Bringing Home Puppy | New Puppy Gear Tips

In her latest column, North Bend resident and pet trainer at Miss Lola’s Academy for Wayward Dogs offers up important puppy gear tips as she readies herself for her new canine addition…. a recently born puppy that she will bring home in September.

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As you all know, I lost my beloved dog Lola three months ago. While this loss is still painful, my mind has turned to having a new friend in my life. I miss having that furry presence close at hand. Plus, what kind of dog trainer would I be without my very own well trained (one hopes) business partner?

The addition of a new friend is an exciting proposition, but as I think about it, I realize much of the gear I had for my senior dog just won’t cut it for a baby dog. I was not truly prepared the last time around and would like to have the supplies I need on hand before my new girl gets here.

Pet Supplies for a New Puppy

So what does one need when bringing a new dog home? Well, if you intend to get a puppy as I do, the first thing that comes to mind is dog toys. I learned quickly with Lola that plush toys are easily destroyed and can be quite expensive to replace. While I would splurge once in a while on something I just couldn’t resist, the best bet for those little needle teeth are things that aren’t so easily ripped to shreds. There are many age-specific toys that are slightly tougher than your average plushy. It’s best to avoid things that are easily ripped up and could be easily ingested by a curious pup.

Next, you should have dog food and treats on hand. It’s a good idea to continue feeding new pup what she was eating at the breeder or shelter, at least for the first few weeks. Abrupt food changes can cause stomach upset and may make the transition more difficult. Its fine to choose a new food eventually, but you don’t want to do that too quickly. I have not yet decided what brand of food I will feed my new addition but I do know I’ll be researching it at www.dogfoodadvisor.com, which is a really good resource for pet food ratings and reviews.

Dogs need a clean, comfortable, safe spot to sleep in, so a bed is an important thing to have on hand. Lola had a luxurious, plush bed that I will eventually allow my new pup to have, but in the beginning I will probably use a crate and an old blanket or towels. Puppies love to tear things up and sometimes have accidents, so giving them an expensive bed right off the bat usually doesn’t work out well.

A crate should be just large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around in. If it’s too large the pup might pee at one end and sleep at the other. Not so good for potty training! Be sure to size your crate according to the dog you have now, not the dog you will have at the end of growth. That may mean investing in more than one crate but in the end is necessary for training. Try craigslist or your local Facebook community group for inexpensive options.

Speaking of potty training, you’ll need cleaning supplies. Lots and lots of cleaning supplies. Puppies are very messy. They rip things up; they have accidents; and they sometimes vomit on the rug. A good enzymatic cleaner will be your best friend in those first few months. Be sure to find a non-toxic option so that if a curious pup sneaks a lick it won’t hurt his tummy….leading to more vomit. Do not to use any cleaner containing ammonia, which smells like pee and can lead to, you guessed it, more pee.

If you are choosing a coated dog like I am, be sure to find a groomer ahead of time, too. You want to start off right away getting your pooch used to being bathed and cut. Many places have new puppy packages that allow for easy introduction to the whole grooming process. Ask around, get referrals to groomers in your area. Good groomers develop a loyal clientele, and a well-deserved great reputation. Even if you don’t choose a coated dog, he will still need that occasional nail trim and bath. It’s good to get them started early so the whole process is a happy one, not a big fight.

I would also suggest you ask around about vets, pet sitters, dog walkers and boarding facilities. Do not wait until the last minute to find someone to watch your new baby. The good boarding places and pet sitters book up months in advance and really good places have waiting lists. Know in advance where your dog will be spending your vacation time and start taking him or her there as soon as you can. Separating once in a while is good for your pup and good for you. Again, ask your friends and neighbors for advice and referrals; they’ll know who is good and who to avoid.

Lastly, be sure you have all the necessary gear that your pup will need on hand. This includes leashes, harnesses, collars, food bowls, seatbelts, shampoo, brushes, ID tags, poop bags, dental cleaning products, flea & tick prevention, a first aid kit and ex pens or baby gates. Whew….I’d better get shopping. Have fun, and I’ll keep you posted on my new addition. She should be here sometime in the fall. Woof!

Melissa's new puppy - 12 days old.

Melissa’s new puppy – 12 days old.

Melissa's new puppy.

Melissa’s new puppy.

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