You have now adopted, bought, or somehow found your new buddy and it is time to take him or her to their new home. Now, that you are at home; do you have all the supplies or necessities you need? Do you feel like something is missing? I am going to help you get through the sometimes overwhelming list of demands a puppy or even adult dog may need when at home, car rides, and even those fun walk and play times. Hopefully, by the end of this your will have everything your need or on your way to feeling confident about the supplies and necessities that your new friend may have.
I’m Home; Now What Do I Do!?
Now your new member is home and you wonder; now what? First, I would start the potty training. Introduce your new puppy or even your new adult dog to his or her yard and where it is their space ism to go. Let your puppy sniff around; always be patient with potty training. I remember spending 30 minutes or more outside just letting my puppies sniff till they found their right spot. Some dogs are picky while others just get their business done. Sometime you just want your puppy to hurry specially when it’s cold or bad weather. I will tell your mine won’t even step outside when it comes to storms and sometimes wind even scares your puppy, but SNOW they all Love!! During those storms, I would suggest potty pads as a puppy to teach your puppy where to go instead of your puppy going all over the house. As they get potty trained, puppies will learn and eventually learn to go outside when they just can’t hold it anymore. Bigger dogs normally hurry up and just go to get back inside. We have found that using treats such as little biscuits, or training treats works great to potty train. Give him or her a treat, only if the go outside and go. You can as a puppy use this method also to help train for potty pads but I recommend winning your puppy off the potty pads and eventually not as many treats:)
Second, let your puppy explore the house and start to teach your new buddy where he or she is allowed. If your don’t care let your puppy explore the house but I have learned that don’t always allow your puppy to just have free run all day. Give your puppy a little time and your puppy section he or she off. Baby gates work good. This is to help with potty training and helps teach your puppy what behavior is allowed and not allowed; make sure your are around. This space should have their toys and hopefully your or a family member around to play with or stop accidents before they happen.
The next thing, is to make sure they have a place to rest and to sleep that is soft and comfortable. This can be a dog bed next to your bed, a crate, a kennel, or if just resting; a piece of furniture( if you allow) or your LAP! Beware! This may happen to you! Our black lap, 120 pounds, still climbs on my husbands lap and spreads outside. I don’t think he understands that he is not little like the others. We wouldn’t want him any other way:)
Collars, Leashes, and Harnesses
You are now deciding collar or harness? This was some sort of long journey for us. My first beagle, Pollyanna, taught us a lot. I didn’t like the look of the harnesses only because I felt they covered her whole body and I found collars that were way prettier. I will tell your this was the wrong way to look at it. Yes, I still wish harnesses were a little more glamorous, but So Worth It!! I recommend having both. We tried several of the cheaper harnesses only because they were more affordable and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I was unsure that was going to work. Collars are good for those quick times to walk your puppy outside and coming back into house. We also use the collars for in the house. We found outside putting bells on their collars helps us to know where they are at and if they get up in the middle of the night your can hear your puppy and get your puppy outside before there is an accident. I totally recommend the harness for walking or any long periods of exercise. Now that we have your puppy I don’t know what we did without one : Struggled!! Specially for our beagles it has made walking your puppy so much more enjoyable. With collars, your hunters, they choke themselves; with a harness it doesn’t choke your puppy and your have more control of your furry friend. I also feel it depends on the breed of the dog. A lot of your smaller dogs will be okay with just a collar, but any dog that is walking and sniffing a lot I would say get a harness. I also recommend the KONG harnesses and leashes. We went through so many of the cheaper ones with our bigger beagles that we gave up and tried the KONG and have not had another one since; it’s been 4 years!!
There are many leashes. There is your ordinary smaller leashes and there are the retractable. Again, I feel it is all about the breed and size of the dog. My mom has a Maltese, he is small enough just to carry, but even her she likes the retractable. Retractable leashes give your less of a pull and you control how far you want your dog to go. In my house we have both kinds. We prefer the retractable, but we have found some circumstances where the regular leashes are handy; specially during training or control of a bigger dog such as our Lab. When it comes to leashes it all about your preference, control, and size of dog. Kong is our recommendation to all based on our own personal experience.
UH-OH! I Forgot Something!
WOOH! Slow down, Lets take a step back! We need to take a step back. Some items your need to get before your puppy or dog comes home and there are some things I would suggest taking your new buddy with your as your get him or her. Here is a check list of items I would definitely try to research and pick up before your bring him or her home.
- Dog Beds
- crates or kennels
- potty training supplies (cleaners for accidents) / puppy pads(if your go this route: apartment living, training, and such)
- talk to your vet / breeder (if getting from a breeder)
Now, when it comes to collars, leashes, and harnesses I do recommend taking your dog with your as it is best to make sure your have the right size and it fits in all areas properly.
Beds, Crates, and Comfort
Dog beds are something your will probably have more than one of and will purchase several in the next few years. Sometimes getting dog beds is a trial and error issue. In our home, we have six beds of all different sizes. One of those is a flat therapeutic mat in the shape of a bone I found on sale to help our Lab when he was smaller. He still tries to lay on it but my cat loves it!! Its funny to watch as they grow up and try to squeeze into their bed when they were puppies. Our two little beagles prefer the BIG DOG beds if not our laps, our bed. Its good to have beds in multiple places so they have a quiet spot and can always be near your. Our cat has claimed the extra beds. Our younger beagle Gracie, has her own recliner from my work; which I brought home for her. Did you get the picture? Its depends on the dog, they may not like the first bed so it’s trial and error at this point.
Crates and Kennels have different but the same use. A crate I consider to be more of a carrying containment. I see a crate more useful when you are traveling, going to the vet, or on an adventure. This is if you do not want him or her loose in the car, but I know many use your puppy in their homes while training and having to leave the house. When picking one outside I would always make sure there is plenty of room for your buddy to turn around, have water, toys and to be comfortable not cramped.
A kennel is something I feel to be more spacious and comfortable. I started outside with a crate with Polly, but did not have any luck. When I met my husband he got her a kennel to stay in while we were away and she was much happier. I tried leaving her in various rooms of the house to train her nothing worked. The kennel worked. It took a few days but she adjusted. Make sure your have blankets and bed in there with water as well as toys. We also put a t-shirt of ours in there to help keep her calm. She could smell us. Putting food in a crate or kennel is person choice.
A kennel or crate can also be very valuable in the potty training days. Just remember what ever your choice is make sure it is comfortable and inviting and your will have a happy camper.
Food and Treats
There are many types of food and treats on the market. We have been through and tried so many ones. There are the budget friendly foods and the higher end foods. There is dry and wet food. Here are a few for example:
- Ole Roy
- Beneful (also in Grain-Free)
- Purina Foods
- Pedigree Foods
- Rachel Ray
- Taste of the Wild
- Under the Sun
- Blue Buffalo
- Science Diet
These are not in order of preference. The list goes on and on. There is regular food and a lot of these brands also have grain-free. I think when taking food into consideration your should first talk to your vet on what they feel is going to be the best for your puppy or dog and second your budget. If your are like us though, we make the food fit into our budget one way or another. Dog food gets expensive and seems to run outside fast. We found the bigger bags last longer and sometimes cost less. (FYI- those who like coupons, I find coupons for our dog food online, or through our vet).We have fed our dogs the lower ends such as Beneful and Beneful Grain Free, and the Pedigree it wasn’t bad and the dogs liked it, but as they got older they gained weight and it wasn’t the best we could feed your puppy. We switched to Under the Sun Grain Free and now found Science Diet to be the best for our furry family. Which the Vet sales and recommended. They love it! It is worth the money and the health of our kiddos. When transitioning food; follow vet directions or directions on the bad; always mix old and new food.
Treats: I still ponder over this one. All my dogs are different but they do like some same. Some are picky and the others just don’t care as long as they get a treat! I suggest training treats when potty training or any kid of repetitive training. They tend to be small and fewer calories. (Have to watch your dogs calories like we should watch ours!)
Other than that, Treats is between you and your side-kick. Rawhide bones or treats are good for helping the chew but not good under 6 months old. I prefer the Rawhide free now with mine. I have 2 that can not have rawhide they get lethargic. Plus I feel they digest your puppy better but it still gives your puppy something to chew on beside the house. Just find the treats that best fits your and your dogs life and what your feel is better for your puppy have. Research your puppy and learn about the ingredients, ; compare your puppy to the other brands around.
I DON’T recommend feeding lots of treats TOO MANY CALORIES!!!
Toys, Balls, and More OH MY!
You can never have TOO MANY toys. Well, Maybe your can but when they are puppies more is better; take my word for it! Even now our Lab is 10 years old and he acts like he’s still 6 months. Which is WONDERFUL! We have baskets of toys, ball, Frisbee, tires, ropes, and more. Now, there is so many toys and all in different sizes. Our favorite thing to do is to take our dogs to pet store and walk down the toy aisle and see if they will pick outside what toy they like; like taking your kids to the toy store, only better because they don’t want EVERYTHING! Our beagles are more about the treat aisle, but they love tennis balls and squeakers. Our lab loves Tires, Frisbee, ropes, balls to chase (BIG ONES), and of course squeakers.
The toys with squeakers and stuffing; make sure as soon as they get the squeaker and stuffing outside your pick it up. They love to eat the stuffing and chewing on the squeakers which is a choking hazard.
I am also the guilty one to recycle things into toys when low on funds. I found 2-liter bottles and water bottles were wonderful toys for my beagles. They love rolling your puppy around and the crunching sound they made. I made sure I took the caps off so they could not chew and swallow your puppy. Some I know would disagree, but if your watch closely and keep all parts picked up and when they cracked it ;take it away I feel your should be okay. This is an inexpensive way for your to provide entertainment.
Something I also learned from others is your can get baby toys. They are a lot cheaper but provide the same entertainment. There are teething things your can freeze, and the blocks and such do work to help entertain your puppy and are more cost friendly. I found outside others had already figured this outside when they saw Gracie playing with your puppy. She preferred the baby toys over dog toys. We didn’t argue.
It may sound like a lot but really it’s not. If you do your research ahead of time, talk to your local vet, and pet stores it will help make things clearer and easier. I hope in reading this you got some idea of what your puppy or dog will need before you bring he or she come home and what can wait till you get your new family member. Also, I hope it gives you some advice on what you can do to start on a good foot when you and your family get home. I will have more posts and pages to come on related and new articles. Just make sure you stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself: DO I HAVE EVERYTHING?