crate option.
5. Crate Pad *
I have and love Primo pads as they're puppy proof and super easily cleaned. Although they are padded they're pretty hard so, with that said, I still prefer my dogs to have a little extra padding and I often have an extra blanket or thin pad in the crates of my adults. That being said, with a young puppy who's still learning to not chew and destroy things, a promo pad is definitely sufficient.
These crate pads from Amazon are great because they’re comfy, inexpensive and easily washed in a washer, so if a pup does destroy or get it dirty it it’s not a huge deal. I always have a few of these on hand.
6. Stainless Steel Bowls (with small stand) *
Dobermanns are prone to bloat, because of this you do not want their bowls elevated more than a few inches off the ground. Having them in a stand however will prevent your pup from spilling their food and water. Mine just LOVE to hit their bowls with their paws and tip them when they eat - leaving a huge mess everywhere. Having a stand will help prevent this. I have yet to find large enough bowls that have an appropriate stand that's not too tall online, but have had luck finding them at stores like Home Goods and TJ Maxx.
Also, Dobermanns are prone to bloat, because of this you do not want their bowls elevated more than a few inches off the ground. Having them in a stand however will prevent your pup from spilling their food and water. Mine just LOVE to hit their bowls with their paws and tip them when they eat - leaving a huge mess everywhere. Having a stand will help prevent this. I have yet to find large enough bowls that have an appropriate stand that's not too tall online, but have had luck finding them at stores like Home Goods and TJ Maxx.
7. Comfortable Bed *
Dobermanns need a soft surface to lay on, especially during their adolescence when they're growing. Their coats are very short so they don't have much padding on their elbows. Due to this, they are very prone to developing hygromas on their elbows. Hygromas are fluid filled sacks that can grow to be the size of a golf ball and they occur as your dog's way of protecting their elbows from constant trauma. Especially when your pup is still growing, always make sure to the best of your ability that they have a soft surface to lay on.
K9 Ballistics is a great brand that has held up very well with my dogs even when they're going through their destructive stages. Additionally, I've also added links to options that are a bit easier on the wallet for those who would rather not make such an investment right off the bat.
8. Absorbent Floor Mat (for paws and food)
I cannot say enough good things about these mats! I use them at my doors to minimize dirt being tracked into the house, under their bowls for food spillage and in front of my doggy bath. They're super easy to shake out as well as wash in the washer, and they do a great job at wicking away the moisture and mud.
9. Paw cleaner
Speaking of mud, this is another one of my favorites! It does a great job of cleaning their paws after they've been outside. Your floors will thank you!
GROOMING AND CARE
10. Brush *
You only ever want to use a rubber brush on a Doberman. These work great and the dogs love the feel of them! Dobermann coats are super easy to maintain but do need occasional brushing. These brushes will amaze you.
11. Shampoo *
Even though as stated Dobermann coats are super easy to maintain, you'll still need to bathe your pup every once in a while. Especially when they discover a muddy puddle or try to dig a hole under the deck leaving a trail of mud everywhere.
12. Grooming Table
Wether you plan on showing or not, this grooming table is a great thing to have in your home for nail trimming sessions and ear posting.
13. Paw Cream *
You've already gathered how sensitive Dobermans are... With that, their paws are prone to cracking which is never fun. Here's a great little product to apply on their paws, elbows, even nose when you feel like they're a bit dry and chapped.
14. Acne wipes
As stated before, this breed is prone to acne. Here are some great options for wiping those chins that'll help you battle their pubescent skin issues.
15. Dog Leggs (for hygromas)
Since I mentioned the potential for Dobermanns to develop hygromas (fluid filled sacks) on their elbows, I figured I'd add this product in as well. It's a little pricey but worth the money 100%! One thing to remember with hygromas if your dog develops them is to never touch them. Don't let your vet drain them as they will come back even worse than before. Instead, use dog leggs for a while and you'll see them completely gone in no time.
16. Ear posting kit *
Your puppies will come home cropped and docked, meaning that you will have to post their ears for a few months to get them to stand straight. This posting kit is amazing because the materials have not only been tried and tested, but it also comes with full support that includes instructional videos, facebook support group and the ability to call, text send pictures and get advice. This part is in my opinion the most tedious part about owning a Dobermann but doing it right doesn't have to be hard when there is a support system already put in place so you can succeed. MAKE SURE TO USE CODE "IMPERIUM15" TO GET 15% OFF YOUR ORDER.
17. Dremel *
If you did not get the posting kit that includes a Dremel, make sure you get yourself one. It will be your best friend when it comes to posting the ears (needed for rounding out the edges on zip ties) as well as for nail care. Dobermann nails need to be kept short, as long nails interfere with their whole structure and can cause problems such as carpal tunnel and arthritis. I love the one posted below because it is cordless, strong and efficient and super convenient to use.
18. Ear cleaning wipes for posting (not included in kit) *
These ear wipes are amazing! You'll seethe when you post the ears, they will tend to get goopy in the base as they constantly have something sitting in the ear. Use these wipes to keep the ears clean and prevent an infection from occurring. Don't be afraid to really get in there and clean everything thoroughly, trust me, you won't hurt them.
19. Ear Clippers *
Although clippers are not EXACTLY essential when it comes to ear posting. They make it SOOOOO much easier for the posts to stay in as long as they need to, plus removing them will be easier on the pup as well as the tape glue won't pull on hair. Even after posting is complete, clippers are a great tool for keeping their ears looking clean and sharp without overgrown hairs making them resemble a wooly mammoth. Do not use your husband's clippers as I know from personal experience that he won't appreciate it. I notice a lot of Wahl clippers are out of stock everywhere but I just ordered mine from State Line Tack which still has them in stock.
20. Leash and Collar *
Even though my pups will come with a leash ad collar, you always want to make sure you have a spare set (or two) on hand. Take my advice and don't waste money on buying super expensive collars and gear while your pup is still growing. Go to your local pet store and get a generic collar and leash that you like that won't break your heart and the bank when the puppy grows out of it. The puppies will most likely have a neck around 12" when you get them so something adjustable in that range will do. The boys will grow to be a neck size of anywhere between 18-20" while the girls will mature at 16-18". Still, it'll take them a long while to get there so for the time being get something that you can adjust and you won't be sad to have your pup grow out of. I haven't added any links for collars and leashes as they can be found virtually anywhere in many different colors and styles.
21. E-Collar *
Although not necessarily an essential, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that my puppy homes invest in a good waterproof E-Collar. Coupled with positive reinforcement, it can be an invaluable tool in your training as well as keeping your pup safe when off leash. Dobermanns have a very high pray drive and you want to have an extra tool to help you in getting them to respond to you even when they're a distance away from you.
22. Rope Ball *
When training your pup it is very important to have 1-2 high value toys that the ONLY get when they're training. It is not an everyday toy as they need to learn that certain things will be granted to them only after a job well done. This keeps them motivated. The rope ball is one of my favorites as it's small, easy to work with and has more than just one use. Plus you can control your dog's reward time by holding on to the rope so they don't run off with it as that would defeat the purpose. It's also great for a game of tug which all of your pups will absolutely love.
A soft frisbee is a Dobermann favorite! Its very gentle on their teeth and a great way to expel their high energy. Before you know it, your dog will be catching them mid air and showing off it's skills to everyone around. This too is another high value training toy. Do not give it to your pup unless you are ready to use it. They will not only lose interest in it if its always readily available, but will also shred it to pieces. Remember, dogs are very much like children. Meaning that toys that are always left out for them quickly become boring. A Dobermann has this even more amplified. They love new toys! This is why you always want to have 1-2 special toys up your sleeve for special occasions such as training.
24.Training treats *
Training treats are great for just that - training. They are small, tasty and considered high value - something your dog will work extra hard for. You can always make your own as well, but bellow are some that have worked great with my pups in case you want yo go that route.
25. Training treat pouch
This pouch bellow is a great training tool. It makes it super easy to access your treats while training meanwhile keeping your hands empty as well as pockets. There's nothing worse than having to rustle through your pockets to find a treat that you need to give pretty much immediately after a job well done. They are also great for walks and hikes as you can put your belongings as well as poop bags in it so it's all in one space. It's like a socially acceptable fanny pack that will make you look cool rather than a laughing stock.
26. Clicker *
Your pups will already come with a clicker in their puppy care package but due to their small size, it's never a bad idea to have 1-2 of them laying around as extras. I've personally lost more clickers than I can count. Good thing they're super inexpensive. Clickers are absolutely essential for your positive reinforcement training as they will give you time to mark the action you want to reward without having to rustle up a treat that very millisecond.
27. Training Lead *
Training leads are great for teaching your dog obedience and recall while still being in total control of them so they don't bolt and put themselves in danger.
28. Prong Collar *
This company makes my ALL TIME FAVORITE prong collar. It's practical, it's sleek, and the prongs are just the right size for a Doberman so it won't keep sliding down those long necks. Well worth the money. No matter how well you train your dog (I think we can all agree that Igor for instance is very well trained) a prong will still be your best friend. As Dobermanns are high pray drive dogs, this will offer you a bit of extra security when out in public. If you can swing it, do yourself a favor and get the one posted in the 3rd link below with a cobra buckle. I've had one for years and it is by far my favorite prong collar that I've ever owned. That thing is indestructible and has never once failed me.
29. Chlorhexidine 2%
This is my all time favorite solution for cleaning up wounds, hot spots as well as disinfecting their areas and keeping everything bacteria free and clean. A tiny bit goes a long way as it needs to be heavily diluted with water so chances are you'll have this gallon for a very very long time.
30. Cleaning and Disinfection Solutions
Cannot say enough good things about Wysiwash!!! This product is a dog owner's best friend. It is a pet and plant safe disinfectant that even kills parvovirus. Best part is that you don't have to rinse after spraying it. Just let it dry and you're good to go. I spray everything from my yard, deck, siding, to dog beds and bowls with it. It does an amazing job at keeping everything clean and odorless! Wysiwash also has a product called Effersan which is great for indoor use. Just pop a pill in a spray bottle with water and it's ready to use.
31. Toys *
Dobermanns looooove their toys. That being said, they are pros at shredding them so try and stay away from nylon toys that are hard on their teeth, tennis balls that will wear out their teeth and definitely stuffed toys (unless supervised) as they will eat them and can possibly get an obstruction. Here are some of my favorites that last a long time and the dog's love them. If you plan on getting the super chewer bark box, let me know as I have a code for a free box. Also make sure to tell them "no nylon toys".
32. Flirt Pole
Here's another fun training tool/toy. It is not essential, but the dogs absolutely love it and it gives you a great way of expelling all that energy. Just watch so it doesn't hit you in the face when they let go as it hurts like hell...
33. Flotation Vest *
If you plan on taking your Dobermann swimming or boating this is an absolute must have!!!! Dobermanns can learn to be great swimmers, but trust me when I say they are not naturals at it. It'll take them a while to get a hang of it and it is unbelievable how quickly they will sink and drown without a proper flotation vest, especially if they are not accustomed to swimming. Keep your pup safe and encourage them to love water by making them wear a vest.
34. Skunk Spay
If you live in an area that has a lot of skunks - like I do - do yourself a favor and keep this on hand. Nothing is worse than having you and your pup sprayed. Trust me, I know. It always happens at a time when everything is closed which is why you definitely want to have this in stock for just in case.
35. Stain and Odor Remover
No matter how great at potty training you are, your pup will have an accident here and there. These products have proven themselves to me as not only great at removing stains but also the smell that comes with them as well.
36. Anti Lick/Chew Spray *
This spray is great not only for furniture but also to prevent them from licking their healing tails and hot spots. You definitely don't want your pup touching its tail until it's completely healed as it will leave a permanent scar and be an eye sore later on.
37. Winter Coats
Dobermanns do not do well in cold weather. Really, anything under 60 degrees and they're shaking like twigs. These are my two favorite coat brands. One is custom made to size but yet very affordable that I love to use on them when the weather is dry of if they're inside. The other is a true heavy duty coat for snow and wet conditions. Dobermanns are notoriously difficult to properly fit due to their deep chests and these two companies seem to have found that magic formula.
38. Crash Tested Kennels
These kennels although pricey are super awesome for any kind of travel or transportation. They are crash tested and will keep your pup safe in case of an accident. I've found they're best to buy during Black Friday as that's when you can get them at a great price.
39. Stool Supplement
This supplement does an amazing job at firming up runny poops. It is also great for the digestive tract, it has probiotics and probiotics and is great overall health. Is your pup having runny stools? Give this a try!
For those of you looking to get more into protection work and dog sports in general, this website is a great place to find all and any gear you may need. It also has a wonderful on demand video section where you can find great training tutorials.
Also, here is a website where you can purchase puppy training videos as well as a great instructional video for getting your pup started in conformation.
Well.... There you have it folks! I did my best to compile a list of everything I can think of that will be super useful and helpful with your new Dobermann pups. Although I'm by no means saying you have to get all of this as this is meant to be a helpful guide, just keep in mind that the things marked with a star as essential are marked that way with good reason. It took me a very long time to figure out what is good and what not, what is essential and what a splurge. Here's to hoping that having this list will make things easier on you! I know it all seems like a lot, but you have picked a notoriously fragile and needy breed so with that, they require more than most. I'm sure you'll all find that golden formula for your pup's needs in no time, so don't fret. As always, I'm here to help wherever I can.
Once again, happy shopping!