Happy 1 year Birthday to our sweet Vinny! We rescued Vinny at 7 weeks and really didn’t have a ton of experience with a puppy that young so we did a ton of research and tried out a lot of things, some worked, some didn’t! So I thought I would share our top 10 must have purchases for your new puppy.
Right when we decided we wanted to adopt our puppy I immediately ordered these 2 books! I actually ordered them on audio 1st and then bought the physical copies to refer back to- Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days & The Loved Dog. I love that both writers really care for dogs and believe in training them in a kind way.
Next we went shopping with not much of a list and while it was fun, it was sure was costly! Now that I know I would do a few things differently. I would definitely check Amazon for the items we needed 1st! Major saving compared to some of the local pet stores! Below are a list of our favorite purchases for your new puppy and what we would do differently the next time around. Of course every dog and owner is different but this is what worked for us!
1.SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy– Since we got Vinny so young I was worried about him missing the rest of his litter, so we gave his foster mom this stuffed animal and a few blankets a week before and had her rub them on the the other puppies to pick up their scent. Not only did it have the comforting scent of his family when we brought him home but this stuffed animal also has a pulsing heart beat and a warmer in it. Vinny loved this and slept with it for the 1st couple months! We held onto it just in case he ever gets anxiety from fireworks or thunder but luckily he hasn’t had much of a problem with that.
2. Dog Crate & Pen– We got both the crate and a fenced pen to attach to it so our puppy could not only sleep in the crate but have a small area to move around in when we were not home and he was not quite potty trained yet. We also added a cover to the crate to make it feel a little more enclosed for him. We slowly allowed him out for longer amounts of time while we were gone until we felt he no longer needed the pen (no accidents, nothing chewed up!). He also ended up not really going into his crate as he got older so we put that in storage for now too. Some dogs love their crates and I have many friends that still use them with their dogs, so it really depends on what works for you, but I am glad we started with one!
3. Comfy Bed– We got really excited and got a really nice small puppy size bed that Vinny grew out of in a couple months! Now we know to find a reasonable priced smaller bed since we’ll have to upgrade 1-2 more times as the puppy grows! Also, like people some pups can be a little picky about their beds so my mom will sometimes buy a couple different beds and see what her dogs prefer! And if you don’t want to buy multiple beds as they grow, you can add rolled up blankets for your puppy to snuggle up with and get cozy. We started off with Vinny’s bed in his crate and now keep it in that same area.
4. Food & Water bowls– There are so many cute bowls and bowls in stands! We bought one similar to this one and love it! But our sweet little puppy is a very fast eater so the vet recommended a slow feeder bowl which normally slows other dogs down but we have found a large tray works the best for him! We still have the cute stand but just for water:)
5. Collar/Harness– We started out with just a cute collar and leash but quickly learned a harness was the better way to go for our puppy. Vinny is a man on a mission when he goes outside and started trying to pull us along even when he was 12 lbs! Our obedience trainer recommended a no pull harness where the leash attaches to the front chest area and makes it hard for your dog to pull as he walks. We have found this helps quite a bit with Vinny!
6. Walking Accessories– We are pretty lucky to live in a place where there are waste bags readily available around the area, but we like to always have some on hand just in case! I just found THESE and will be ordering today! There are some pretty small convenient carriers for your bags but I like this cute bone shaped one that you can attach right to you leash. Other items that come in handy on both walks and at the dog park are these portable folding bowls and pet water bottles.
7. Grooming- Our puppy was a little scared of the bathtub at first so we found a few things to help! He figured out he is pretty peanut butter motivated so using this treat mat that suctions to the shower wall helped distract him in the tub! Also, Pet Shower Sprayer & Scrubber in-One really sped up the paw-cess. See what I did there? 😉 We try to wipe his paws after going outside with these wipes and he’s short haired but loves the feel of being brushed with this brush. Our neighbors recently had to spend hundreds of dollars on dental care for their 4 year old dog and advised us to start brushing our puppy’s teeth early so he gets used to it and we can do it often. Our vet recommended we do this daily but honestly it happens about every 2-3 days- I’m working on it! Here is the Oral Care Kit I started with but we have since upgraded to the larger size.
8. Potty Training- Somehow we got really lucky on this one! I work from home so it was easy to take him out often. We started using these potty pads and slowly kept moving them closer to the door until he would just go by the door and “honk” to go out! It’s a low, short bark that always sounds like more of a honk to me! A friend of ours actually taught her puppy to ring a bell like this when it was time to go out! We always would reward him when he would go outside and we never yell when he had an accident. They happen. There are so many good tips in the Lucky Dog Book!
9. Toys & Treats- Vinny’s favorite section! Starting out you don’t know what your puppy is going to like so we tried a little bit of everything. We got this starter kit and he loved it all! And for training we used these little treats. We also found out he has a bit of a sensitive tummy so really stick with milk bones and the occasional small piece of cheese:) He loves a bully stick and at the beginning I think it helped him not chew on other things around the house! Now that he is older he goes through them so fast so we try to find large bones, deer antlers, and toys where its like a game to figure out how to get the treat. I’ve linked them below! Kongs are still a hit too! We like to freeze peanut butter in them and use as a special treat. I also bought a lot of balls and ropes to take with us to the dog park to make friends!
10. Dog Parent Gear- There are so many great shirts and hats out there! Including ones from my shop 🙂 You are a new proud puppy parent! Yay!
Here are a few other honorable mentions for when you get a puppy!
Furbo– So fun to see what your dog does when you’re not home! And you can shoot them out treats!
Pet Travel Bag– So good for when you’re heading out on a road trip or sending your pup to a friends for the night!
Recovery Cone– I bought this for Vinny after getting fixed! Soooo cute!
Bark Box– Love this for trying out new toys and treats every month! Perfect for getting to know what your dog likes and doesn’t!
If you are getting a puppy or rescuing a dog I hope this helps! And PLEASE send pics! Again, this is just what worked for us and we are still learning for sure!
Here’s a few more pics of our sweet Vinny!