Congratulations! Whether you’re about to bring home a bumbling puppy or an older adoptee, your life is about to be forever changed for the better. Sure, there will be chewed shoes. There will be late-night barking episodes and early-morning howling streaks. And yes, there will be accidents on the carpet.
But there will also be a madly wagging tail to greet you when you get home. There will always be a furry companion to rest in your lap or curl at your feet. And there will be endless, nonstop love, from the day you bring your dog home to the end of your dog’s life.
A few chewed shoes in return for endless love and companionship? Sounds like a fair trade, no?
But bringing home a dog is a massive life change, and it’s not without a few investments on your part. But facing a pet store alone can be a daunting task. Wee wee pads? Nylabones? Kongs? Dog beds, pillows, and stairs? Which of these do you really need?
Have no fear, new pet owners. Here’s a quick guide to what you’ll need to pick up before your new pup comes home:
Dog Doors: Which Style is Right for You?
Where are you going to put it (sliding door pet doors, screen door dog doors, pet doors for walls, and standard “in-door” doggie doors are all available)? Do you want a manual door or an electronic pet door? These are tough questions, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. Pet doors make potty training a breeze. Once your puppy gets the hang of going outdoors, you won’t find near as many accidents on your carpet, since your pup can let himself out whenever he wants.
Food and Water
Look for food bowls that come with a stand; eating off the floor will cause your dog neck strain.
Retractable leashes are handy for trained dogs, but if you’re working on leash-training, you’ll need a standard (non-retractable) leash. The reason? On retractables, dogs learn that they’ll get to go farther and faster if they start pulling. On a standard leash, pulling gets them nowhere.
The Crate Debate
If you’re going to crate-train your dog, it’s better to do it from the get-go. Contrary to popular belief, crate-training doesn’t mean locking your pet up for hours on end; rather, it gives your place a den-like space to go and be comfortable when you need to secure your dog (when you have dog-shy guests or service professionals over at your house, getting your house cleaned or painted, etc.). Instead of panicking at the thought of being in an enclosed space, dogs feel safe and secure in their “den.”
Finally, remember that toys aren’t a luxury; they’re a necessity. Imagine being pent up in a room with no iPhone, no computer, no TV, no books, nothing. You’d go crazy, right? Dogs need ways to occupy themselves just as much as you do. Puppies have natural chewing instincts, so be sure to stock up on some chewing toys or risk that puppy taking out its urge to chew on your furniture.
A Few Final Tips on Buying Pet Supplies for Your Puppy
Try to look for products that will grow with your puppy, so you won’t have to go out and buy new products when your dog becomes an adult. Lastly, remember that it’s not a good idea to take your puppy into the pet store with you. Your puppy’s immune system isn’t fully developed yet, so he won’t be equipped to handle the germs that adult dogs carry. Have patience. As soon as your puppy is fully immunized, your new furry companion will be ready to go out and enjoy the world with you.