Puppy Checklist

Below is a checklist that we put together with items we consider essential for you to consider/purchase for your golden retriever puppy before he/she gets to your home! We recommend to start looking at these items early and make a plan to get them ordered so they arrive before your puppy does.

1. Quality dog food- Click HERE to be taken to our Nutrition page to learn more about what we use and recommend

  • Starting at 3 weeks of age, your puppy will be started on Life's Abundance Large Breed Puppy Food. We have been feeding Life's Abundance 5 years now and have chosen this food due to the high quality ingredients that will promote a healthy immune system and support your puppy's growing joints. We also like it due to its affordability compared to other brands of similar quality and its accessibility. The recommended autoship frequency for the 35lb bag  is every 7-8 weeks for an 8 week old puppy eating approximately 1.5 cups/day.

  • If you would prefer to feed TLC Whole Life All Life Stages, we can transition your puppy to this around 6 weeks of age when we start feeding individually in crates. We do really like this brand for similar reasons to Life's Abundance as well and think that it is also a good option. We ourselves use this for some of our dogs as we notice some dogs do better on one brand rather than the other. TLC is very similar in quality, a tad lower kcals but still much higher quality than most out there. It does have a bit of a lower price tag and the added glucosamine within the food, which is really nice for added support to your puppy's growing joints.  


2. Daily Supplements- Click HERE to be taken to our Nutrition page to learn more about what we use and recommend

  • We personally use and recommend both Life's Abundance and NuVet Supplements. If you are continuing with Life's Abundance Food, it is convenient to also order supplements from the same place. NuVet has a great option in powder form, which is nice for when we start puppies off with mush and for those dogs that don't like to eat a wafer. I recommend a wellness/immune supplement starting at 8 weeks of age to help build the immune system and then implement an agility supplements around 6 months of age. This can also be given earlier if the puppy has growing pains. 


3. Treats for training and chewing 

  • We use and recommend Life's Abundance treats (lots of varieties but our favorites are the Nutritional Rewards and Berry Treats), Paw Tree treats (also lots of varieties), TLC Dog Biscuits, Antler Chews, and Bully Sticks.


4. Crate

  • We recommend for cost efficiency to buy a large wire crate with a divider you can move as your puppy grows. The divider will allow you to alter the size as the puppy grows and save you from having to buy different size crates! Always take your puppy's collar off when going into a crate so it does not get caught up.

5. Hygiene Items- Shampoo/ear cleaner/bath mist

  • Life's Abundance, Paw Tree, and NuVet all have nice quality shampoo, ear cleaner, bath mist, etc. with safe and natural ingredients. 


6. Beds

  • Our favorite beds to use are raised beds due to being comfortable, space saving, and most importantly, easy to clean. To save money I would skip buying small beds and just go straight to buying large beds. For crate beds, I would use something that is easy to clean in case of an accident. These beds can be found on Amazon and Chewy.


7. Collar/leash

  •  Your puppy will go home with a puppy collar and leash. 


8. Toys 

  • Your puppy will go home with some common toys we personally use. Great options are rubber balls, chew resistant stuffed toys, fleece ropes, West Paw Toys, Kong, etc. We recommend avoiding real rope toys, normal stuffed animals, and rags that can be very harmful when ingested. These can wrap up in the intestines, which can be fatal. Also avoid true tennis balls or make sure once they start to get dirty or deteriorate to throw them out. The glue used on them can rapidly break down your dog's teeth.


9. Brush/comb

  • Our favorite tool to use when brushing our dogs is the de-shedding tool. It does the best job pulling out the loose undercoat while not damaging the top coat. Curry Combs are also a nice tool to use to get loose undercoat out. Both of these tools can be found on Amazon or Chewy.


10. Nail clippers 

  • Make sure you are regularly trimming nails either yourself or taking them into your vet or groomer to be done! Before puppies go home, we trim toenails about every two weeks or sometimes once a week if they are growing quicker.  


11. Veterinary care - Take a look at our page HERE for our Vaccination Protocol 

  • Make sure you do your research on veterinarians and find the best for your pet!  Your puppy will have his/her first vaccines at 8 weeks before leaving our home but we recommend you get your puppy into your own vet within 72 hours of bringing them home for a wellness exam to get a second opinion and start building a relationship with your vet and chat about a vaccination schedule.


12. Parasite control - Take a look at our page HERE for our Deworming Protocol 

  • Your puppy will leave with age appropriate preventative deworming. For fleas/ticks we use and recommend Paw Tree spray and if necessary, Revolution. Set up a regular deworming schedule with your vet (we recommend your puppy continue to be dewormed at 10,12,16 weeks and then every 1-3 months after that depending on the deworming product). Make sure you get them on a heartworm product as well when it’s age appropriate if heartworm is prevalent in your area.  


4. Puppy Training or Obedience classes


If you have any questions or concerns about anything do not hesitate to ask us! If you think of something else you might need that we forgot to list on here let us know! :)