Shopping for Your New Puppy

One of the most exciting things about a new puppy, but one that can easily become the most stressful too, is buying all the things for your puppy!

We often have new puppy parents who come to us with questions, regardless of whether or not the puppy came from us. We've even helped with beginners obedience and offered group and individual classes to help get puppies started off right. Often times, the articles I send home with my puppies get lost so I have included a basic list of the items included in those articles here for anyone who is interested to hopefully gain guidance and wisdom. I hope you enjoy! 

My Recommendations

First, if you are getting a puppy from us, please note that your puppy will already come home with the following items:

  • Our New Puppy Packet filled with training resources, socialization tips, daily logs of exercises and activities done while with us, growth log, Veterinary visit information with health certificate and vaccine/de-worming records, pedigree, AKC paperwork, and much more information about our protocol for a successful start. 

  • A Collar- each puppy is given a new custom made buckle style collar from our friends at "My First Collar by Woofus"

  • A Snuggle Puppy- click here to learn about the Snuggle Puppy. Your puppy will be sleeping with his/her Snuggle Puppy when they start sleeping in crates at night

  • Microchipped with AKC Reunite (unless you tell us not to by 7 weeks old) which you must register by going to AKC Reunite's Site

  • A sample pack of food with Herbs already mixed in

  • A sample of the probiotics we recommend

  • A blanket with Momma and Littermates smell


Here are the things I love to use and love to share with others (you can click on the item to be taken to a web page for that item.​



We use and recommend Purina Pro Plan. Our puppies are sent home with starter packs of food and tons of information from Purina. 


1.      For the Love of Horse’s “Total Immune Health” herb blend - our puppies are started on this blend and we encourage you to continue it until your puppy is 6 months old. This special blend of herbs will help your puppy fight off most virus’s he/she may come into contact with as a young pup and will help out until vaccines take full effect. Please list me, Alyssa McCarter, as your reference when purchasing.  

2.       Purina Pro Plan Fortiflora Probiotics - a MUST for your puppy/dog! Getting gut health is extremely important for helping ward off viruses and illness.

3.       Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet - This is a Fish Oil Liquid for Cats and Dogs, full of Omega-3s, EPA and DHA. It supports Skin, Coat, Joints and Overall Health and is in Triglyceride Form for Optimal Absorption. This is the brand we personally use for ourselves and trust them wholeheartedly.

4.       Wally’s Ear Oil - This is a must with any dog! We use it after bath time, swimming, and after any routine ear care. We do not clean my dog’s ears but once a month to 6 weeks. To do so, we use a baby wipe and wipe the ear clean paying special attention not to go too deep into the ear canal. We do not recommend putting any kind of wet ear cleaner/solution down into your dog’s ear unless told to do so by your Vet. After wiping with the baby wipe, we then put 5-8 drops of Wally’s in the ear, massage it around, wipe any noticeable access away and leave the rest to dry on its own. It is very oily and some people cannot stand the way it smells- it has a garlic earthy smell… It is made of all natural ingredients and has helped many people and dogs! It is actually made for people- we’ve used it on our kids anytime they pull at their ears or complain of an ache- so far we’ve never been to the doctor because of our ears. Years ago, we had a Bloodhound and she had chronic ear infections that no solution, antibiotics, prescriptions, etc. could clear up. A friend suggested Wally’s and after a couple uses, she never had another ear infection. We use it anytime we bathe or if we are around water (swimming and playing) and then like I said, for routine ear care. Standard Poodles have hair inside their ears. We only pluck when necessary. Our motto, God put hair there, it has a purpose. We also use Wally’s if we do end up plucking. You can find Wally’s at most natural grocers and online.



1.      Crate- The first and most important thing to purchase for your new puppy is an appropriate crate (this goes hand in hand with my crate and potty training articles- available by request and sent home with each of my puppies). I highly recommend getting a wire kennel/crate that has the movable divider, like this one- you can move and remove it. Since you can move it, be sure to get a kennel that will large enough for your puppy once full grown. This saves you from having to buy several crates as your dog grows. If you need a crate for hunting dogs or dogs that ride in the bed of a pickup- we use and recommend Gunner Kennels Dog Crates

2.       Bones- I also recommend buying lots of things to chew. Whether it be turkey tendons or marrow filled bones (I recommend these for outdoor use- they stain carpets). I love the K9 Connoisseur & A Freschi brands for all things 'dog bone'. This will help with boredom, can be used as a great reward during crate training, and will help reinforce with your puppy what is acceptable to chew and not acceptable to chew on. It also helps with keeping tartar and plaque buildup controlled since your dog doesn’t brush his teeth (and bad breath for later when your dog ages if it becomes an issue!).

3.     Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray- This can be a great tool if you have a chewer on your hands! It has helped me deter dogs from chewing on furniture, clothes, etc. You can purchase it at most pet stores and online.

5.       Leashes and Collars- First of all, I do not ever recommend retractable leashes. Your dog will learn to pull and that is not something he/she should do. A nice 6-8 foot leash is good and going through obedience, your dog will learn to heal on and off leash. I recommend you purchase a typical buckle collar which is what my puppies will go home wearing. So, if you are purchasing a puppy from me, know he/she will already be wearing a new custom buckle collar. Don't forget a good tag (check out this one that doesn't dangle!) too in case your dog ever gets away. This, along with your dog's (registered) microchip, is essential in a safe return home! 

6.       Treats- I recommend using pencil eraser sized treats for reinforcement. Your dog doesn't need a steak to be praised. A little goes a long way here. The idea of a treat is to leave your dog wanting more. 


These links are intended to help you get started.
There are a lot more items you'll acquire over time that will be more appropriate for you and your dog.  But, to get started, check out the following starter tools.

Besides the items listed below, a good table (like this one) is essential.

High Quality Brushing/Grooming Tools

Good tools are essential for a health coat. I personally use and recommend Chris Christensen's line of grooming tools.


I also highly recommend buying a good quality slicker brush but please know that there is improper and proper use of such brush, so be sure to watch videos on YouTube specific to Poodle coats. I personally use the Chris Christensen oval 20mm pin slicker brush, but any of the Chris Christensen products are great!

Chris Christensen Tools & Maintenance Recommendation for Poodles (borrowed from their Facebook page):
004 Buttercomb: Perfect for Poodles, this extra long buttercomb comes with extra long teeth to get down in Poodle's dense coats.

Mark VI Round Slicker Brush: Remove brush lines with ease with this round head slicker brush!

Big G Slicker Brush: Fluff, separate, tease, and style all with one tool!


More Maintenance Tips:
Clean Start: Revitalize the skin and coat with Clean Start! Clean Start removes dirt, dander, build-up, and residue from styling products and shampoos leaving the coat and skin moisturized and clean!


I was recently asked to try a product that I cannot say enough good things about! The company is Skout's Honor and they are a naturally based, paraben and pthalate free dog grooming product company. I HIGHLY recommend their products!

I also love Isle of Dogs brand but it is a bit more pricey. 



I recommend a few different ones. I personally use both the MetroVac Air Force Commander Pet dryer and the K-9 III High Velocity Dryer. The K-9 will take a long shorter time to dry the coat but is much more expensive than the MetroVac. I also recommend the Flying Pig High Velocity Dryer. 

Clippers, Blades & Blade Wash

Andis Super 2 Speed or the Wahl Bravura. Then, you'll want some extra blades so you can swap out when one gets hot (2 #10 blades for face, feet, sanitary and a 4fc for body). It is much easier to do an overall shave when the coat has been blown out with a force dryer (such as the one in #1. above). Coolant, Lubricant, Disinfectant Spray for your blade such as this one.