Puppy in the House
Everything (well almost everything) you need to get started raising your pup.
What you need to know, what you need to have...
Training a puppy should be a memorable and enjoyable experience. Puppies are absolutely wonderful. Not a spiteful bone their bodies, only curiosity, inexperience and a mastery of the here and now. Respect your puppy for its “puppy-ness” . Gently teach your pup your strange human ways: things like “Come” when he is having a perfectly good time doing something else; “No Jumping” when greeting people... a totally natural way for dogs to great EACH-OTHER; “ own” when he is neither tired or chewing on something or even sillier: “Don’t touch” when there is a perfectly good 3 day old piece of salami or electrical cord on the ground…
Please remember you are dealing with a BABY who has been on this planet for less than 4 months. They don’t really know anything for sure! Above all enjoy your puppy like a PUPPY, not a dog, but a puppy!
If you have a puppy you should also have a subscription to The Whole Dog Journal. It is our #1 source for the latest and most trusted information on puppy and dog food, care and training. Seriously there is no better journal than The Whole Dog Journal!
Crate Kennel and Exercise Pen (X-pen):
Make sure it's only big enough for your puppy to stand and turn around. Used for housebreaking, traveling and training, these doggie caves will give your pup a feeling of security and a quiet retreat when its time for a nap. Line it with a washable mat and/or a few blankets to make it cozy and warm (though keep in mind, some puppies run hot and prefer a cooler, hard surface).
Foldable wire pens are a great way to give your puppy extra space while still confining them. This is an area used for long term confinement, when crating is not appropriate. Puppies may chew through cloth pens, so stick to the wire ones.
Stain and Odor Remover:
This is the item most often forgotten until your puppy has an accident. Nature's Miracle, Anti-Icky Poo, and Max Enzyme, Fizzion are a few product options that will eliminate odors and stains with enzymes, and ensure your puppy won’t be drawn back to the same spot by the odor or drive away visitors! Other household cleansers will not work. You need a concentrated bacteria/enzyme formula..Once applied to the urine contaminated area, the enzymes are activated and begin multiplying. The odor-causing urine cells are their food source. The enzymes literally consume the odor-causing cells until they are gone. When the food source is completely gone, the bacteria die and enzyme production stops.
A Variety of Chews & Toys:
Puppies have an urgent desire to investigate with their mouths so it’s important to keep them interested and busy. Bring out a few items at a time to promote self entertainment and prevent boredom--and the destruction of your favorite shoes and furniture. On the chew side, SmartyPup! recommends digestible chews including bully sticks, beef tendons, raw marrow bones (2-4” for puppies), dried trachea.Another great place to buy bones? Check out SFRAW. No rawhides or smoked bones! Chunks can break off and get caught internally. Plus, formaldehyde and other chemicals like arsenic are often used to treat, bleach and tan them, eiw! On the toy side, we like hard rubber toys for hard chewers, plush toys or squeak toys for less aggressive chewers. Tip: You can also try sterilized bones stuffed with canned dog food (or other healthy foods) or a Kong toy. Trivia: Dogs that start raw bones when they are young have the cleanest teeth, freshest breath--no need for brushing teeth in most cases!
And we mean a LOT of them. Look for healthy, additive-free treats like Scrappy, Jeffrey's locally made chicken, pork, turkey and beef jerky, freeze-dried liver, K9 Magic, cheese, all-natural hot dogs - like Let's Be Frank, beef jerky, leftover meats, etc. Look for products that are not imported from far away places. Soft treats that don't crumble easily are best. While we use a lot of food rewards (one of the many life rewards used in training) in the beginning, our goal is to phase out food rewards quickly (you will always use food as a reward but we want to make sure you use "life rewards," too). In training, novelty is paramount... surprise your pup with a delicious treat he has never before sampled. And don't forget a pouch to put them in for training on walls!
Leash, Collar and id tag:
2 or 3 thin 6-foot nylon or leather lead is best. Please, please, please, please... absolutely no flexi-leashes. Not only are they dangerous (have you read the disclaimer included with the packaging about finger amputation and strangulation?!), they also teach your pup to walk like a defective yo-yo. Adjustable collars are best for growing puppies, and for small dogs both a collar and a harness is preferred. Tip: For pups that will grow to be bigger dogs, a Gentle Leader Head Harness is highly recommended; for dogs of all sizes a Sense-Ation No-Pull Body Harness is recommended.
Just like a diaper bag for a baby, you should have a designated puppy pouch! It should come with you on every outing you take with your pup, and in it you should have enough room to carry some extra special treats for training, plastic bags, a chew item, your house keys and maybe even a small camera for those extra special puppy moments! One of our favorite places to find a bag with your own personal style is the Sports Basement.
Interactive Puzzle Toys:
These toys will keep your pup engaged and develop their problem-solving skills. Don't just feed your pup his meal in a bowl! Use an interactive food dispenser....Give him fun things TO DO and teach him to entertain himself! Think Rubics cube, SODUKU and Angry Birds for puppies! Or DIY - make your own. Empty plastic containers of yoghurt, peanut butter, butter, cream cheese, etc... Fill a empty water bottle with a few treats. Place a few treats underneath a clear tupperware container! Watch the games begin and your puppy THRIVE!
Where to shop!
Of course you can find all of these products on Amazon... but lets get local and support or neighborhood pet stores. We are very lucky in San Francisco to have lots of places to choose from for our puppies needs. A few places we know of that will always have the relevant puppy gear are:
Food: What should I feed my puppy?
Now THIS is like talking religion and politics... an argument no one will ever win. So here is our opinion!
Do your homework when it comes to your dog's nutrition! We strongly recommend a fresh, healthy diet that incorporates a variety of types of foods. The less processed the better. How do you know what is best... a great online resource Whole Dog Journal. We also think the world of Dr. Pitcairn's book Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.
- Premium Canned Dog Food great alternative to dry food and really great for Kong stuffing.
- Our preference... raw, freeze dried, and cooked diets. Variety is the best thing you can do for your puppy dog.
- Premium Dry Dog Food (kibble) - look for whole ingredients where corn or wheat is not the first ingredient. There are soooo many brands out there. One word of advice - if it is advertised on television, don't buy it. SmartyPup! opinion.