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I always knew that I loved animals, but I never realized that one of the greatest joys in my life would be welcoming our sweet dog Chloe into our family. As wonderful and lovable and perfect as the is, the first few months of her life were NOT easy. Honestly, I never realized just how much work a little puppy could be! Although Chloe is a small breed I firmly believe it takes a ton of time and effort to train a well-behaved dog regardless of their size. It also takes certain supplies to make the job easier!
What will you Need?
Below are the five most useful items we had when bringing Chloe home. There are a ton of additional items you could also purchase, but these 5 things are the ESSENTIALS. These are the things that we found to be the most useful and the items you definitely don’t want to be without. If you bring home your puppy and you don’t have one of these, you’ll be sending someone out to the store to get it for you ASAP.
Item #1: Baby Gates
If you have carpet, really nice furniture, or simply a room that you don’t want your dog to enter you need to invest in baby gates. I highly recommend gates that are easy to open with one hand! We were staying with my parents when Chloe joined our family. We sectioned off their house so that she was contained to the main living area at all times. Not only does this keep accidents at bay, but also allows you to make sure your puppy isn’t getting into anything dangerous when you aren’t looking.
Item #2: An Adjustable Crate & Padded Insert
You want to make sure that you start crate training your little pup right off the bat to get him or her comfortable with their “safe haven.” The size of your crate will depend on the size of your dog, but remember, they like to be cozy. In the beginning it is especially important that they have a tiny area to nestle in to. Otherwise, they may run off to the corner of their crate and do their business. Most dogs will not go to the bathroom where they sleep. Hence the small space. We found that buying an adjustable option was very cost effective and allowed us to use the same crate as Chloe continued to grow. It’s still her favorite place to be.
Item #3: Soft harness and leash
In the beginning, the safest way to take your dog outside is with a leash. Since Chloe was so tiny when we brought her home we decided that a harness was a better option than the traditional dog collar. Placing her in a harness gave us more control over her movements but didn’t put extra strain on her tiny little neck. A leash is a no brainer. Even if you allow your dogs to roam free, having a leash is always essential in case of an emergency.
Item #4: Training Treats
There are so many options when it comes to dog treats. You can literally stand in the dog food aisle and stare at each brand for hours wondering which to try. We decided we wanted to get the most natural treats possible and keep it low calorie.
Why so specific? In the beginning you will be rewarding your dog for almost everything he or she does. Every time they go to the bathroom appropriately. Every time they sit, heal, or listen to the word “no.” Every time they get in their crate….the list goes on. If your puppy is going to be consuming a LARGE amount of treats, it’s best to keep small, low calorie options on hand. This will (hopefully) prevent you from worrying about a belly ache or unhealthy weight gain in the first few weeks. Training treats are still Chloe’s favorite snack. If she knows she’s getting one, she’ll do whatever you ask!
Item #5: Chew Toy
The size of your puppy will help you determine what chew toys are appropriate. For a small dog we only needed a miniature rubber bone and a stuffed animal. This may seem like a frivolous purchase but I truly believe it’s necessary. Puppies, (just like babies) are mischievous. They love to explore and chew like crazy! As a dog owner, it’s not really fair to get angry with your puppy for chewing on your favorite shoes if you don’t have something else for him or her to try. Having a fun, exciting chew toy for your dog to focus on will help save your most valuable possessions. The chew toy we purchased for Chloe when she came home is still her very favorite!
The one essential I didn’t include in this list is dog food. I felt that it was a self explanatory item and therefore did not require any additional explanation!
What do you think?
Despite all of our shortcomings as new dog owners, we ended up figuring it out along the way. With these 5 items, a lot of training and few mental breakdowns we managed to end up with the sweetest, most lovable little companion we could ever ask for. She’s our favorite and we wouldn’t trade her for the world.
What items did you find were essential when bringing home your puppy? Do you have any items you would add to this list? Please share with me!