What are Puppy Kits for Breeders?
Well, to answer it briefly, puppy kits for breeders are little packages that breeders will put together for their puppy homes.
They go with the puppies when they go to their new homes and include useful information, toys and a range of other items that will help puppies start off on the right foot in their new home.
Not every breeder puts together a puppy kit, however, I feel that they are important for several reasons, including:
It may not seem like a lot, but a puppy kit really helps create the relationship with your puppy owners. They are assured that not only have you put your heart and soul into those puppies, but you are sending them to their new homes with the absolute best.
Are Puppy Kits Expensive?
First, a puppy kit doesn’t have to be expensive. At the bare minimum, you could simply put in the basic information for your puppy owners. However, there is no limit to what you are spending on a puppy kit.
I know breeders who spend upwards of 500 dollars on each puppy kit providing new owners with everything they’d need for a new puppy.
With that being said, the majority of puppy kits cost between 20 to 100 dollars. If you are purchasing in bulk, you can often get the cost down and if you are using breeder programs, you can fill your puppy kits with a lot of free promotional materials.
So, while we will be going over a large number of items that you can put in your puppy kits, don’t feel that you need to place everything in them. All I do recommend is that you choose good quality items that are safe for the puppy and helpful to the owners.
Now let’s get down to what you should offer in your kits.
#1 Contracts and Important Paperwork
This isn’t always viewed as a part of the puppy kit since you send this out anyway, but I always include it. Usually, I have a folder with all of the important paperwork so that puppy owners have it all in one place. They can throw it in a filing cabinet when they get home and can easily add information for their puppy.
So, what is the paperwork your puppy kit should contain. This will differ depending on whether your dogs are registered or not but you should have a number of items. These include:
I sell all my puppies on a contract. This goes over rules that I have for my puppies, such as when to spay/neuter, non-breeding clauses and return clauses. In addition, the contract has my obligations and responsibilities to the buyer and the puppy.
I always send a digital copy of the contract to my puppy buyers, but I also have a hard copy that goes into the puppy kit.
If you offer a health guarantee, which I strongly recommend you do, make sure it is also included in the contract. Some breeders will put the health guarantee in the contract but I have an extensive health guarantee so I have a separate file. Again, I send it both in the puppy kit and digitally.
This differs depending on how you register your puppies. If you are letting puppy owners chose the registered name, then the registration paper will not be in the paperwork. That will have to be mailed out later.
If you are choosing registered names, and you get it back before puppies go home, place the registration papers in the paperwork folder. I often place a copy of the dam and sire’s registration papers with a copy stamp on them so they have proof of parentage.
Again, this sometimes comes with the registration papers but I recommend that you place the pedigree, along with the parents’ registration papers in the folder.
If the parents of your puppies have health clearances, you need to include copies of those clearances. This shows proof of the clearances you said your dogs have.
Again, this is optional. All of my puppies are sold with a microchip already implanted. This is because my registration papers are tied to the microchip number through the CKC.
Not all kennel clubs require this so if you aren’t microchipping, you can ignore this paperwork. If you have microchipped, put in the pamphlet to register the microchip as well as the microchip number. Most microchips come with a number of stickers that I place on contracts and the folder itself for easy access.
Make sure you put in the record of vaccinations and deworming as well as the vet check that is done at 8 weeks of age. I also include a growth chart that I keep for every puppy, which marks milestones such as when eyes open, and their daily/weekly weights.
Letter to the New Owner
Finally, put in a letter to the new owner that gives them information on your routine at the kennel. Including feeding and pottying routines as well as what they can expect during the first few days after they bring your puppy home.
Be sure to highlight your information in the event that they have any questions.
Having all the paperwork in a folder makes sure that everything is in order for your puppy owners.
#2 Puppy Information
If you are using any of the breeding program puppy kits, which we will go over later in this article, you may not need to include puppy information in your puppy kits since you’ll already have it.
However, I like to offer both my own and those that come in the kits. In my mind, there is never too much information for you to give your puppy owners.
As with the important information, I do a second folder and fill it with a number of articles that I find are excellent in regard to practical advice and information. Things that I recommend including in the puppy information folder are:
Really, there is no limit to the amount of information that you can offer people. As the years have gone by, the number of articles that I recommend increase and I actually started putting the information on a thumb drive that I send with puppies.
It saves ink and paper and most people prefer reading online now more than with a stack of papers.
#3 Thumb Drive
Speaking of thumb drives, I always send one with each puppy that I sell. This is partly because of what I mentioned in the last section and partly because I love taking photos and videos of my puppies.
Since I want my puppy owners to have as many photos of their puppy as possible, the thumb drive puts them all together and costs very little. I can usually get them for a dollar a piece.
With the thumb drive, I put on the articles listed in the last section, and then digital copies of all the important paperwork. Then I put on all the puppy photos and videos including individual shots and litter shots.
I have found that my puppy owners really appreciate those photos and having a digital access to them.
As an aside, I know many breeders who make a photo album for each puppy, printing out all the photos, however, that can be both time consuming and expensive.
I prefer to do the thumb drive and then spend my extra time with my puppies while they are still with me; although the photo album is very sweet and a great keepsake for your puppy buyers.
#4 Puppy Comfort Items
Now that we have all the information, photos and paperwork taken care of, it’s time to start looking at the things you can put in there for puppy comfort. In general, I don’t put too many things in. I usually include it in puppy information, such as how to acclimatize your puppy to his new home. However, there are two things that I recommend for comfort.
There are a few stuffed toys out there that are safe for puppies, however, if you are looking to add something extra special, you can purchase a stuffed toy with a heartbeat sound that will help sooth puppy at his new home. The added bonus is that this toy has a heat source as well, which the new puppy will love to snuggle up to.
I always purchase puppy blankets that go in every puppy kit I send out. This is great for puppy to cuddle with and will help him get comfortable in his new home.
Regardless of if you do one or both, the key for puppy comfort is to select an item that is fabric. Once you do, rub it across mom, dad, siblings and any other animals that the puppies have bonded with in your home.
Having that scent on an item will help reduce anxiety in the puppies and is a wonderful keepsake for your new puppy owners.
That aside, I have had owners call me years after they brought their puppy home to tell me that while their dog will destroy every other toy in the house, the one that they carry around and play gently with is the one that was sent home with them in the puppy kit.
#5 More Puppy Toys? Yup!
Who doesn’t love fun? Puppies definitely don’t and it is very easy to go overboard with toys for your puppy kits. Trust me, I’ve spent a lot on puppy toys when I only mean to put in 1 or 2. On average, I recommend that you put in 2 or 3. Toys that I recommend:
Make sure that you choose sturdy toys that are perfect for teething puppies. There are a host of them out there and you can often by them in bulk quantities. Make sure that they have good reviews and that the toys are durable. The last thing you want is little pieces hurting the puppies you’ve put so much work into.
These offer a lot of fun for your puppies and their families, plus, they provide ample bonding fun for everyone. I often use balls but there are lots of hard and soft retrieving toys for you to purchase. Often, I recommend watching your litter and seeing what toys they are interested in the most. Then choose that favorite toy to stick in the puppy kit.
Finally, puppies get bored and it’s nice to put in a stimulation toy for your puppies to take to their new homes.
While I don’t usually take tags off and such, I will let mom and puppies sniff and touch them before I put them in. The more things with mom’s scent on, the easier the transition to their new home will be.
#6 Potty Items
With potty items, you don’t have to go to out there. Since I spend time litter training my puppies as soon as they are old enough to toddle about, I like to add a potty item to my puppy kits. However, you can add a number of items that can be used for potty items. These include:
I personally do not like to provide collars but I know many breeders who do. Often, puppy buyers like to pick out their own collar so I leave that up to the family. However, providing a collar is great to help provide a potty item since puppy will need a collar to be taken out for his potty breaks. Again, you can buy collars in bulk depending on the size of your puppies.
Since you are providing a collar for those puppy potty breaks, you are also going to need to purchase a matching leash. This will help with pottying since I always recommend that a puppy be on a leash and collar when they go outside during housetraining. This keeps them focused on what they need to be doing and not exploring and playing.
A pack of puppy pads is great if you litter trained the puppies to them. This will provide them with a place to potty in their new homes and will make the transition easier.
It will also provide consistency with housetraining from your kennel to their new home. I don’t use puppy pads but, instead, use a puppy safe litter pellet for my puppies.
I send the puppies home with a bag of the pellets and recommend that owners place it in the potty area outside. That way, they can carry puppy right to the pellets to teach puppy to go outside.
Poop Bags and Holder
Finally, you can add a holder with poop bags to your puppy kits since puppy will be using plenty of those. If you are using puppy kits from companies, be aware that some send poop bags and holders in their kits so only invest in these if you don’t already have them.
And those are some things you can put in for your puppy kits.
#7 Food For Puppy Tummy
Before we get to the extras that you can put in, one of the more important parts of the puppy kit is the stuff you put in for your puppies’ tummies.
Moving to a new home is going to cause a lot of stomach upset and that is why it is so important to send a few things for puppy’s tummy. These are:
Tried and True Treats
While puppies are with you, you will introduce them to a range of different treats and this is great. When you send puppies home, add a few packages of the treats that the puppies have been introduced to. This will help prevent tummy upset with new, untried treats.
A Bag of Dog Food
It doesn’t have to be a huge bag but send a large Ziplock bag of food home with the puppy. Basically, you need enough food for the owners to gradually switch to their food of choice. Even if they plan on using the exact same food, make sure you still send a small amount with them. With the food, be sure to send instructions on how to switch puppies over to their new food.
Not any water but the water you’ve been giving the puppy. In the same city, chances are you don’t have to worry about this, but if you are on a well, or your puppies are going long distances, you will want to provide them with some water to help transition them to their home water. Believe it or not, some changes in water can affect their tummies and lead to stomach upset or worse.
Food and Water Dishes
Like collars, I find a lot of people like to choose their own but it is perfectly okay to send a small food and water dish, especially if they are travelling long distances to bring their puppy home.
While you can add a lot of little treats and goodies for puppy, the main focus should be on their puppy food and water if you are worried about stomach upset.
#7 The Extras
Okay, and the final thing that you can put in the puppy package are the extras.
While I’ve mentioned a few extras already throughout the categories, these extras are really about how much you want to offer.
I’ve seen breeders go all out and get their puppy owners everything they could possibly need for their new puppy…however, do not feel obligated to do so. Part of pet ownership is getting their puppy the things he needs.
Still, some extras that you can get for your puppy kits are:
A puppy bed can be a nice little extra to put in but it isn’t necessary. Often, you can switch out the blanket for a bed but it can be harder to get those smells transferred onto a bed.
If owners have picked out the names of their puppies, then you can make a nice little dog tag for puppy owners. I have also seen breeders do a special little tag to send out with their puppies. For instance, a Saint Bernard breeder that I know sends puppies home with a little whiskey barrel tag that is completely adorable.
Generally, the only time I send a crate is when a puppy is being flown to their new families and in that case, it is a hard shelled crate that is required by the airline. But if you want to provide a crate in your puppy kits, it is perfectly okay to do so.
Again, these are extras that include brushes, shampoo, nail trimmers and any other grooming tool your breed needs for their day to day care.
And the list can go on. Really, it is what your puppy kit so put in whatever you’d like to have in it.
Breeder Programs Offering Puppy Kits
As I mentioned earlier, there are a number of companies that have breeder programs for breeders. This can be everything from discounted foods to puppy insurance to other supports.
Breeder programs are wonderful for breeders but they are also great for puppy owners since breeders can help pad their puppy kits with extra information, coupons and even items.
But how do you get these promotional items for puppy kits?
First, you need to be part of a breeder program. Often, to be part of a breeder program, you need to use the product from that company. This can be through feeding your dogs their food or using their pet insurance.
Second, you will need to register with the company. Usually, registration is only for breeders who work with a kennel club and breed registered dogs. Some companies work with breeders regardless of their program but it is important to check what their requirements are.
Finally, once you have a litter, you will need to register it. Generally, breeder programs only send the same amount of puppy kits as the number of puppies you have. I always recommend that you order the kits by the time your puppies are 2 weeks old so that you have plenty of time for them to arrive. If you can do it sooner, then definitely do so.
5 Reliable Companies That Offer Promotional Items For Puppy Kits
I can’t list all of the companies as that is quite large but I have included a number of companies that offer promotional materials for you to place in your puppy kits. Again, remember the guidelines above so that you are sure that you can qualify.
#1 Royal Canin
If you are looking for a breeder program, then you can’t go wrong with Royal Canin. They are known for having an extensive program for their breeders that also give added benefits when you refer your puppy people to them.
With breeders, you can build points that can be exchanged for free products. These points include points for what you order and also if you refer puppy buyers or other breeders to Royal Canin. In addition, you can receive discounts when you purchase bulk food from them.
With the puppy kits, they come with the following:
#2 Purina ProPlan
Through their Purina Pro Club, breeders can get a number of incentives for both their breeding program and their puppy kits.
First, Purina ProPlan has a points reward system for food that you purchase through them. These rewards can be exchanged for products and even for pet care savings.
Other perks with the breeding program are:
And, finally, the puppy kits, which come with informative booklets, a reusable bag, coupons for free food and discounts on food, a food scoop and a small holder filled with poop bags.
#3 Big Country Raw
If you are a breeder who believes that raw is the best way to go, Big Country Raw is an excellent company to partner with. Like many of the other companies, Big Country Raw offers perks to their breeders as well as puppy kits.
The company doesn’t work with referrals or points but simply offer their breeders up to 30% off their products. In addition to the savings, they offer educational resources to their owners as well as advice. A lot of their information is geared toward raw feeding but they also have a range of other information.
For puppy kits, they focus on bringing raw into the lives of your new puppy families. Puppy kits contain:
Trupanion is an pet insurance company that offers a breeder support program. Often, it works with referrals, however, even if you choose not to use referrals, it does give a little added security to your puppies when they head to their new homes.
For breeder programs, Trupanion is a support system for breeders. Not only can they get discounts for coverage, they can keep track of their litters and the health of their litters. In fact, any puppies kept on the insurance will have an up-to-date chart of their lifetime health.
The program also offers community support and marketing support. Breeders can use the Trupanion program to create litter advertisements and other marketing supplies.
For your puppy kits, however, Trupanion offers certificates to their breeders to include 30 days of free, unlimited insurance for puppies. In addition, there is zero wait time for coverage to begin and it kicks in on the day puppies go home.
While they do not have puppy kits, the free insurance is an excellent item to put in your kits.
Overall, KONG doesn’t offer a lot of things for their breeders. However, by joining their breeder club, you can receive some discounts. In addition, they offer a puppy kit that includes:
It should be noted that, at this present time, KONG only offers a puppy kit to American breeders.
And that should get you started on a lot of different materials to pad your puppy kits with. However, check the company of the dog food you choose to use to find out if they offer a breeder program with puppy kits.
As you can see, a lot can go into puppy kits. The main focus is on making this a resource for your puppy families. Starting your puppies on the best foot, right from the moment they step into their new homes, will ensure that your puppies have the best life moving forward.
In addition, it will help improve relationships with your puppy owners and will increase the number of families who come back for a second puppy or refer others to your breeding program. All of which are worth the small investment of excellent puppy kits.