Start our with a cardboard box with some old soft towels or blankets. Throwing away a pooped on, peed on and chewed up box is a lot easier than keeping clean a fabric dog bed. Why be bothered cleaning a bed yet? Let your puppy sleep in a box until he is somewhat reliably housetrained.
If you want something a bit nicer but easy to clean, you can get the bed I use for my puppy, the PerlaBed.
It’s a hard plastic with rubber feet that keep it slightly off the floor and away from crawling insects. It stands up to puppy chewing and accidents and
has a cutout side to enable little legs to easily climb in.
I discovered these in England and was thrilled when the company got an American distributor.
Don’t waste your money on the Perla bed mattress. My puppy chewed the seams open in no time. Buy a Perla bed in a size large enough for your grown dog and you should never have to buy another bed.
You’ll need two: one for water and one for food. Get stainless steel because they don’t retain odors and can (and should be) run through your dishwasher
at least once a week. Get ones heavy enough not to tip and ones with rubber bottoms so they don’t slide.
I like Rubber Bottom Stainless Steel Bowl – SET OF 2 MATCHING BOWLS which are sized perfectly for puppies.
Do NOT get anything chippable, breakable or crackable – no matter how cute.
If you have a sports nut in the house, you can buy stainless steel dog bowls with official team logos such as for the LosAngeles LA Lakers.
Get a soft brush such as Chris Christensen Tufted Natural Boar Brush to get your puppy used to being groomed. This one won’t hurt him and he should accept being brushed better than being combed. (Those knots hurt!)
As your dog matures, so will his coat and you’ll want to invest in more specialized products depending on which dog breed you have.
Brush him every day. It’s not only good for his looks, but it helps you bond with your puppy and vice versus.
Crates serve several purposes.
They are excellent for potty training. Dogs don’t like to soil their beds so he instinctively will try to hold his pee until you take him out.
Obviously, you must maintain a humane schedule, which may be every hour for a 3-pound puppy.
Puppies also need a place to get away when they’re tired or have too much company around. Have a soft pad or bedding for him to sit on and to lean against. Sometimes little paws get caught in, and little teeth try to chew through, the sides of wire crates.
Crates also can be used to transport your puppy in a car. Attach the crate in the middle of the vehicle’s back seat.
Don’t get a crate that is too large for your puppy. You want something just large enough for him to lay in or stand up and turn around. Too large and he
won’t feel secure. Too small and he’ll be crunched. Test it out.
Some crates have dividers which can be removed as your puppy grows.
The one I have is Midwest Life Stages Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate .
Please, do not try to drive with your puppy on your lap or unleashed in your car.
Absolutely never put your little puppy in the bed of your pick-up truck and drive off.
Use common sense and think about the impact on a puppy if you had to stop suddenly or had an accident.
Get a lightweight collar and make sure you can put your little finger between the collar and your dog’s neck. Unless you live in an area that requires you have tags on your dog, I recommend an embroidered dog collar rather than having tags.
Puppies can too easily get their tags caught in doorways, gates, stairs, fences, etc. sometimes with tragic results.
I prefer a collar such as Nylon Cat & Dog Collar. Custom embroidered with your phone number for pet safety which is small enough for Toy and small breed puppies but allow for growth from a puppy to a small adult.
Hopefully, the place where you obtained your puppy provided you with information on what brand of dog food they were using and how often he was fed.
If you want to change brands, do it gradually (over seven days) by replacing a little of the breeders’ brand with your brand so as to not to upset your puppy’s stomach.
Some breeders also advise or require customers to use supplements. Make sure you understand what your breeder has put in the sales agreement.
As you peruse the Internet, you’ll find all kinds of recommendations for canine diets: raw, bones, vegetarian, low protein, high protein, etc. There are several professional and authoritarian looking websites that rate dog foods.
Unfortunately, there are many old wives tales that are taken as fact and many websites that don’t bother to update as our scientific knowledge evolves.
I highly recommend you read the book: ChowHounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter – A Vet’s Plan to Save Their Lives by veterinarian Ernie Ward. He’ll provide verifiable information and dispel the myths you’ve found on other websites. You may be surprised.
Harness and Leash
I don’t recommend attaching the leash to a regular collar for puppies; it’s too easy to damage a puppy’s throat by tugging and pulling on his collar.
I also prefer a harness as it gives you better control, especially when a puppy is still learning how to walk on a leash. You can tug the harness without harming your dog.
The Puppia Soft Dog Harness brand has a beautiful rainbow of mesh harnesses that are popular, but all require fitting over the head. I’ve never had a puppy that could wiggle out of these though.
For a leash, I prefer lightweight nylon 4 or 6-foot. I don’t like retractable leashes for small dogs, especially puppies. You’re still training a puppy not to run off so why make it easy for him by using a 20-foot or so retractable leash?
Once your veterinarian has finished your puppy’s vaccinations and deworming, it will be up to you to prevent heartworm, fleas and ticks in your puppy.
Every year dogs die needlessly because they didn’t have owners who provided a monthly heartworm preventive. Usually not fatal but always dreadful and expensive to remove are infestations of fleas or ticks.
It is so much better for your puppy, your state of mind and your pocketbook to prevent these problems. Pick a day of the month (first Monday, 15th, last day of the month, whatever) and treat your puppy for heartworm, fleas and ticks.
Your vet may recommend brands and most sell the popular brands. You also can buy them over the Internet but do check packages to ensure 1) they are not manufactured in China or India and 2) the product has not expired.
The heartworm preventive I use is Heartgard Plus which also controls against hookworms and ringworms. It’s a chewable beef-flavored tablet that I cut into four pieces. My puppy gobbles it down.
The flea and tick preventive I use – year round – is NexGard which is taken orally. My puppy has no problem chewing it.
The other health issue is good dental hygiene.
You need to brush your dog’s teeth daily and use a dental chew or toy to help prevent tartar buildup. You can use a toothbrush, finger toothbrush or dental wipes.
Be sure to use only an enzyme toothpaste such as CET Vanilla/Mint Toothpaste made for dogs. Remember, they can’t spit out a toothpaste so you must use one designed to be swallowed.
Please watch this video to see how to brush your dog’s teeth.
As you begin walk your puppy, you will need to pick up his poop. You can re-purpose your Walmart or grocery store bags or buy poop bags.
I like to use Out! 100 Count Handle Tie Waste Pick-Up Bags for Dogs because they open easily, don’t leak, minimize odor and have handles that tie securely.
Carry bags and turn them inside out to pick up the poop. Tie off and drop in the nearest trash bin.
How often you bathe your puppy will depend on where he plays and how dirty or smelly he gets. Be sure to rinse thoroughly so you don’t leave a residue of shampoo.
Use a tearless shampoo such as MagicCoat Puppy Tearless Shampoo or a soapless shampoo such as DECHRA DermaBenSS Shampoo. I use this on my puppies and dogs because I think it helps avoid allergic reactions.
Stain and Odor
There will be housetraining accidents. You must use an enzyme cleaner to get rid of poop and pee odor. If you use a regular cleaner such as ammonia, a ‘green’ or homemade one such as vinegar, you may not smell any residue odor but your dog will. That odor says to him: ‘pee here.’
The granddaddy of dog odor removers is Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover and the product I still use today. It gets rid of all my dog’s stains and odors and has not discolored or harmed any carpet or furniture.
You’ll need to experiment to find the type of toy your puppy likes best. Some like plush chew toys. Others prefer squeaky ones. Some like bouncy balls and some prefer rope toys. Test a few on your puppy.
Every puppy will chew especially as he’s teething. A good trick is to put his favorite chew toy in the freezer as the cold will help soothe irritated gums.
There’s no reason you can’t ‘trick’ your dog and give him a toy that is as good for his teeth as it is fun to play with. Nylabone is the grandfather of this concept and one of the most popular dental chew toys for small dogs is the Nylabone Pro Action Advanced K-9 Dental Device.
If you’re a dedicated Kong fan, consider the Small Dental Kong with Rope. The rope makes it easy for him to drag his toy around the house.
Just be sure to buy only small sizes and inspect his toys at least once or twice a year. If they’re coming apart, throw then away. You don’t want your puppy
to choke on a piece of broken toy.
I suspect you will be buying much more for your puppy, but these items are the necessities. Good luck.
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