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Ultimate American Bulldog Puppy Shopping List: Checklist of 23 Must-Have Items

Written by: Zyra Capalac
Zyra is a Special Project Coordinator of HomeLife Media and a writer for iHeartDogs.com. She has 3 dogs namely Skye, Luna, and one of them is a rescue, named Tesla.Read more
| Published on March 26, 2024

Ultimate American Bulldog Puppy Shopping List: Checklist of 23 Must-Have Items

✅ The Complete American Bulldog Puppy Shopping List

Bringing home a new furry friend is an exciting time, but preparing for their arrival can be overwhelming. If you’ve decided to add an American Bulldog puppy to your family, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to keep them happy and healthy. From basic essentials like food and water bowls to training aids and toys, there are a lot of items you’ll want to have on hand. In this article, we’ve compiled a comprehensive new puppy checklist of 23 must-have items for new American Bulldog puppy owners, so you can feel confident that you’re fully prepared for your new furry family member.

 

1. American Bulldog Puppy Food

When it comes to choosing a good food for an american bulldog puppy, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the puppy’s age. Puppies in the first few weeks of life will require different nutrition than older puppies. For example, a newborn puppy will need a food that is high in fat and protein, while an older puppy may require a food that is lower in fat and higher in fiber. Many american bulldog owners prefer to continue using the same food that the breeder or rescue was using, at least in the beginning. In addition, always speak with your veterinarian about their food recommendation.

To view which puppy foods iHeartDogs recommends, visit our guide here.

 

2. Food & Water Bowls

When choosing a water and food bowl for an american bulldog puppy, it’s important to choose one that is easy to clean and will not harbor bacteria. Plastic bowls are often the most popular choice, as they are inexpensive and can easily be replaced. However, plastic bowls are more likely to harbor germs. Stainless steel and ceramic bowls are a good choice, as they are more durable and do not hold onto odors. It’s important to choose a bowl that is the right size for your american bulldog puppy, as too large of a bowl could make it difficult for them to eat and drink from it. Additionally, try to find a bowl with a non-slip bottom, as this will help to keep it from sliding around on the floor when your puppy is eating or drinking. Finally, check for any sharp edges that could hurt your puppy.

We love this puppy bowl from Amazon because it includes a silicone mat to prevent messes.

3. Leash and Collar (or Harness)

You’ll need a quality collar and a leash for your new american bulldog pup. Make sure the collar is the right size and comfortable for your pup to wear. Keep in mind they will likely grow out of them quickly, so you may want to buy multiple in different sizes.

For collars, we love these simple and durable embroidered collars. Having your dog’s name and phone number personalized directly on the collar is an extra precaution, as dog ID tags can easily wear out and fall off.

 

4. Dog Crate

If you plan to crate train your pup, you’ll need a crate. When choosing a crate for your puppy, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure to purchase one that is the appropriate size for your puppy. The crate should be big enough for your puppy to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lay down, but not too big that they have too much extra space. Second, consider the type of crate you purchase. Wire crates are more breathable and typically lighter, but plastic crates create a more enclosed space, which is ideal for puppies that are anxious or crate-trained. Third, think about the features of the crate. Look for crates with removable trays, handles, and locks for safety and convenience. Lastly, consider the price range of the crate. Many pet stores have a variety of crates within different price ranges, so you can choose one that fits your budget.

This is Amazon’s best selling dog crate. It can be adjusted as your puppy grows.

5. American Bulldog Appropriate Toys

When choosing toys for a new puppy, it’s important to find ones that are safe and durable. Look for toys that are made with non-toxic materials, are easily washable, and don’t have small parts that can be chewed off and swallowed. Soft, plush toys are great for cuddling and playing, and durable rubber or plastic toys can help with teething. Choose a variety of toys to keep your puppy entertained and help them learn about the world around them. It’s also a good idea to rotate toys. Periodically add and remove toys from your puppy’s toy box to keep them fresh and exciting. And lastly, always always monitor your puppy while playing to ensure they don’t destroy a toy and it becomes a choking hazard!

Kong brand toys are a great option for their durability and versatility

7. Natural & Safe Puppy Chews

In addition to durable toys, you’ll likely want to invest in some long-lasting natural chews for you american bulldog pup. Avoid chews with dangerous or synthetic ingredients like rawhide. Our puppies have always enjoyed the Earth Animal No-Hide chews. They looks and feel like rawhide, but are made from safe, but still long lasting ingredients.

 

No Hide chews are an excellent and very popular option for puppies

8. Grooming Supplies

If you plan to groom your pup yourself, you’ll need some basic grooming supplies. This includes a brush, shampoo, nail clippers, and anything else you need to groom your pup.

9. Dog Bed

Choosing a good bed for your new american bulldog puppy is important. Look for one that is comfortable, supportive, and easily washable. Make sure the bed is large enough for your puppy to grow into, and that the material is durable enough to withstand wear and tear. Choose a bed that is made from a breathable material to help keep your puppy cool and comfortable. Finally, look for a bed that is easy to clean and maintain.

This washable and waterproof bed is currently the most popular puppy bed on Amazon

10. High Value Treats

Choosing good treats for a new puppy can be a daunting task. The first thing to keep in mind is that not all treats are created equal. Some treats contain unhealthy ingredients that can cause health problems for your pup, so it’s important to read labels and understand what goes into the treats you’re purchasing. Focus on a treat that is mostly meat based. Fillers, including carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and sugars are NOT what your puppies body craves.

TIP: Most dog treats contain a small amount of protein and lots of fillers. Instead, choose a mostly meat based product which will be even more desirable to your dog, while at the same time being far more nutritious.

The Nature is Good brand is made of small, kibble sized pellets and can be fed as a treat, a dog food mixer, or even a complete and balanced dog food. It's available in chicken or beef.

11. Poop Bags

A good stock of poop bags is absolutely essential. The best deal we’ve found on eco-friendly bags is this 540 box on Amazon. Don’t skimp on quality, as there is nothing worse than putting your hand into a poop bag only to find a hole!

12. First Aid Kit

Accidents can happen, so it’s important to have a pet first aid kit on hand in case of an emergency. This should include items like gauze, bandages, and antiseptic.

This economical first aid kit contains all the basics plus an emergency collar and thermometer.

 

13. Puppy Probiotics (for the inevitable upset stomach)

Transitioning to a new home can be stressful to your new american bulldog pup. This stress often results in an upset stomach, which can make potty training extra difficult. A good quality, multi-strain probiotic can help soothe your dog’s stomach and regulate their bowl movements. We like this 3-in-1 probiotic chew that also includes prebiotics & digestive enzymes.

This tasty 3-in-1 probiotic can help soothe an anxious puppy’s stomach. It also includes digestive enzymes and prebiotics.

14. Puppy Gate or Pen

There will likely be times where you wish to keep your american bulldog puppy contained in a smaller area. There are many great puppy gates or pens available for such a need.

15. Puppy Toothbrush

Veterinarians recommend getting your new puppy use to teeth brushing at an early age. They should quickly get use to the idea of someone touching their teeth. We like these small, nearly invisible finger toothbrushes. iHeartDogs knows the importance of dental health for dogs (it could save their life as they age) so they give them away for free (just pay S&H)

These gentle, nearly invisible toothbrushes are available free for new puppy owners here.

16. Urine & Odor Cleaner

Accidents happen! Inevitably, you’re going to need a good quality enzymatic urine cleaner. Our favorite formula is the Rocco and Roxie stain and odor eliminator on Amazon.

 

17. Puppy Potty Pads

When choosing pee pads for your new puppy it is important to consider the size, absorbency, and material of the pad. You’ll want to make sure the pad is large enough for your puppy to use comfortably and will last throughout the day. It’s also important to consider the absorbency of the pad. Look for a pad that will quickly and effectively absorb liquid and keep your puppy’s paws dry. In addition, you’ll want to make sure the material of the pad is safe for your puppy. Avoid materials that may contain harsh chemicals or irritants that could be harmful to your puppy’s skin. We love these eco-friendly, reusable potty pads on Amazon.

18. ID Tags

One absolute essential for your new pup is an ID tag to clip on their collar. In fact, go ahead and buy a couple, just in case one falls off! Make sure to include their name, and 2 phone numbers where you can be reached if someone finds your pup. Always remember to remove the collar (along with ID tag) if your puppy is left alone, as it can easily become tangled in something and risk serious injury. Here’s a round up of our favorite dog ID tag designs.

 

19. Seat Belt (for Harness)

If you plan on taking your american bulldog with you in the car, a seat belt that connects to their harness is a must! NEVER connect a seat belt to your dog’s collar, as even a small impact will put all the pressure on your dog’s neck.

We like this heavy duty seat belt from Amazon that includes a harness as well. 

20. Calming Puppy Heartbeat Toy (to soothe anxiety)

One of the most popular new items for an american bulldog puppy is a calming heartbeat puppy plush toy. This plush mimics the heartbeat of a mother dog. It also includes a one time use heat pack to mimic the warmth as well. Many dog owners find these very useful for crate training or periods of time when the puppy needs to be left alone.

21. Fish Oil (for Brain Development)

Although not absolutely essential, if you were to give your american bulldog puppy one supplement, it should be a good quality fish oil. Fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which are critical for early brain development. While some foods contain a bit of fish oil, it’s often a minuscule amount, and doesn’t survive the high heat processing that kibble requires.

We love this Norwegian salmon oil on Amazon. If you compare it side by side next to a typical low quality fish oil, you’ll see (and smell) a huge difference.

22. Brain Games

We all know puppies need to exercise their bodies, but what about their brains? Teaching a dog to use smell to find treats is called “nosework” and its becoming an extremely popular way to engage a bored dog. Remember, a bored puppy is a destructive puppy!

We love this high quality snuffle mat on Amazon. We tried several and there is a big difference in quality of the fabric, many get dirty or teat easily.

 

23. American Bulldog Puppy Training Course

Last, but certainly not least: don’t forget dog training! Training your american bulldog puppy is absolutely critical for their development. Dog training could even save their life in an emergency!

We’re big fans of SpiritDog training, as their online courses have excellent, easy to understand videos. They also allow you to ask unlimited questions to their trainers.

Here’s our top recommendations for american bulldog puppy training courses:

They also have training bundles that are a much better value, since they contain multiple courses in one:

 

By having these items on hand, you’ll be well-prepared for your new american bulldog pup. While it might seem like a lot to buy, these items are essential for providing your pup with the care and attention they need. With the right supplies, you can give your pup the best start to their life.

 

Frequently Asked Questions by New American Bulldog Puppy Owners

Bringing home a new American Bulldog puppy is an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming. As a new owner, you want to make sure you’re doing everything right to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. Here are four common questions that new American Bulldog puppy owners may ask:

1. What should I feed my American Bulldog puppy?

American Bulldog puppies require a balanced diet rich in protein for proper growth and development. Look for high-quality puppy food that lists meat as the first ingredient. Avoid foods with excessive fillers or additives. It’s essential to follow the feeding guidelines provided by the manufacturer and monitor your puppy’s weight to adjust portions accordingly. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure you’re meeting your puppy’s specific nutritional needs.

2. How often should I bathe my American Bulldog puppy?

American Bulldogs have short coats that don’t require frequent bathing unless they get dirty. Aim to bathe your puppy every 6-8 weeks or as needed. Over-bathing can strip their skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Use a mild dog shampoo specifically formulated for puppies, and be sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent skin irritation. Regular brushing can help maintain their coat’s cleanliness between baths.

3. What’s the best way to train my American Bulldog puppy?

Consistency and positive reinforcement are key when training your American Bulldog puppy. Start with basic commands like sit, stay, and come, and use rewards such as treats or praise to reinforce good behavior. Keep training sessions short and engaging to prevent boredom and frustration. Socialization is also crucial for American Bulldog puppies to develop good manners and confidence around people and other animals. Consider enrolling your puppy in a puppy kindergarten class or working with a professional trainer for guidance.

4. How much exercise does my American Bulldog puppy need?

American Bulldog puppies have lots of energy and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Aim for at least 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, divided into shorter sessions to avoid overexertion. Activities like brisk walks, playtime in the yard, and interactive games such as fetch or tug-of-war are great for burning off excess energy. Be mindful not to over-exercise young puppies, as their bones and joints are still developing.

5. How do I house train my American Bulldog puppy?

Consistent routine and positive reinforcement are essential for successfully house training your American Bulldog puppy. Take your puppy outside frequently, especially after meals, naps, and playtime, and praise them lavishly when they eliminate outdoors. Supervise your puppy closely indoors and watch for signs they need to go outside, such as sniffing or circling. Accidents are inevitable during the learning process, so be patient and never punish your puppy for mistakes. With time and consistency, your puppy will learn to associate outdoor elimination with positive reinforcement.

6. When should I start socializing my American Bulldog puppy?

Early socialization is crucial for American Bulldog puppies to develop into well-adjusted adults. Start exposing your puppy to different people, animals, environments, and experiences as early as possible, ideally between 3 and 16 weeks of age. Gradually introduce them to new sights, sounds, smells, and textures in a positive and controlled manner. Puppy classes, playdates with other vaccinated dogs, and outings to pet-friendly stores or parks are excellent opportunities for socialization. Be mindful of your puppy’s comfort level and always supervise interactions to ensure positive experiences.

7. How do I prevent my American Bulldog puppy from chewing on everything?

Chewing is a natural behavior for puppies, but it’s essential to redirect their chewing onto appropriate toys and chews to prevent destructive habits. Provide your American Bulldog puppy with a variety of safe chew toys made specifically for teething puppies. Rotate toys regularly to keep them interesting and replace any damaged or worn-out toys promptly. Supervise your puppy when they’re loose indoors and use baby gates or crates to limit access to areas where they may be tempted to chew on inappropriate items.

8. What vaccinations does my American Bulldog puppy need?

American Bulldog puppies require a series of vaccinations to protect them against common infectious diseases. Core vaccines for puppies typically include distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, and rabies. Your veterinarian will create a vaccination schedule tailored to your puppy’s age, health status, and lifestyle. It’s crucial to follow this schedule and keep up with booster shots to ensure your puppy remains adequately protected. Additionally, discuss with your vet if your puppy needs any non-core vaccines based on their risk of exposure to specific diseases.

9. How do I crate train my American Bulldog puppy?

Crate training can be a valuable tool for providing your American Bulldog puppy with a safe and comfortable space of their own while also helping with house training and preventing destructive behavior. Choose a crate that’s large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Introduce the crate gradually, associating it with positive experiences such as meals and treats. Never use the crate as a form of punishment. Encourage your puppy to enter the crate voluntarily and gradually increase the amount of time they spend inside, always ensuring they have access to water and appropriate chew toys.

10. What are common health issues in American Bulldog puppies?

While American Bulldogs are generally healthy dogs, they may be prone to certain genetic and breed-specific health conditions. These can include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, and skin allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups, a nutritious diet, proper exercise, and good grooming habits can help mitigate the risk of these health issues. It’s essential to be aware of any signs of discomfort or changes in behavior in your puppy and seek veterinary care promptly if you have any concerns. Additionally, consider pet insurance to help cover the cost of unexpected veterinary expenses.

Bringing home a new American Bulldog puppy is a big responsibility, but it’s also a rewarding experience. By providing your puppy with a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, proper training, and socialization, you can help them become a well-behaved and beloved member of your family.

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