tips for bringing home a new puppy and puppy must-haves

Tips for Bringing Home a New Puppy + My Must-Haves

Bentley boy is officially 12 weeks, born on August 1, 2019, and it’s time for a blog post to answer all of the questions and share our must-haves that will hopefully help some of you who you thinking of getting a furry little friend of your own!

Where We Bought Bentley

We heard great reviews about PuppySpot and spent a few months on their site before finding Bentley. PuppySpot has a zero-tolerance policy for puppy mills, which is really important to us.

We brought this crate and this fluffy blanket to bring him home in!

What kind of dog is Bentley?

Bentley is a Cavapoo!

He’s a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. His dad was 14 lbs and his mom was 6 lbs, so he’ll stay pretty small and fluffy 🙂

We’ve only heard amazing things about cavapoos, and Bentley has been such a good pup since we got him!

Pet Insurance

Not everyone gets pet insurance, but I’ve heard stories where vet bills gets out of control and they only have the option of putting the dog down or paying a crazy amount of money out of pocket, so we signed up with Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and love it so far. The customer service is amazing, and they have an app to make things even more convenient.

Dog Food

He wasn’t eating much when we first brought him home. I think everything was so new to him and he was adjusting to being here, plus he’s used to his mom’s milk as a baby, so we had to change a few things at first to help him adjust.

We took his kibble and soaked it in warm water which makes it softer for them, and he loved that. We also put a little bit of rice, chicken and hard boiled eggs in there to make it enticing, and then gradually took more and more out so that it was just kibble. Then we had to gradually add in kibble that wasn’t softened so that he can get used to eating it. It was a bit of a process, but we obviously wanted to make sure he was eating and getting food.

We also would sometimes put it in our hands or play games with it to make it more fun. One recommendation that was helpful was putting the kibble in a Kong and letting him play and try to get it out of there. He loves it.

As far as food goes, right now we’re using Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Puppy Chicken & Salmon and he loves it. I’m always trying to find the cleanest ingredients, so if I find something better, I’ll slowly switch it out for him, but so far so good.

I wanted to make sure everything is as efficient as possible, so I also bought this food dispenser and this water dispenser for him which has been life-changing to have.

What I love about this food dispenser is that it holds so much food, and you’re able to record your voice saying “Bentley, time to eat” and it dispenses food at the times you set throughout the day. I bought this air tight container to hold whatever’s left from the bag of food because it was starting to smell like dog food in our house and I couldn’t handle it ha. This works amazing, and we don’t have any dog food smells around anymore.

When he hears your voice on the food dispenser and knows the routine, it makes things so much easier. Plus I know if I or Dylan have to leave the house, he’ll have his food when he’s supposed to. Same thing goes for the water dispenser! He always has water on-hand and it’s constantly filtering it throughout the day with that machine so the water stays clean. It’s nice knowing he’s taken care of, or if we’re home, it takes care of the process to make things easier / one less thing for us to do.

Puppy Treats

We’ve been using boiled chicken breast- tiny little rice size pieces – as his treats for training, etc, but we also bought this Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Meatballs Dog Treats and he loves them. They’re too large for him, so we just break off a tiny bit for him. We also put these Wellness Grain-Free Crunchy Puppy Bites Chicken & Carrots Recipe Dog Treats in our Furbo Dog Camera so we can toss him treats if we’re out of the house.

Puppy Training

We’re taking Bentley to puppy classes starting next week at 12 weeks, but so far we’ve used this book, this book, and this book to get tips and tricks for training him. It’s a little confusing when people have different methods of training, but it’s helped during this period where we want to work on things but he can’t go to puppy school yet because of vaccine schedule, etc. We’ve also watched a lot of YouTube videos which have been super helpful as well!

When we’re training him, we use this clicker and the word “yes!” so he knows when he’s doing what we like, and then we give him a treat. He now knows what the clicker means, so it makes training so much easier, and he caught on pretty fast so it wasn’t a difficult thing to work with.

As far as potty training, after we corrected him the first time and put him on his potty pad, he’s gone on there ever since. There have been a few mishaps where he goes on the floor in the corner, but it hasn’t been too much.

Puppy-Proofing & Cleaning

One of the best tips we had was to roll up any rugs we had! It’s a must during the puppy phase, at least for us.

We use this play pen in a living room corner and in our bedroom as “his space” and highly recommend having one. If I need to clean or work, this is where he goes with his bed and toys and potty pad / potty pad holder.

He was chewing up the pads, so we had to buy this potty pad holder, which has saved the day. Next up is learning to not chew the potty pads haha.

These outlet plugs are vital, since he was trying to lick the outlets while out of his pen.

These CleanWell Botanical Antibacterial Disinfecting Wipes are must-haves right now to clean up messes fast.

This puppy gate is also a must-have. He can chill in the living room with Dylan and I don’t have to worry about him roaming into another room or following after one of us to a room he shouldn’t be in.

This carpet cleaner / odor remover is also a must-have just-incase you don’t roll up your rugs or you have carpet you can’t roll up, or just to remove odor.

And lastly, this floor steam cleaner. It will change your life and I swear by it. You just fill it up with water so it’s completely non-toxic and way more sustainable. I love this one and bought the extra pads to have on hand.

Bath Time

He’s been as good as a puppy could be when it comes to bath time. We introduced it really slowly and gave lots of treats to make it a happy thing.

We use this Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner and Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Spritzer & Conditioner afterwards. We also use this brush that he loves to brush his coat.

In between baths we use these puppy bath wipes to keep him fresh and smelling as good as possible.

I also bought these all natural flea and tick shampoo to use when we need to, along with the spray for the pup and this one for home.

We also bought this little dental kit to use for him.

Toys & Organization

I’m a little psycho about my house not looking like a dog took over, so containers/baskets to keep things organized is a must.

I bought these pantry organizers so all of his items are organized in there and I can just slide the container out to find what I need, and so things are out of sight. I also use them for everything else in our pantry as far as human food goes haha.

This little basket holds all of his toys and some other products we want to have on hand. It’s cute and the perfect size to hold everything.

His favorite toys right now are this moose from and this plush monkey with a rope. He also loves these Kong toys – one + two + three – that we stuff and freeze with peanut butter or pumpkin puree with his kibble.

Last but definitely not least is this plush puppy that our friend recommended to us. You put a heat pad inside and it has a little “heartbeat” so it helps with when you first get them and they get lonely at night in their bed, or when you leave the house. We don’t use the heat pads or the heart anymore but he still uses it daily to snuggle with in his bed when he naps or sleeps. He’s obsessed with it.

Leashes, Collars and Walking

This was a little confusing at first because different trainers say to use different things, so we have different things for different occasions.

We’ve been using this harness, leash and seatbelt the most with him so he can’t slip out of it and it doesn’t go around his neck/could choke him.

He can’t go outside for the bathroom yet, but when he can, we bought these bags and this bag holder which attaches to your leash so you don’t have to carry it around in your hand.

As far as leashes go, we have a short one, this longer one for training, and then a retractable one we’ll use in the future.

We don’t use this yet, but we’re planning on training him to ring this bell if he has to go out to the bathroom, when it’s not the usual time we walk him, instead of barking.


One of the most important things we did with Bentley is get him in a routine. He knows where and when he eats. He knows when it’s playtime vs no play time. He knows when it’s time for bed. It just makes things so much easier for everyone.

I hope you all found this helpful! I’ll make sure to add more posts about Bentley as time goes on and I think it might help, and you can shop all of the products I recommended above right below!

xo, linds