Puppy's Firsts: Basic Things you Need for your Dog
So now that you have your first (or second, or third, or millionth!) dog, it's time to raise him with a whole lot of love!
Just a few bare necessities:
- Puppy Crate (for initial crate training)
- Puppy Bed (possibly blankets, for the colder months)
- A few Awesome toys (especially for teething in the young ones)
- Healthy Food (bite size puppy kibble preferably)
- Food bowl (we found a good basic dual food and water bowl at Target)
- Water bowl
- Puppy Shampoo (puppy safe, less fragrance, less irritants is better)
- Collar (measure his neck for the perfect size)
- Leash (a good one, not too long, not too short, lightweight and easy to clip)
- Poop Bags (if your neighborhood doesn't provide any, you can easily find some on Amazon or at your local pet shop)
These are the basic essentials for your new found family member. You can easily spoil them with things like clothes and more toys later.. but this should be a great starting point. We took Eggy to our local California retailer Healthy Spot, which offers exceptional customer service (they always remember Eggy!) and offer the best advice. The minute we took Eggy into the store, and plopped him onto this Jax & Bones bed, he was out for the count. You could literally see the little zzz's next to his cartoon-like body. He laid down so still, we knew this was THE bed for him. We often used the same bed to transport him on car commutes, in the back seat, and somehow this bed basically became his little car seat. He found comfort in this bed like no other. Hopefully your dog will love the bed you choose for them just as much. Most dogs don't really complain, but if you can find that perfect fit to keep your dog safe and snug, it's worth every penny.
A dog of MANY beds...
Of course, later down the road, we experimented with tons of other little dog beds. Truth be told some people spoil their pets with toys or treats, we tend to spoil him with beds! He enjoyed his fun new Casper bed for some time, and uses that whenever we leave the house as his "safe-spot". We believe since my husband had initially taken the time as a puppy to crate train him, Eggy finds his "safe-spot" and generally stays put while we're out of the house. He doesn't roam or do anything crazy while we're gone. He knows to just lay down in his comfy bed until his parents come home. In fact, if I simply utter the phrase, "OK Eggy we'll be right back", Eggy will head straight towards his safe-spot bed and plop down for a little siesta.
Eggy also has what we call his living room couch bed. We tend to hang out in the living room the majority of the day. Eggy typically splits his time to cuddle with us on the couch, and ultimately winds up independent in his own extra bed besides our living room couch. This particular therapeutic bed (with Memory Foam!) from LL Bean has comfortable rests on the side which he uses to prop his head and comfortably watch TV. We love beds with the removable bolsters and fabric covers so that you can keep the bedding washed and clean.
At his grandparents' house, Eggy gets spoiled with a giant Love Sac bean bag which can easily fit a whole human - but Eggy gets it all to himself. He does not hesitate to hop up on the Love Sac and sink in for a little slumber.
I guess you can say, we learned early on that our little boy was a champion sleeper. He sleeps very well through the night. We credit some of that to the dedicated crate training from when he was a tiny pup. He doesn't wake up to do any bathroom breaks in the middle of the night. He will sleep from as early as 10PM and wake up the next morning around 7AM. This is great because eventually f you can train your dog to understand that night is for sleeping, they'll be able to control their bowel movements and follow the same sleep schedule as their fellow human beings.
Please note this part doesn't just happen overnight. Young puppies naturally have to take multiple pee breaks a night, and eventually they can go longer with less breaks. My husband was extremely patient and steadfast in crate training him. I'll have my husband tell you more about how the crate training stage goes, but I will say he slept less than I did, to help his little boy learn the ropes.
Back to the Basics
I digress. As long as you have the basics mentioned above you should be good to go. Of course as your puppy grows up, you'll have to change things up to fit his needs, perhaps a larger food bowl, larger bed, larger collar, adult food, etc. You'll be able to spoil your pup as much as you want - we still do. The only reason we stopped buying him beds is we ran out of room. He has a bed in every room in our house, since he follows us into each room and plops down beside us. As long as you provide your dog a comfy bed to rest and charge back up, that's all that truly matters. I broke the rule of no dogs in our human bed before the rule even started. Eggy sleeps in our bed whenever he pleases which pretty much means every night. Quite possibly one of the most rewarding feelings in the world is snuggling up next to our little hot pocket of heat.
Just know when you're buying your dog necessities to do some research. We'll get into topics about specific food, treats, toys, and more in future posts. Just know it's worth it to read reviews and test items out if possible.