The information below contains items that I feel you will need for your new puppy. You should be able to easily find these items at your local pet store, feed store and in some cases discount stores such as Wal-Mart, however many times it is less expensive to buy them online. I purchase my supplies from several online catalogue companies. My favorite suppliers are KV Vet, Pet Edge, JB Wholesale, Care A lot Pets, King Wholesale and Drs Foster and Smith. Several companies do not charge shipping for small items on orders over $40.00.
Crates - I prefer a wire crate over the traditional molded plastic Vari Kennel. I have found that my puppies really prefer being able to see everything that is going on around them while in their crate. The molded plastic crates are airline approved, but unless you plan on flying with your dog I don’t feel they are warranted for everyday use. The normal size Golden retriever crate is 36”Lx25”Wx27”H. If you decide on a plastic Vari Kennel instead of a wire crate then you would want to buy the Vari Kennel 400 Large. If you have a very large male or the dog would be in the crate for an extended period of time you would buy the next larger size crate. The other reason I prefer the wire crates is that they are much better for the dog in the heat. The soft sided crates are only for reliable adult dogs. They are not for unattended dogs or puppies as they can be rolled and chewed by your dog.
Beds – Do not buy a bed for your new puppy. Puppies will urinate on beds. I do not give puppies a true bed until I feel they are house broken. Towels and blankets are great beds for young puppies and the can be easily washed. And I find that most puppies push the towel out of the way in the crate because it makes them too hot. My dogs love the Kuranda beds. You can buy them with plastic or aluminum frames and when the cover wears out you can buy just the replacement cover. I buy the 44x27 size with the vinyl weave. Costco probably has the best quality for your money on soft beds. My Costco beds are good for about one winter then the stuffing is completely matted down and the bed doesn’t provide much cushion for my dogs. Should you want more of a selection than what Costco offers, here are some links to alternate beds. Drs Foster and Smith, Orvis, Buddy Beds and Amazon.
Collars – A flat leather or nylon collar is the best and safest collar. Choke collars and prong collars are only for training and should never be left on an unattended dog. Be very careful about leaving a collar with tags on a puppy in the crate or kennel run as the tags can get catch on the wire and hang the puppy. My preference for flat nylon collars are the Mes Amie collars. You can buy the quick release or the martingale type. They are made of very soft durable nylon and come in a variety of colors.
Leashes – There are a variety of leashes available that come in all shapes, sizes, material, and colors. The best leash you can buy is a 6 ft 3/8” wide leather leash. Unless you allow your puppy to chew on the leash a good leather leash will probably last you the life of your dog. I find that chain and nylon leashes are very hard on the hands. You will always be able to grip a leather leash much better than any other type of material. It is also a good idea to have a 25ft Flexi lead for walks.
Bowls – The only bowls to use are stainless steel. They are easy to clean and do not break. Plastic bowls do not clean well and will discolor the nose. My adult dogs eat in the 2 quart size and my puppies eat in the 1 quart size bowl. You can buy stainless steel bowls with rubber bottoms so they don’t slide on the floor. A larger SS bowl can be used for a water bowl or for outside a SS bucket works great.
Gates – There are many pet suppliers that supply all kinds of wonderful gates for your house, however most of the time all that is needed is a baby gate to contain your puppy. The best place to look for baby gates are Wal-Mart, Target, and Toy R US. If you feel you need something more than a baby gate check Costco online before buying one from the catalogue companies.
Flea and Tick Control – The only way to control fleas and ticks is with the use of topical flea and tick products like Advantage or Frontline. Depending on your area you may only need to treat your dog during the summer months. Prices are usually much better online than at the vet hospitals or stores. Costco is a great place to buy Frontline.Brushes – Golden Retrievers do shed and the amount can vary depending on the time of the year. The best tool for stripping out dead coat is a greyhound comb. This is a long (no handle) comb that has teeth spaced wider on one half of the comb and narrower on the other half of the comb. The two kinds of brushes that work best on Golden coat are a slicker brush and pin brush.
Nail clippers – There are many styles of nail clippers. I prefer the Resco guillotine type to the scissor type. I feel the scissor type pull the nail when you are cutting the nail. It is a good idea to keep styptic powder one hand just in case you cut the nail too short. You should not be able to hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor. Your puppy will have had its nails cut every week from the time it is born. It is very important to keep this up throughout the life of your dog. If you are unsure about cutting nails we will more than happy to show you how to cut your puppy’s nails.
Shampoo – Golden Retrievers are a wash and wear dog, but there are times when you will want to bath your dog. Always use a gentle cleaning shampoo. I use Kenic Oatmeal pet shampoo. It is soap and detergent free and will not affect topical flea products. Another good brand of shampoo is made by Eqyss. The horse and pet shampoos are exactly the formulas with the fomulas sold under the horse label being somewhat less expensive. If you take your dog to a groomer ask for a gentle shampoo or ask the groomer to use your own shampoo.
Toys – There are a variety of toys on the market for dogs. The first thing to keep in mind when purchasing dog toys is safety for the personality and size of your dog. Puppies must have their toys replaced as they grow and develop jaw strength. This is especially true after they have their adult teeth. Some of the safest toys are Kongs (great for stuffing things), Natural Bones, solid rubber balls, and Nylabones. Tennis balls are fine for young puppies and interactive play with adults, but do not leave tennis balls out with an unattended adult dog. They can easily be chewed and the swallowed pieces could have your dog in the hospital for a blockage surgery. Indoors toys can consist of a variety of soft stuffed and squeaky toys. Be sure to watch for chewed pieces. Another fun item for your puppy is a kiddie pool. These can be purchased at Wal-Mart or Toy R Us. The type and size of toys must be determined by the age and personality of your dog.Misc Items – Every responsible dog owner should have poop bags with them when they are out in public with their dog. Many of the pet stores carry poop bags in the little containers that clip to your clothes or leash. They are very handy while out walking your dog. If you don’t care about the handy container you can usually purchase disposable diaper bags at the dollar stores. You get a box of 100 bags for one dollar. They are a lightweight plastic bag with tie handles and they have a light scent of baby powder. It is very easy to stuff a couple in your pockets or purse. At home I suggest a pooper scooper. These make yard cleanup much easier.