So, you got a dog… or maybe you keep tagging everyone in cute dog pictures hoping someone will get the hint and give you a new pup…
Well, we got a dog. scratch that - we got a puppy. And wow, he is the most loved thing in this house but oh my were we extremely unprepared.
Over the past months we’ve been buying new things left and right seeing what we need for our new pup and I wish we could have had someone tell us all the true and tried things we would need.
(this would have saved us lots of money on failed toys and time saved reading 800 amazon reviews on dog bones)
To shop any items in this post, click HERE.
1. A Crate
This has been LIFESAVING for us. We started Cola in a crate from day 1 and now he loves his crate. It’s become a safe place for him and he refuses to pee in it so we never have to worry about him while he’s in it. This is the one we use and love, we got the biggest size because we have a feeling he’s going to be a big one.
2. Good Training Treats
We went through at least 3 bags of training treats during the first month…easily. We use these to positively reinforce all of the behaviors we want him to continue throughout the day so he is constantly getting treats. It’s important to give the small portion sizes so your pup isn’t filling up on these!
3. A Sturdy Chew
This was trial and error for us, but once we found a few that kept our dog entertained they are magic. This is the only way we can get things done at home productively while Cola is awake. I wouldn’t suggest the rawhide bones because of how difficult it is for dogs to digest rawhide. We have a few available for Cola and switch them out during the week to keep him entertained in them.
4. Beds and Blankets
Cola’s favorite place to be (other than on the couch…) is his bed! Our favorite place to purchase is at TJ Maxx/Homegoods or Amazon. They are great quality and the best prices I’ve seen. I recommend getting the bed for the size they are in that moment, not for how big they will be fully grown. I say this because dogs love to feel cuddled and protected, getting a huge bed for a little puppy can make them feel unprotected. I also recommend a smaller blanket they can push around to make things cozy. This has been helpful in traveling with Cola so we can just take the blanket and he is calm wherever we are because it smells and feels like home for him.
5. Water & Food Bowls
This is the place to save money. Trust me, there are some beautiful and expensive bowls out there, but unless you are having them on full display in your home I would go the cheap route with this. We bought two stainless steel ones at the pound when we adopted Cola and they are sturdy and easy to clean. But, just in case you have room to splurge here, I linked some of my favorite gorgeous ones too.
6. Carpet/Floor Cleaner
If you haven’t figured it out yet, your puppy or new dog is probably going to pee in your house at some point. New, older dogs pee in new places to mark their territory and puppies just pee wherever their hearts desire. Slowly but surely Cola is getting better at sitting by the door to go outside to potty, but our floors would be destroyed and smelly if we hadn’t invested in a good cleaner.
7. Collar and Leash
This was the fun part for me! We bought Cola’s collar at WagMore, a local business. I love supporting small businesses and I’m certain you can find great & fun collars at a small business near you. We were able to customize his exactly how we wanted for the same prices as the nicer ones sold at PetSmart. We bought a short leash to leash train him with for now and it has been great to not continually wrap a long leash around our hands while we walk.
When we first adopted Cola we had nothing, so naturally we went to TJ Maxx and splurged on a bunch of toys. Looking back now I’m actually glad we did this because we now know exactly which kind he loves. For us, it’s the fluffy and squeaky stuffed toys or hard balls. For others it’s the long ropes and freebees. These keep Cola occupied, and an occupied puppy is the BEST kind.
9. A Strong Candle
You may already have one, but if not…now is your time to splurge on an expensive but strong candle. It’s inevitable that your home is now going to have a little smell of puppy throughout. We used to only burn our candles for a mood, now we constantly have a few going all day long. These have helped with keeping our home smelling like a home not a kennel.
10. Shampoo and Conditioner
This is something we got the second day we had him. Unfortunately Cola had the worst dandruff (and he still does at times). On a black doggo though, it is very noticeable. I read through so many reviews and recommendations for an easy but effective shampoo and came across this one. We LOVE it and bath him at least once a week with it. His skin has improved so much and it keeps him smelling good for a while.