We have raised two puppies over the past eight years and I like to think we’ve learnt a thing or two in that time. So many people tend to go overboard when they get a new puppy and pretty much buy one of everything in the dog section at Pets at Home! But honestly, puppies really don’t need that much at all. Below is a list of 10 essentials that we couldn’t have lived without…
With our last dog, we didn’t really know how to look after a puppy so we didn’t have a crate/cage for him until he had basically chewed up everything that he could in our kitchen. Puppies need to feel safe and secure and a crate is a great way of achieving this. And of course if you decide not to keep them in a crate, they are likely to chew things up and go to the toilet wherever they please.
Puppies sleep a lot, but when they are awake they will want to play. Buy them a few different toys to help keep them entertained but make sure that they are good quality, hard-wearing ones that won’t be destroyed in a matter of minutes. As a general rule we like to make sure Poppy has some sort of stuffed/cuddly toy, a chew toy and a rope/tug toy or ball that we can use to play with her.
It’s important that your new puppy has their own bed, in their own spot in the house. Don’t move their bed around or you will just confuse them. They need to feel safe and comfortable in their own space and know where they can escape to if they want some peace and quiet.
A very obvious one – food and water bowls. But actually, there’s so many out there it can be a little overwhelming. If you work and your dog will be left alone for a few hours at a time you might want to consider an automatic feeder which can be set to dispense your pets food at a certain time. There’s also raised dog bowls, for larger breeds. And then there’s slow feed bowls which have ridges in them to make your dog eat slower, perfect for dogs and pups who gobble their food down far too quickly.
To be able to walk your dog you will need either a collar or a harness. We use a harness for Poppy and that is what I would always recommend. Collars really aren’t necessary and with so many stories of them causing strangulation, you need to think carefully about using one. Having said that, Poppy does wear a collar but it is very loose and easily slips off over her head. The one and only reason she has a collar is because she can be stubborn and sometimes we need to be able to move her by her collar. Of course I don’t mean that it’s OK to pull your dog around by their collar, this can cause serious neck injuries. But what we find is that by popping our fingers in Poppy’s collar, she understands that she has to move.
It will be a little while before you can start taking your new puppy out for walks, but it’s worth getting a lead now so that you can familiarise them with it. Try using it around the garden. It will take them a little bit of getting used to so it’s much better to slowly introduce it before their first proper walk.
Obviously you will need food for your new puppy, but what kind? There’s so many options out there these days. Raw food is a very popular one at the moment and this is what Poppy was fed on before she came to us. We kept her on this for a few months before making the decision to switch. All I would say is do your research and make an informed decision.
You need to be teaching your puppy basic recall and obedience straight away, it’s never too soon to start. Small training treats are essential as they are the best way to reward your puppy for good behaviour.
9. Poo bags
Don’t forget the poo bags! You will need a lot of them…
10. Training pads
Finally, with a new puppy in the house your life will now revolve around house training them. It’s not easy and it will take time and patience but they get there eventually. In the mean time, you’ll need puppy training pads. Start off by covering most of the floor with them and slowly take them away as they get used to using them. Don’t shout when they miss the pad, this won’t help. Instead, praise them every single time they get it right, especially when they go to the toilet outside.
I hope that this has been helpful. Good luck with your new puppy!
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Thank you for reading.