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Bringing a new puppy home is fun and exciting but if you want a well behaved puppy that doesn’t pee on your rug, chew your shoes and bark all night, you need to have these 6 must have’s on hand. Neglecting to plan ahead can create bad habits that take a long time to reprogram, so go shopping before the puppy comes home.
Here is what you need.
1. Crate The crate has many purposes and can be used throughout your dog’s life. When a puppy is young, 8 weeks – 20 months, the crate is the best place for him to sleep at night. This prevents the puppy from peeing on the rug in the middle of the night while you sleep. You will need to let your puppy out to eliminate in the middle of the night until he can hold it the entire night. Note: The crate is not for discipline or used to punish a dog, in fact the puppy should love his crate.
2. X-pen An ex-pen is similar to a playpen for babies. An ex-pen is a safe place for the puppy when he can’t be supervised. The ex-pen can be moved but needs to be in a room where the family relaxes. Water, toys and a stuffed Kong inside the pen can keep the puppy entertained. It can also be used when the puppy is home alone by giving the puppy room to walk around, play and sleep.
3. Chew Toys When puppies are born they cannot see, hear or walk, the only thing they can do is use their mouth. Appropriate chew toys must be provided to keep the puppy from chewing on the furniture. Bully sticks and stuffed Kong’s kept my puppy entertained and stimulated. When she was done with them she took long naps (chewing and licking is exhausting).
4. Interactive Toys Dogs were designed to hunt for their food, not eat it out of a bowl. Providing toys that dispense food and using them during feeding time not only simulates hunting, but provides mental stimulation that will tire your puppy out.
5. Collar, Harness and Leash A collar and tags are the best way to find a lost puppy. No one plans to have a puppy dart out the front door, but being prepared is the best step. Dogs and puppies should be walked on a harness. A harness prevents medical issues such as a collapsed trachea and back problems that show up later in life. Start with an inexpensive harness until you pup is full-grown. Not all harnesses are created equal, so do your homework or email us for our favorite.
6. Quality Food Dog food is a topic all on it’s own, but the best thing to do is read the ingredient label on the food. If there are too many ingredients you can’t pronounce then pass it up. Things such as, chicken, chicken liver, chicken heart, peas, carrots, rice, should be the first ingredients. Foods with a lot of grain can create a hyper puppy so do your homework before you choose a food.