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Puppy Starter Kit – 12 Essential Items For Your New Puppy

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There’s always a ton of excitement the day you bring home a puppy and it’s no different if you’re a puppy raiser. One advantage we as puppy raisers have over a regular new puppy owner is Guide Dogs of America sends us home with a GDA Puppy Starter Kit.

The GDA Puppy Starter Kit doesn’t have everything you need to raise a puppy, but it does have some of the essentials that are important for all puppy raisers.

QUICK TIP: If you want to see everything you’ll want before bringing home a new puppy then check out our Essential New Puppy Checklist.

If you didn’t see our first Puppy In Training TV video then you probably missed out on the short video that highlighted some of the items from our puppy kit. 

Take a look at around the 1 minute and 58 second mark of the video:

Puppy Starter Kit

A true puppy starter kit would have everything you need for your new puppy. However, this is our GDA Puppy Starter Kit which is more of a “Puppy Go Home Package”.

Anyhow here’s the list of the 12 items that we receive the day we bring home our new GDA puppies!

Puppy Starter Kit
Our GDA Puppy Starter Kit
  1. Stainless Steel Dog Bowl – these bowls are a slight upgrade from what we get from GDA because they don’t slide and are flip resistant ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. Sterilized Hollow Boneย – we’ve had some puppies love these and others just ignore the bones. Stuffing them with cheese helps. – GDA no longer gives out sterile bones. I think there were problems with it being too hard for puppy teeth. Now we prefer giving our puppies beef collagen sticks.
  3. Two Nylon Dog Collars – GDA gives you a small (puppy) and large (adult) buckle collar. Boys get blue and girls get red.
  4. Four Foot Nylon Leash – we love the short lightweight nylon leashes for the pups and they can work great as a dragline.
  5. Zoom Groom Brush (Labrador Retriever) or Slicker Brush (Golden Retriever)
  6. Small Puppy Blanket – the GDA blankets we’ve received are usually fleece.
  7. Stuffed Toy – usually we just get a simple plush toy, but we send all of our Golden Retriever pups home with a Calmeroos Puppy w/ Heartbeat & Heat Pack
  8. Puppy Bib (see pic above) – the yellow puppy bib lets the public know that we are raising a guide dog puppy in training.
  9. Heartworm Medication – Consult your vet about Heartworm meds. We give our pups Heartgard.
  10. Puppy Food – GDA has changed foods quite often since we’ve been raisers. We currently feed our pups Wellness Core Puppy Food.
  11. GDA pet identification Tag – GDA issues special dog tags, but we also get our pup’s personal Dog ID Tags.
  12. Microchip ID Tag – GDA pups come microchipped we also microchip all of our golden retriever puppies before sending them to their homes.

Of course, GDA sends you home with one other very important item…A cute, adorable, cuddly new puppy!

One that hopefully sleeps through the night and doesn’t have any accidents in the home. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re bringing home a GDA puppy then you can expect to receive a nice little puppy go-home kit to get you started.

However, if you’re getting a new puppy on your own then this list is just the start.

I’d definitely recommend several other items including a basic book on how to train a puppy, like Puppies For Dummies.

In the near future, I’ll see what I can do about putting together a comprehensive list that would include all the items I think you should have in your puppy starter kit.

So that’s it!  What would you include in your puppy starter kit?  Tell us about it in the comment section below.

The GDA Puppy Starter Kit only has a few of the items we’d recommend for new puppy owners.

Check out our complete New Puppy Checklist which has everything we’d recommend before bringing home a puppy.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. First time puppy owner. Thanks for the soon to be helpful information.

  2. When we picked up Linus from the shelter I remember the shelter needed about an hour to get him ready to go home (microchip, vaccinations, etc). We ran over to PetSmart and quickly bought all we thought we’d need. We weren’t very well prepared as we didn’t think we’d be picking up a puppy that day. This list only includes what Guide Dogs of America sends home with new puppy raisers. At some point I’ll probably put together a more comprehensive list. I love putting together checklists too! I just wish I was better about actually using them ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oooh yes, I live for making checklists! Just put one together myself for our upcoming road trip in July. I also put one together back in 2011 to prepare for our 8 week old puppies’ arrival at our home. I included most of the items you put on yours, except for the puppy bib ๐Ÿ˜‰

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