Everyone is excited! But now what? What will the new addition require? We have all heard stories of puppies chewing up things that weren’t meant to be chewed! What about house breaking? The list goes on. Take a look at the tips below for the basics to get you started and moving in the right direction.
Get Informed: The first thing you need is information! This will make for a better result and a calmer pet owner. Read up on the needs of puppies and dogs. There are many training and puppy/dog books available. A good informative book(s) is well worth your time to read.
Pictured to the right is one of our favorite puppy foods – Super Premium Bil-Jac Puppy Food.
Kennels and Crates: The little one can’t roam the house at night or when you are away! You’ll need a plastic or wire crate. The information in your dog book will tell you how to train your puppy to accept the crate. You’ll need to consider growth. Wire crates can have a divider panel to change the length of the crate over time.
You can put items in a plastic crates to limit space and simulate this. Crates should not be too big as the pet can learn to soil one end and lay in the other if the crate is too large. The crate should be big enough that the dog can stand without stooping and can comfortably turn around.
Bedding: You may want bedding in multiple locations. For example you may want crate bedding and a separate bed in the living room or next to a window/glass door so your pet can watch what is going on outside. Bedding should be easily washable.
Food and Water dishes: Consider dishes that are stainless steel or ceramic . Puppies can chew plastic. Also, these types of bowls are easy to clean and have some weight to them making them more difficult to move or tip over (especially ceramic). Some bowls have anti-skid bottoms that help prevent movement. Don’t forget to put a water dish in the crate. There are crate dishes designed specifically for use in a crate/kennel.
Likely your puppy will spend extended periods in this environment so it needs to be comfortable with water available.
Harness/Collars/Leads/ID Tags: There are times that you will need to restrain your puppies movement when they are not in their crate. For this use a harness or collar with a lead/leash.
A harness restrains various parts of the body and therefore does not pull on the neck as a collar. It is probably a better choice for larger or aggressive dogs for restraint. You will still require a collar for ID tags. It is important to have an ID tag on your dog’s collar in the case that you become separated.
There are retractable leashes that are very convenient in adjusting the length of the leash to the different requirements of changing environments. Perhaps if you see another person or animal approaching you can shorten the lead length and lengthen it as the situation changes. Some people prefer the simplicity of a standard lead/leash.
Toys: These are a must. Puppies have a lot of energy that they need focused. Otherwise you will find they choose a human item for a toy that you would have preferred they left alone. The type of toy that they will take to will vary from puppy to puppy. As example some prefer hard bones while others prefer softer items. Some like to play with a rope and others will not. You will need to experiment to determine what you pet prefers. For harder chew toys be sure to throw the toy away when it has been reduced to about half it’s original size. If your pet gets the toy to this point in a day or two than it is either too small to start with or not an appropriate type of toy for them. Harder chew toys should last weeks and not days. While your puppy is small and teething it is appropriate to try toys specifically designed for puppies.
Storage: If you do not want your floor as the storage area for your puppy items than you need a chest or some other container to keep yourself organized. Also, it is a good idea to have a sealed storage container for your pets food to keep it fresh and neatly stored. This also helps keep pests out of the food like ants or otherwise.
Repellent: If you have an issue with your pet chewing things that are not their toy than you can use a chew repellent to deter them. Typically these type of repellents are natural products that taste bad to the pet. There are also repellents that train your pet to avoid things like couches or rooms. These use various technologies to persuade your pet to avoid areas you determine as off limits.
Gates – Limiting movement within your house: Likely you will not want your pet to have the run of the house for many reasoning. Some parts of your house may not be puppy proof or you may have valuables you do not want your new family member to get into. There are many more reasons to limit movement. Fore this you can use gates to restrict the area the puppy is allowed to move in.