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What things does a puppy actually need?

1821 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  mathilda
My first puppy is coming home in about a month and I'm starting to gather supplies. There is so much out there! What will I actually need?

Also, how can I prepare for and combat the puppy blues ahead of time?
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Ooh I wish I'd asked this!

Toys! - we found Kong cozies, antler/puppy nylabone, skineez, a tennis ball(took her a while to warm up to it) and a west paw design tizzy to be Echo's favorites. I'm still buying new ones all the time.


Lead +/- a harness - make sure the clip isn't too heavy.

Crate/seat belt for the car

Dog bed/cushions - we got given some floor cushions, having one in every room is great if they learn "go place". I also find a small chenille bath mat useful to take everywhere new because Echo does calm on the mat training.

Bowls - I have 3, an extra for water in the car.

Food - you can go nuts looking at this, Echo does really well on canidae pure foundations.

Exercise pens - we have two to keep her out of mischief and give her space, I really wish I hadn't dismissed these early on they would have made life easier.

Pet insurance - once again I thought I wouldn't need it but I was wrong.

It's really up to you, hopefully you get a bunch of replies and can pick out the best of everything.
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The thing I'm worried about with exercise pens is spending money on them only to find out that my puppy can just jump out... (this happened to one of my friends recently)
Is there any solution to this that I'm missing other than buying the tallest (and most expensive) one?
What breed is joining you? I have border collie pup and she's done fine with 40 inches high.

Oh I missed the puppy blues part:

Take it easy, everything on the Internet is like if you don't do X then you'll ruin your dog! They are all different and it takes time to get to know their quirks and work out the best way to tackle issues. For instance on potty training my pup had diarrhea, a urinary tract infection and had never been outside(I think) so she had loads of accidents inside and refused to go outside, it took a long time but she's got the idea now and isn't unhousetrainable. The one thing I agree with is force training isn't worth considering, it damages dogs. If you get frustrated you can always leave the room for a few minutes. Take some time each day to just chill without the dog you'll need it and the pup will be fine for a while by itself, puppies need a ton of sleep and I learnt that sometimes I had to leave the house or she'd just keep getting wound up.
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Thanks! It sounds like an exercise pen is worth a try. I'll get a 36 inch. My pup is australian shepherd poodle cross, estimated to grow to about 25lb.
I like what you said about the puppy blues. I have been reading a lot about +P and I know I have picked an energetic and intelligent dog, so I want to do everything right by him and teach him as much as I can while he's still young.
Cute cross, have you got a puppy class lined up?

I found 'z dog blog' a great intro to understanding and shaping hyper, intelligent, mouthy puppies.
Congrats on your pup!

I have a 10 week old puppy and my list is very similar to Chas:
Exercise pen (I also have the 36' pen and my pup is a heeler/pit mix)
Dog Bed
Toys - favorites are rope toys, squeaky toys with no stuffing, balls
Treat Dispensers - we use Kong, Kong wobbler, goodie bone, tricky treat ball
Chews - he likes antlers, Himalayan chews, whimzeez, the occasional bully stick & chicken feet, teething keys, stick chew toy
I also have nail clippers, shampoo, grooming wipes, and a zoom groom (both my dogs are short-haired so that's all they really need)
I use a clicker and treat pouch daily as well
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As for the puppy blues, I think Chas nailed it. Take time for YOU, get some sleep. Spend time just bonding and playing with the dog. Don't be too hard on yourself. I know that I had to lower my expectations when it came to training...attention spans are short, sometimes it might take several small sessions to see progress. Things got better when I just relaxed and had fun with training instead of feeling like I was going to ruin my dog if I didn't do XZY.
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Lost of chews and toys of different tastes and textures.
I don't think an exercise pen is necessary all the time. Sometimes just a baby gate is fine if you have a small room with few things the dog can get into. Also, don't spend a lot of money on dog beds, they often get devoured by puppies!

Otherwise everyone kind of covered it. The only other thing I would add in is flea and heartworm prevention, but sometimes they must be older for that.
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Lots of great advice on here already! I am in the midst of puppy blues/anxiety and hopefully am slowly coming out of the fog...The lack of sleep for me has been a HUGE contributing factor to my moods. I recommend deciding where he will sleep and what he will sleep in and then being consistent about it. First three nights were BRUTAL but then he got it and last night slept 9:30-5:20 which is the best stretch he's done. I also agree that there is SO MUCH information out there about how easy it is to ruin a puppy, if you don;t do X by 9 weeks old, then he'll be terrible...blah blah blah. I totally bought into all of that and have been putting all this pressure on myself to do exactly the right thing to have the perfect puppy right away. What I needed to remind myself is that the puppy is a baby and will learn from me and I need to be patient, we need to get to know each other, etc. Also, that these stages are all temporary. I have two kids and you would think I would know all this but for some reason with a dog there feels like more pressure, especially b/c the harmony of your house gets messed up. Also, reminding yourself to teach the puppy to adapt to YOUR life, and not the other way around. Both Chas and Linzydd reminded me to LEAVE THE PUPPY ALONE and go do something for me!!! HUGE!! Last night at 6pm I crated him and took the kids out to eat and it felt great to get out and not have to cook and be away.

In terms of equipment, we have:

Two crates, one for our bedroom for crating at night and one for the living room for day time crating. I got one for $35 at Ocean State Job Lot and the other one was given to me free by a friend who was no longer using it. See if you can find one on Craig's List- they are super cheap on there and people outgrow them and practically give them away all the time.

We have a Midwest Pets exercise pen. We got the 36" for our cockapoo who will be around 20-25 pounds full grown (he is 10 weeks and 5 pounds right now). I only have one so it is 4x4. Chas suggested adding a second one to double the space which I will do if I can find one for sale used. We have no way to gate off rooms so this is where the puppy essentially lives unless he is in his crate or on a leash with me right now.

Toys: We have a zillion...we live near a Marshall's, Homegoods, and TJ Maxx and all have great inexpensive dog toys. Jasper seems to prefer the stuffed animal type toys and toys that squeak.

Collar/leash. I got a 6 foot leash which I like. I also have a harness for him but it is sort of a pain to get on and off.

Food- I went on and got completely overwhelmed. In the end I chose Earthboorn Holistic Primitive Natural and we are in the midst of a switch and so far so good. I would say, find out what he is getting at the breeder, buy one bag of that and pick a food that fits within your budget and is highly rated and slowly transition him to that. It might take trial and error to find a good fit.

Jasper has two fuzzy blankets he sleeps with in his crate, along with two stuffed animals. Helps make the crate smaller and more snug for him I think.

For stainless steel food bowls we alternate for food/water

Shampoo, slicker brush, comb, nail clippers

Old towels for wet muddy feet. I am in Boston and it has been raining here for the past several days (not helping with puppy blues let me tell you) and I go through towels like crazy b/c we are outside constantly for potty. I started collecting old towels a few months ago and keep them in the mudroom just for that purpose.

Clicker for training- just started a couple days ago and he is one smart puppy. Plus you feel like a rock star when you can get your little mischevious puppy to do something ;)

I know there is a LOT more stuff. It's like having a baby- do you NEED all the stuff out there? Nope! But is is fun to buy :)

And this forum has really helped me prepare and now that Jasper is home, get through these last two weeks. Use this site often!!
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Lots of great info already posted so i'll just mention a couple of things based on my (current) experience with my 4.5 month old...

I would watch out for tennis pup just likes to rip off the fuzz and eat it so she chews her rubber "chuck it" ball instead. so far she hasn't been able to break that open.

I can't rem if you mentioned what type of pup you're getting but for my pittie I have to be careful with toys that have stuffing. I have already sewn back a lot of her toys several times lol

Rope toys are GREAT, especially when teething I will soak it in water and freeze it. She loves to chew on it and hear that "crunch crunch" sound

Antler chews (naturally shedding) have been a LIFE SAVER. Bully sticks are great but she finishes them way too quickly and apparently they're a lot of calories. The antler chew will keep her busy for quite some time.

Interactive dog toys where you can stuff treats/kibble have also been a life saver. I have a ball that has two small holes on each end and she has to chase/push it around for the kibble to come out. She also has a puppy size rubber kong bone that I can stuff kibble in and she'll chew and paw at it to get the kibble out.

Making my pup work for her food tires her out faster so I find that these really helped me.

Baby gates were probably one of the first things I got. Found used good condition ones for cheap on Craigslist. My apartment has a good layout where I was able to block off the kitchen and foyer for my pup. Now that she's better with housetraining I can open up one of the baby gates when I'm home. Anytime I need to leave her alone I'll put back up one of the gates so she only has that small area to herself.

Good luck and congrats on your new puppy!! Please post some pics!! :)
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absolute minimum:
a vet visit
dog food for the respective age
bowls for food and water
some kind of rewards
a dog bed or another comfortable place where the dog can sleep and rest
a collar or harness in the right size
poo bags
a durable leash (I like 3 meter leashes because they're still manageable)
one or several humans that are willing to spend a lot (!) of time and patience on training, socialising and playing the dog
for long-haired dogs the respective fur care products, brush and/or comb
nail clipper for the case that your dog dosn't walk off it's claws.

nice to have but not as vital:
an medical insurance for the dog
a muzzle for muzzle training
a crate
if you've got a car something to safely transport your dog or a ticket for the public transport
a plastic water bottle for walks
clicker if you want to try clicker training
a small amount of durable toys
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