Posted by: Jessica | December 8, 2009

Puppy Shopping

With only two weeks to go, I’ve been preparing the apartment for the arrival of the puppy! First things first, shopping! πŸ™‚ You can use this as a shopping list for your new puppy! This list is not inclusive of everything you’d need, but it’s a starting point!

Essentials

  • Food and Water Bowls
  • Crate
  • Leash, Collar, Harness
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Grooming
  • Training

Going through each category, different dogs will have different needs. This is my first large breed puppy so some of our shopping is different than when I bought supplies for Sadie, the 20 lb Miniature American Eskimo Dog.

Food and Water – I prefer plain stainless steel bowls, but honestly we don’t use them much. I have a circulating fountain which supplies fresh cool water. This is my favorite fountain. Food is only given in treat dispensing toys or hand-fed as a reward during training. However, if you are going to use bowls, pick something dishwasher safe.

Crate – There are two main styles of crates: plastic (or airline), and wire/metal. The different kinds suit different needs, but either will work for crate training your dog. I decided to go with only plastic from now on, for a few reasons.

Plastic Crates are super easy to clean. They are usually lighter weight and cost less. Your dog may prefer the den feeling of a plastic crate to the openness of a metal one.They do not have a divider, so I use a plastic container (rubbermaid, sterlite) to make it smaller for potty training.

Metal Crates may appeal to your sense of style more than a plastic crate. They usually come with a divider for house training. They allow the dog a better view of what’s going on outside. The usually fold up for easy storage and travel. However they are very difficult to clean, which is why I stopped using them.

Leash, Collar, Harness
Go with a standard 4′ or 6′ nylon leash rather than a retractable. Retractable leashes encourage pulling and confuse dogs. A plain buckle collar or no slip collar (martingale) will be perfect for your puppy. Never use a prong collar or choke chain on a puppy! If needed, a no-pull harness for strong pullers or a comfort wrap harness for little pups.

Treats
For training you’ll want to pick up some soft treats. I recommend Pet Botanics training rewards or dog food as a great treat (both are Made in the USA)! Other good training treats include Nature’s Recipe, PupPeroni, or Zukes.

If you’re looking for crunchy treats, some good ones to try are Nutro Natural Choice treats, The Goodlife Recipe, or So Naturals.

Toys
There are lots of kinds of toys. For puppies, you’ll want to be sure to have toys that can stand up to their chewing and destructive tendencies! Make sure you stock up on treat dispensing toys – specifically Kongs of all sizes! Don’t forget the Kong Puppy Stuffing – They’re now offering this in a larger size container and I like how the Kong can be frozen with this stuffing in it.

For chewers, I love Antlers. These last forever, and really keep the dogs attention. Hadley will chew on hers for hours a day, and after 2 months it’s only lost a quarter of an inch. I buy mine at a local pet supply store, but you may need to look online for a supplier.

Another great chew bone is the Galileo Bone – This is a super strong bone for strong chewers. The shape was designed by Galileo. I was skeptical about this toy, but when both Hadley and Sadie went crazy for it, I figured it had to be worth the price! It’s easy to clean, when it gets too gross I just toss it in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes to disinfect it. After 6 months and two dogs, our Galileo is still going strong.

We grabbed a Nylabone Durachew – I haven’t tried this one before, so we’ll have to see how it goes – wait! While I was typing this, I looked over and saw Hadley had snuck into the toy box and stolen it! I think it’ll be a hit!

For playtime, we got a ChuckIt – I’ve tried these before at the dog park and loved it. I like playing fetch for an hour, but my arm gets tired! I also love the Everlasting Fun Ball by StarMark. Kong is also making a Kong Ball – I love how strong these Kong balls are. Super bouncy, a nice size and very durable.

Rope and Plush toys can be fun, but always supervise! If your puppy is destroying plush toys, take them away until they are through teething. Many dogs will only destroy these toys, so don’t be surprised if they de-stuff and de-squeak that cute squirrel or rabbit!

Grooming
Start introducing your puppy to grooming tools you’ll need to use later on in life, and it’ll be a breeze to groom your adult dog. No matter what breed of dog, grab a nail grinder (or guillotine clippers), toothpaste and toothbrush, ear wipes, and brushes/combs. If you have a breed that will require hair cuts, get some clippers. Start introducing him to these tools slowly and with lots of treats.

Training

For potty training, you may want to use potty pads. Get a good brand of Potty Pads & Holder – since I have to work 9 hours a day and can’t take Reed to work until he’s fully vaccinated (and trained on manners!) I’ll have to leave him at home with potty pads for a while. What I decided to do was set him up in the bathroom with his crate, a chew toy and a potty pad. I’ll actually be using the shower for this, but if he figures out he can open the glass shower door we’ll use the whole bathroom πŸ™‚

I love this Training Pad Holder made by Simple Solution – I used it with a few foster dogs and this is the best one. The tray style ones allow the dog to get the pad out too easily. This holder really protects the pad from becoming a chew toy for the puppy. Accidents happen, so stock up on cleaners like Simple Solution or Nature’s Miracle.

You’ll want to get a taste deterrent to spray on walls, furniture, carpet and other surfaces your puppy likes to chew on. I’ve had great results with Bitter Apple, but for Labs or other strong willed chewers, try Bitter Yuck.

Lastly, don’t forget your clicker, treat bag, and training treats!

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