Like many first home owners, the most exciting thing about buying a house is being able to buy a dog. We hadn't even started unpacking before I was scrolling the net for a rescue pup.
I talked my husband into going to look at a puppy - no commitment to buy, just to look (yeah right!) and hours later we were driving back to our new home with our new dog - Minnie!
When we bought Minnie we had the dog, but that's about it. That night she slept on an old dog bed we were getting rid of, drank out of a bucket and ate dinner from an old Tupperware dish. Her green toy was one of my hand-me-downs!
We were not prepared for the dog and for how our lives were about to be changed - and our stuff destroyed. I would like to add that this was well before I became a dog trainer. I became a dog trainer to help make our life and Minnie's life come together peacefully and happily. I continued in this profession so I can help others bring their lives in sync with their puppies lives peacefully and happily.
If I knew then, what I know now...what would I change?
In this post I will address preparedness.
I have made a list of 11 things you will need - take a look, it may help you settle your puppy in to your life peacefully and happily.
1. Collar, harness, and leash
These three items will become your pup’s daily outfit, so choose wisely! Your puppy needs to wear a collar when you are able to supervise at first, then all the time. The harness is only for car rides - I rarely advise to train in a harness as they encourage pulling.
2. Poo bags
You’ll be needing a lot of these as a dog parent, so don’t skimp out. Always keep a few rolls at home and in the car.
3. Name tags
An up-to-date ID tag is a must-have for any pet. These will be a life safer when microchips don't scan correctly.
4. Dog Bed
Purchase the bed of choice and visualise your puppy snoozing away - but keep one thing in mind, puppies love to destroy beds! I'd recommend some cheep towels until you can trust puppy with the best dog bed on the market.
5. Food and water bowls
Meal time is the best time for any dog, so grab bowls that will accommodate your pup’s appetite. Taller dogs may need a stand to hold the bowls at the proper height while excitable pups may need anti-slip grips attached.
I love taking my dog to the pet store and letting them pick out their own toy. Just make sure you supervise your puppy with toys they might be able to swallow. Many a pup have been rushed to the vet with part of their favourite toy lodged in their belly.
Crate training isn’t an absolute must, but it does help you keep your pup safe and teach it that being restrained is not that bad. Dogs love being in their own “cave” and a crate is a useful tool for dog parents who want their dogs to rest in one spot.
It is also a good opportunity to teach boundaries.
8. Cleaning supplies
From spot removers to lint rollers, make sure to have cleaning supplies.
9. Grooming stuff
Brush, nail clippers, and teeth-cleaning items are necessary to keep your dog healthy and looking fabulous! Start grooming as soon as pip comes home so they get used to the routine. Work on short grooming sessions at first, just a few minutes and build up. If puppy is good, finish with a treat.
10. Yummy Treats
Treats are not essential for obedience training - In fact we discourage them, but they are great for showing your puppy you love them and keeping dogs happily occupied. I'm a fan of anything Kong. Also remember, most treats are fattening!
11. Child gate
If there are areas in the home that your dog isn’t allowed to wander into, secure them with baby gates. Gates will help him learn where his physical boundaries are within the home. But they need to be used in conjunction with training. You should be teaching your puppy proper boundaries, so you are able to get rid of puppy gates when your dog is a little older.