Puppy equipment investments needed!
One thing is for certain, you need to be sure you can cope with a new puppy both in terms of the amount of time he will take up, and the financial commitment needed.
When I was researching the equipment we’d need I wondered if all of it would be strictly necessary. I’ve found it is, and more!
Our beautiful boy joined us in his 12th week. He’s a gorgeous, cute, inquisitive, happy, positive little dog in the making and we all adore him. In fact, we all fell in love with him within a few hours of having him home. But like a baby, he doesn’t travel light so I’m sharing what we’ve needed so far:
Crate for the car.
I found it tricky to find the right size and type as I want it to fit him for a while and it needed to fit the car. It needs to be rigid and capable of being secured in the boot. There are styles with sloping fronts that fit a hatchback and rigid crates suitable for big boots. We actually brought Digby home in the crate we have in the house and put one of the seats in the back down so he could see us during the journey. Now I have a car crate too, and he travel well in this.
Crate for the house
Digby lives in the kitchen and utility room and has his own crate in the corner to retreat to when he needs to. I bought a medium sized one that will fit him for life, with a divider to make it smaller for now while he’s a puppy. Initially I got a big crate but it was far to big and had to be changed!
It’s his safe space and he loves it. When life gets too hectic he can retreat to his crate and relax. He eats and sleeps in there, and even took himself off to bed at 10pm last night, without having to be asked. He was pooped!
We bought 3 fluffy vet bed dog blankets for Digby to sleep on in his crate and use in the car crate. This is a soft blanket that is porous so if there are accidents your puppy isn’t lying on wet bed and it can be washed at up to 60 degrees if need be. I bought three so we can wash them and still have vet bed in use with one in the car crate.
We have lots, of all different types and sizes! Chewing is a puppy pastime and so it’s good to have lots of safe things for him to chew. I change the toys he has each day so things don’t get stale. The Kongs and other toys you can stuff with treats are great for keeping him occupied and stimulated when I need to get on with things. He loves a hide chew so we use these as a special treat when we want him to sit down quietly. However, his favourite activity toys so far are empty plastic bottles with the cap, plastic ring and labels removed, and empty cardboard boxes! Cheap, and he loves chasing them round the floor and ripping them up!
Collar and lead, harness and grooming equipment
You need a collar and lead from day one, and we’ve bought a harness by Soft Touch Concepts Inc (a US company) as I think it’s a gentler way to control our sweet boy and teach him to walk to heel. We have grooming equipment so I’ve been washing his feet after fun outside and grooming him (with treats to keep him from biting the brush) every day. He likes the attention but it’s best to do this at the end of the day when he’s tired, not in the morning when he’s full of beans!
I’m realising just how important socialisation is when your puppy is young. It’s crucial he’s encountered all sorts of situations, traffic, people, animals and environments while he’s a baby so he won’t be frightened later. We’ve invested in puppy classes recommended by a friend, so Digby gets to meet lots of other young dogs in a safe environment and we get help and support to effectively train our new furry friend! An investment that is well worth it, in our opinion.
‘Bitter Apple pet spray’ by Grannicks and ‘Urine Off’ Odour and Stain Remover by Urine Off.
Despite all the toys he has bitten the corner of our kitchen cabinet which now needs repairing! I can’t tell you how fast it happened so we’re spraying all corners with Bitter Apple Pet Spray as it tastes foul and should deter him from biting the furniture. You can also spray it on your laces, shoes, trousers and dress hems to stop your puppy thinking its great fun to destroy your clothes while you train him not to jump up!
Deals with accidents effectively by organically ‘eating’ the urine crystals so there’s no staining, and accidents aren’t repeated in the same place. We’ve had one accident on the carpet and it worked brilliantly. Digby is now confined to hard floors until I’m sure he’s fully toilet trained.
We’re all having a fabulous time getting to know our little bundle of fun and we’re very proud of the progress he’s made so far. If you’re embarking on a similar journey with a new pet, have fun and don’t forget the pet insurance, just in case!