What we bought for our new puppy
When we were days away from bringing home our new puppy we went shopping. It was like shopping for a new baby. We ogled all the toys and treats and accessories.
Basically, we checked out all the promises of easy pet maintenance, perfect home transition essentials, and must-have items that would make our dog ever so happy, calm, and trainable. Thankfully, we didn’t buy into all the promises.
Here’s what worked for us. Remember, every new puppy and every family is different, so go with your gut.
What Our New Puppy Came Home With
Our new puppy came home with a good set of starter items. The lady we got her from spared no expense on making sure all the puppies got started on the right foot.
Pandora came with a blanket that had her mother’s scent to help her separation go a little smoother. It was a baby receiving blanket. She also came with a set of puppy-sized water and food bowls, a bag of Blue Wilderness Dry Puppy Food and two cans of Blue Wilderness wet puppy food, a matching collar and leash set, a round nubby chew toy, and a stuffed Panda.
The lady we got our new puppy from had already begun to teach the dogs to sit. So we were incredibly lucky. And we get a $200 refund once we show proof that we’ve had her spayed.
What We Bought
We didn’t know how much food our new puppy would be getting so we bought a bag of dry food and about ten cans of wet food. We bought a stuffed squeaky hedgehog, a nubby chew toy, another chew toy that was in the shape of a teething ring, a chicken-flavored Nylabone, and two bags of training treats: Blue Wilderness Trail Treats in Chicken flavor and Wellness Soft Puppy Bites in the lamb and salmon flavor. Oh, we also got the finger toothbrushes that slip over your finger to brush their teeth, a set of clickers for training, and a big fuzzy dog bed.
The biggest hits for our new puppy were the chicken-flavored Nylabone, the nubby chew toy, the stuffed Panda, the blanket with her mom’s scent, and the dog bed.
The first items to go were right after our first vet check-up. All of Pandora’s treats and food were grain-free. The vet wasn’t sold on the all grain-free diet. A study (I would say medium in study size) shows an increase in a heart disease condition called DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy). The whole health thing came to the dog world and the short of it is that most dogs don’t need grain-free.
So we returned the food we bought since it hadn’t been opened yet and we bought a bag of dry food that wasn’t grain-free. I don’t think we should start new puppies (or babies for that matter) off on any diet trend. If they are getting a healthy diet and exercise routine then they should be fine.
The treats we got our new puppy were okay with her, she wasn’t overly crazy about them, but she wasn’t going to pass up a food treat either.
The biggest no-go was the clicker. We decided it was easier for all of us if we used a word as a marker rather than the clicker. So her marker is “Yes.” It’s easy to say and reward instantly, plus we don’t have to run around the house trying to find out where the last person to use the clicker put it.
The dog bed is nice. Pandora loves it. However, I had to take it away for a while so she would get used to napping in or near her crate.
What we should have bought immediately
We thought we’d be fine without using the crate for bedtime. After the first night (even though it went well) we realized potty training would be much easier with the crate.
Unfortunately, we ordered the crate when all the COVID-19 lockdowns began. Which meant we waited almost a month before it arrived. We used our small cat crate until the new crate got here. Boy did we cutting it close.
We brought our new puppy, Pandora, home when she was three days shy of 8-weeks old. Pandora is now 16-weeks old and she’s been home with us for two months today.
She still loves the big fluffy dog bed and the purple nubby chew toy that we really need to replace. Her favorite training treats are chicken, turkey, and cheese. We also use Cheerios and her ultimate favorite among puppy training treats are Dingos (which is funny because Australian Cattle Dogs are a mix of collie and Dingo). Here’s the link to the treats on Amazon – no affiliate or sponsorship, just sharing because Pandora loves them and they are a great price for the number of treats you get.
We are on a new collar and leash set. The first collar she grew out of and the leash she chewed through.
Pandora loves most any stuffed toy. We have a purple ape thing that hoots and hollers and she gets so much joy out of that.
My biggest advice is to not buy into all promises. Take the extra time to know what you need and buy as you need it. All the promises of easy puppy life are empty promises. The first and foremost thing is to settle in for the long haul of mishaps and on-the-fly learning.