Thursday, July 16, 2015

Puppy Necessities!

Now that we have two puppies and have had at least one of them since January, I feel knowledgeable and eligable enough to write about the items you need to help welcome your furry family member home.  I have waited a while to post about these items, so that I could test everything out and really decide if EVERY item was definitely necessary, so please know this isn't just a post created to create traffic to our blog.  Instead, it was made to help those who are truly trying to cover all of the bases, helping this exciting time easier.  I hope this post helps.  
The items are NOT in any particular order of importance. I just posted the items in the order that they appeared from my camera.
Unscented Baby Wipes
I bought these wipes for my puppies paws and eye boogies. 
 Bitter Apple
This is a powerful spray, invented by a pharmacist in 1960, which is used on items, as a deterrent, from all puppies who have a huge desire/need to teeth. The taste is awful and it sends the puppy off, in a whole other direction. It really does work.
Harness
We have a really large puppy (85 pounds) and a really small puppy (4 pounds). Walking the small puppy (Simon) is a breeze and kind of funny, but walking the large puppy (Sadie) can sometimes be not only work, but difficult. Sadie is beyond excited to be out and about and is very anxious about keeping up with the kids when we go on family walks. I am not overly concerned about her not "healing", although I know that makes a much more respectful looking dog, but I am concerned about the walk being enjoyable and safe. Having an 85 pound dog dragging you the entire time is difficult, so the dog trainer suggested this harness.  It restricts the puppy/dog from moving as fast as it can without it. It stops leash pulling fast.
Kong Butter & Toys
Kong butter is a great treat for puppies and dogs.  I bought puppy flavor, peanut butter flavor, and bacon/cheese flavor. It keeps the puppies entertained for a while when sprayed it inside any kong toy.
Of course, we have to have a blue kong for Simon and a pink kong for Sadie.  Notice the size difference? I also use peanut butter in the kong toys.  It's their favorite.  Typically, I fill the toy with peanut butter or kong fill and then place the toys in the freezer for a few hours.  I save this treat for after a long, hot walk, or when I know I will be gone for a few hours.  It keeps them occupied and entertained.
 Dog Fur Brush
Every puppy/dog's fur and skin sensitivity is different.  Be sure to buy the proper brush for your type of dog. There are so many types of brushes. 
 Bath Soap
Your puppy will need a bath from time to time.  Unless you plan to bring your puppy to a groomer, you will be responsible for taking care of this task.  I try to give Sadie a bath once a month and Simon a bath once a week (just because it takes two minutes to bathe Simon.) Find the right soap that works for your dogs. I love our Oster oatmeal soap.  It smells so good!!!
Towels and Rags
Yes, you can use your own towels and rags to dry off your clean puppy or to clean up dog accidents, but aren't these towels more enticing to use with the paw prints on them. Plus, do's can have ticks or flees and it's probably safer to keep their towels separate.
RESOLVE "pet"
This is perfect to have on hand for the potty training accidents or muddy paw prints.  I've had to use it TWICE, due to Sadie's accidents, since she's been ours, and probably 20 times for Simon.  I hear smaller dogs are harder to potty train.
 Tooth Brush
Everyone needs their teeth brushed, even a puppy.  I will admit that I do not brush our puppy's teeth often, but this is a great way to "play" with your puppy while caring for them.  Start with a finger brush first. Then eventually you can move to a regular type tooth brush.  To keep your dog from getting upset, because your fingers are in or near it's mouth, find a toothpaste that is peanut butter or cheese flavored.  EWE! Imagine brushing your teeth with that flavor toothpaste?!?!
 Poopy Disposable Bags
You will need these for the dog park, your own yard, or any place you take your pooch on a walk.  Leaving their poopie anywhere is just plain gross. Pick up your doggies poo poo.  Having your poo poo bags heart-shaped was a great way to make me desire to use them more often. Silly, I know. 
Treats
Puppies have very sensitive digestive systems in the their early stages, but giving them rewards during that potty training stage is so helpful.  In addition, who wants to eat the same meal three times a day and THAT'S it? Not I! Buy a few healthy snacks for your puppies.  I bought these adorable, mini milk bones.  I also feed our puppies frozen carrots, apples (without the peel), blueberries, and more.  The frozen aspect helps them to eat it slowly and it aids in their painful teething process.
Check out the size differences in Sadie and Simon's bones.  Hehe
A Leash
The leash is missing from the box, but you get the point.  This is a "duh" item, but I do have two things to say about leashes. "Explore" or "Flexi" Leash: 1. Our dog trainer pretty much yelled at Darren for choosing this as our first leash.  Apparently, your dog should be a well-trained/mannered puppy before giving him/her the luxury of using this type of leash . Regular Leashes - For Sadie (remember large puppy), I do spend the money and buy her leashes at PetSmart or Walmart. It's important to get a leash that does work with their weight requirements. Believe it or not, I have been through two leashes and two collars already. For Simon, however, I bought him two leashes at the Dollar Tree for a total of $2.00, verses one leash at PetSmart for $9.99. Pay attention to price gouging. Many times, especially for a small dog, you can find the same item somewhere else for less money.
Collars
I did splurge and buy Sadie and Simon a cute collar from the Martha Stewart Collection.  Sadie has a flower on her collar and Simon has a bowtie.  
Since the moment we had Sadie, I have desired to order this collar.  I like how the collar has our contact information on the collar, rather than a dangling embellishment that could fall off the collar. I haven't gotten around to ordering it yet because it is a little prices ($45) and I see how quickly Sadie's collars get so dirty and dingy, but I really need to bite the bullet and buy  because if Sadie gets LOST, she doesn't have her contact information on her. She is chipped though, so that's good.
Bowls
Don't forget a cute set of bowls for puppy's food and water.  From what I hear, dogs don't like really cold water.  They like it room temperature.  For some reason, I still give my dogs cold water. It just seems more refreshing.  
Puppy Food
This is another "duh" item, but what you do need to know is that many affordable dog foods are not a wise choice or the healthiest choice for your puppy.  You can buy "Puppy Chow", but look at it as feeding your child McDonald's daily.  It has a ton of "fillers" in the ingredients. Our dog trainer suggested the "Nutro" brand.  We have to buy two different types of Nutro because of the size differences in our dogs. This food has all natural ingredients. Looking long term, choosing a food that is healthy will keep your dog's waistline visible and it's bones and teeth healthy too! My brother feeds his dog raw chicken with the bone in, instead of dog food. It's impressive to watch. I'll stick to dog food, LOL, but that's another healthy and safe route to go.
Toys
Boredom will create destruction of your important and personal items.  Be sure to purchase some squeaky toys and some chew toys to help aid with teething and boredom.
Dog Crate
The best way to house train your dog is with a crate.  Keeping them in their crates until you are prepared to bring them directly outside to potty, helps eliminate accidents. In order to keep a puppy from peeing in his/her crate, I have learned that you need a crate with a divider.  The puppy will not "mess" in it's living space if the space is only small enough for him/her to stand up and turn around.  As the puppy grows, the divider can be adjusted to fit it's new size. This was such a nice feature for our puppy's who are potty training.  In addition, the crate is like their safe haven.  It keeps them safe from harm when you are not home and it is "their spot" when they feel like they are in need of a little break from their owners.
Dog Bed
This particular bed, Ms. Dixon bought for Simon while we were at Myrtle Beach. She is so sweet.  Put your puppy's bet inside the crate, making it more comfy.   Be careful though, because if you have a puppy that chews everything, you may come home to find it's bed destroyed. Dog beds are NOT cheap, so use a blanket or towel, in the beginning, if you don't know your puppy well enough to trust him/her from NOT destroying it's bed your hard earned money.
Travel Pet Water Bowl
Check out all of the details about this neat contraption here.

Maze Bowl
I have already done a post about this awesome bowl, which helps aid in slow eating a bloating.  Read about it here.
"Chuck It"
Look as good as you throw! The new Chuckit! Sport Ball Launcher has a sporty new look and an improved grip, making it possible to launch the ball with more accuracy, distance, and - most importantly - style than ever before. You'll help your dog exercise in a fraction of the time and never have to touch a just-drooled-on tennis ball again. The Sport Ball Launcher comes with one ball. Sadie is NOT a fetcher, so she turned the "wand" into a chew toy.  Grrrrr.  Simon is a fetcher, so maybe we can find a mini chuck it.
A few great places to find your puppy/doggie items are PetSmart, Wal-mart, Amazon, Dollar Tree, and my favorite place is Tuesday Morning or Steinmart.  Be careful of PetSmart.  They are very pricey.  As you can see, even if someone gives you a "free" puppy, puppies/dogs of any kind are not inexpensive. Even if you factor in ALL of the above, you still have NOT factored in vet bills (shots, flea/tick prevention, heart warm prevention, and possibly injuries), not to mention all of your time that you put into caring for them. Puppies are cute, but remember, they become dogs. Think long term before committing to a particular breed or to a pet at all.  Think about your travel restrictions, your daily routine, allergies, children, etc... We love BOTH of our puppies.  NEVER did I think, after Ninja passed, that I would get another pet.  I missed Ninja, but I didn't miss the responsibility of having a dog. Now that our children are older, it is nice to incorporate the puppy's needs into their chore lists. I cannot imagine our home without our adorable puppies.  They bring us so much joy!!!!! I am not a pro, but I have been doing this for several months now.  If you have any questions, please write!!! I'll try to answer them.  If you see a puppy "need" that is not mentioned, I may have it and just forgot to mention it. Better yet, you might be able to introduce me to something I need and don't have.