Monday, April 29, 2013

Puppy Supply List

There are a lot of doggie supply lists floating around online.  But I never found a really comprehensive list that includes everything you actually need to make life with a new dog as easy and awesome as possible.  And chances are, if you have a new puppy, making multiple trips to the store is not on your agenda.  There are a few things that I didn't see on most lists that are absolute necessities, or that I'm really glad I purchased (sling, carseat, first aid, food storage, stain/odor remover, poop does no one mention poop bags?)  I did almost all of my shopping through Amazon, which was convenient and nifty.  I especially liked being able to check the reviews for safety concerns, etc.  Below is my final shopping list, and then a rundown of what products I chose.

Arya's Puppy Supply List

Keeping Puppy Safe/Healthy/Comfy
Name tag
Puppy björn/sling
Dog carseat
Dog first aid kit
Anti-chewing spray
Heartworm/flea and tick prevention
Dog safety manual

Dog bowls
Dog food
Food storage container
Food scoop
Can lids
Treat dispenser
Doggie doorbell
Training books

Dog shampoo
Rubber bath mat
Dog brush
Grooming wipes
Grooming spray
Dog toothbrush/toothpaste
Dog nail clippers
Paw protectant
Stain/odor remover
Poop bags/dispenser
Pee pads
Paper Towels
Trash bags

What I bought

Keeping Puppy Safe/Healthy/Comfy

Crate: Midwest iCrate, all the way (selected at the suggestion of my brother-in-law).  This was my first puppy purchase.  Portable, versatile, easily cleaned.  We are thinking Arya will be around 20 lbs.  She was 8 lbs when we picked her up.  We got the 24"x18"x19" crate, which comes with a divider to make the crate space smaller for your puppy.  I actually bought two crates...this was due to misunderstanding/overkill on my part, but it worked out.  I knew that my sister and brother-in-law's dog had a living room crate and a bedroom crate.  It turne our they had to get a sturdy plastic crate for air travel once, and this ended up turning into their dog's bedroom crate.  Before that, I think my brother-in-law moved the crate back and forth between living room and bedroom.  I'm glad I went with two crates.  I have slightly different supplies in each.  There is a waterbottle in her living room crate, where she'll stay when we leave her crated during the day.  There is a little more bedding in her nighttime crate, plus a special wolf toy (yes, Nymeria).  She responds to her crate cue appropriately depending on what room of the house we're in (yay contextual cues!)

Bedding/towels/shirts: I started looking into dog beds, but since I knew we'd be working on housetraining for a while, I decided to wait. I took an old 4'x6' fleece blanket and cut it into 4 pieces. She is very happy with these or with towels or t-shirts lining her crate. I put some of the fleece pieces and some old t-shirts in bed with us the night before we got her to give them some soothey hu-man scents.  After I wash one, I usually have Lee rub it on his head or I'll sit on the couch with it for a bit to re-scent it.  I also grabbed a set of three 36 inch "pet towels."  The texture is kinda weird, but they've been useful.

Babygate: We got a North States Supergate to partition off a doorless den.  We were still moving in, and this room was filled with boxes and various other hazards.  We didn't actually install it in the wall, we just held it in place with some boxes.  One BIG world of advice--baby friendly doesn't necessarily mean dog friendly.  I'd avoid accordion style gates, and anything else where a puppy's head might get stuck.

Collar: This was the first collar I found that seemed like it would be small enough, and it has fit well so far.  Lupine also has some great options.

Leash: Lupine has a nice assortment of patterns for both leads and collars (we got a 6 foot, 1/2 inch lead).  It's been very durable (and the products are guaranteed by the company, even if they are destroyed by chewing, which is pretty cool).

Name tag: I wanted to get Arya an ID tag to provide some contact info. before we got her license and got her microchipped.  I'd been thinking that there must be geeky pet products out there on the internet, and quickly discovered a little corner of Etsy that my husband and I have dubbed Petsy.  We got an awesome Direwolf tag with Arya's name and our phone number from id4pet.  Arya could get the small size in her mouth when we first put it on her, so we switched to the teacup size for now.  Catt kindly gave it to me at her discounted, "additional tag" price.

Harness: Arya's foster mom recommended getting a harness for longer walks since Arya was so small (a collar and leash have been fine for short trips/bathroom breaks).  We tried a small Puppia at first.  I liked the softness, but I had trouble getting it off her head and I felt like it still pulled on her neck when we walked.  We recently got an EzyDog and we're digging it.  She likes to chew it, which can make it a little hard to put on and she chewed on the chest plate while wearing it the first time, but this has stopped.  It is a skosh big for her right now (~11 lbs) but it's been working well and it's very nice for longer walks.

Puppy sling/björn: I never thought I'd carry a dog around in a sling.  But I also had no idea how many doggie diseases there are until we adopted Arya.  Her foster Mom recommended that until she was fully vaccinated we carry her around in a puppy björn. It didn't take too much to talk me into this. Arya is pretty long and I wasn't sure if a paws-out björn would fit her.  So I opted for the Alfie sling.  We leave it lying around on the floor now that we've stopped using it to carry her, and she'll sometimes curl up in it and take a nap.

Dog carseat: I knew we'd be driving a lot with Arya, so I really wanted her to have good early car experiences.  For the first 3-4 weeks, she was in someone's lap or in this Solvit Booster Seat for every car ride.  And she got lots of treats.  At first I put the seat in the front when Lee wasn't there and tightened the strap to make the seat fairly high so she could see her surroundings (my husband and I both get carsick very easily, but being able to see out a window easily helps a lot). Arya has done really well in the car. As she's gotten bigger and braver, she's started to jump out and explore.  So I hung the booster off a backseat, lower down, so she could easily jump in and out.  Now she goes right to it when she jumps in the car.  I didn't like the idea of leashing her to the seat, and I never have.  She's never gotten in my driving space, and usually sleeps in the booster seat if she's not in a passengers lap.

Anti-chewing spray: I was a little hesitant about buying a chew deterrent.  I'm not super attached to my furniture.  But chewing makes me nervous about safety.  I didn't want Arya to get shocked by a cord or swallow a couch staple.  So we bought some Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray, and it has worked great.  She rarely chews on couches or cords now.

Heartworm/flea and tick prevention: I purchased these from my vet.  Arya's foster mom also recommended or for cheaper supplies, but you'll need a prescription for the heartworm prevention.

Dog first aid kit: This was one of my last purchases...I didn't see it on many lists.  I got a kit full of items that would probably work just as well for humans for the most part (there are a lot of kits available on amazon, including this Lixit kit which has a lid that can be used as a bowl).  I think a smart addition to any kit would be some wound gel.

Dog safety manual: I grabbed the "Safe Dog Handbook" by Melanie Monteiro.  I haven't read it cover to cover, but it has been a great resource for researching different concerns that arise.


Dog Bowls: Foster mom recommended stainless steel bowls.  We bought some durabolz at PetSmart--a quart bowl for her water and a 2 cup bowl for her food (she was 8 lbs when we got her...I just eyeballed and these seemed like good sizes).  I also later purchased a travel bowl, which I keep in my purse or the car.  These are awesome.  This one comes in a 3 cup size or a 1 cup size.  You don't get to chose color, but dogs care not for your gender constructs.

Crate Water: Initially I got a glass water bottle for the crate where Arya will stay when we're out.  It driped a fair amount and was a pain to clean.  So I now use this hanging bowl when we'll be gone for a longer period of time.

Dog food: Foster mom was feeding VeRUS Puppy Advantage Chicken, Oats, and Brown Rice Dry Food, so that's what we grabbed, and we're still using our first bag.  I'll probably stick with this until she's 6 months...haven't looked into other options too much.  Every few feedings I wet it down a little bit (with water, or tasty broth if we have any).  A couple times when she's been in a lot of teething pain, I've really wet it down really thoroughly. UPDATE: When she his 6 months, we switched to Natural Balance. It was founded by Dick Van Patten!

Food storage container: I got a storage container for her dry food a few weeks in, after reading that it's a good idea in the Safe Dog Handbook.

Food scoop: Also got a scoop, just to make life easier, and avoid using our own cooking supplies.

Can lids: We don't use wet food for Arya, but I've played with different canned items for stuffing her Kong toy (pineapple chunks, etc.). And when we only use a couple spoonfuls at a time, it's nice to have a way to preserve the can for a few more days.  I didn't know lids like this existed until foster mom mentioned it...I'll probably get some for us to use in the kitchen, too. Very useful.

Treat dispenser:  Kong.  It looks like a sex toy (and, oddly enough, it will buy you 15 minutes of peace and quiet on a Sunday afternoon, even with a very needy puppy).  I got the medium puppy size...I think I could have gone even smaller.  I may also try Buster Cube, Squirrel Dude, or Atomic Treat Ball at some point.  But my main goal is to entertain her in the crate, and with kibble/small treat toys a few pieces of kibble tend to fall outside her crate, and I think this winds her up when she can't reach them.

TreatsZuke's Mini Naturals are one of my favorite finds.  They are the only treat we've used (we also sometimes use pieces of kibble for a reward, or scraps fed from the kitchen, not the table). They are small, moist, and perfect for clicker training.  They do dry out if left open, so I usually carry around handfuls in ziplock bags.  I've used the Peanut Butter, Wild Rabbit, and Roasted Chicken. I haven't gotten the Salmon because I'm worried they'd smell a bit fishy.   I use different flavors for different training tasks (crate skills, housetraining, etc).  I'm convinced that the Peanut Butter sped along our housetraining by a LOT. As far as other treats go....I read some reviews of Greenies that made me cringe (worms in the box? Meh). Rawhide also scares me.  I got a real bone and planned to put peanut butter in it, but the inside was very coarse/gristly, and I was worried she's cut he tongue going at it.  Zuke's all the way!  As for filling the Kong, I'd recommend good old Peanut Butter, Kong Stuff N Paste Liver, and then mix in some kibble or Zuke's.

Clickers: Fun for the whole family.  Really speed the training process along.

Doggie door bell: This has been working well for us so far (more on housetraining to come).

Toys: We bought a bunch.  If you get a puppy, that puppy should have a handful of appropriate toys to chew on AT ALL TIMES.  Fun fact: no matter how much money you spend on toys, a stick and a wet/frozen washcloth will be more popular any day.  Here are her top 5 toys that we actually purchased, and didn't pull from a tree or rag drawer:

Rope Bear: There are 5 rope strands just flailing around on this thing right now, but threads don't come loose too often.  It seems safe and it's been kind of fun to watch it slowly unravel.

Hagen Dogit Octopus: Plush and tug of war in one! One suction cup opened up, and I removed the stuffing.  Otherwise, it's holding up pretty well.

Nyla Bone: Definitely her favorite harder chew toy.  Very durable.  We have purchased several of the petite, in multiple flavors.  She usually chews on it before falling asleep (if she doesn't have a stick).

GoDog Mini Road Kill Wolf: She loves this one.  It has a squeaker and a crinkle tail.  But mostly she loves it because it lives in her nighttime crate and that's the only time she sees it. Bonus: named it Nymeria for themey goodness

GoDog Dragon: Whoa, I just realized while writing this that her wolf toy and dragon toy (her two favorites) are both made by GoDog.  Yay them!  And it looks like they have Zombies...we'll definitely be getting some more toys from these guys.  The dragon also has a squeaker and a crinkle tail.  It seems very durable for a dog of her size/temperament.  These toys have "chew guard technology."  They are double seamed.  No fuzz leakage or concern about her getting to the squeakers so far (we had a bigger crinkle toy but it ripped open after a week). The nice size means she can easily make it squeak (not the case with larger squeaker toys for her).  Bonus: the dragon is also awesome and themey.

Books: "Reaching the Animal Mind" by Karen Pryor and "On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals" by Turid Rugaas.  I've only Skimmed Pryor's book so far, but I'd read "Don't Shoot the Dog" previously, which is a nice intro into the philosophy of positive reinforcement training.  I finished Rugaas' book during a DMV/MVA nightmare. It's short, and has some nice insight into animal body language.


Dog shampoo: I've been using Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe.  The smell is pretty good.  Arya had a little puppy dandruff when we got her, and it seems to have gotten better. 

Rubber bath mat: I got this to help stabilize her in the bath and make it less slippery/scary.  I have wound up just carrying her into the shower, so it hasn't seen much use.

Dog brush: This will vary depending on your dog's coat.  Arya has a wirey coat.  Eventually we'll look into professional grooming/stripping.  I got a smallish bristle brush for now for use at home.

Grooming wipes: Again, I got Earthbath.  Great for spot cleaning.

Grooming spray: I tried one that was way too strong for me (and didn't last long), and hated it.  But I just got Hartz Groomers Best Waterless Shampoo, and it's great.  Fun fact: if your puppy is really cute, she will smell like perfume from all the random fancy ladies that come up to you in the street and ask to pet her.

Dog toothbrush/toothpaste: Yeah, so apparently, these exist.  I got peanut butter flavored toothpaste.

Dog nail clippers: Apparently these also exist.  Don't jump in without reading a bit about nail grooming first!  I started by taking off just a tiny bit of nail off to get her used to them.

Paw protectant: Not gonna lie--I love massaging her paws.  Musher's Secret seemed like a great option to soothe/moisturize.  

Stain/odor remover: I started with a bottle of Nature's Miracle, and it's my favorite enzymatic stain remover so far.  I recommend getting a spray bottle and a refill bottle (or two) to start.  I also ordered a couple bottles of Kids N Pets, which is almost the same formula, but they didn't arrive until a few days after we picked Arya up, so I grabbed the Nature's Miracle instead.  I just ran out and started using the Kids N Pets.  It seems to be almost the same formula, but I don't like the smell as much.  I also noticed that there is a Petastic brand which claims that it invented the original Nature's Miracle formula, and that Nature's Miracle stopped using this forumla in 2003.  It's also well reviewed on Amazon, but less widely used.  Nature's Miracle has gotten he job done nicely for me.

Poop bags/dispenser: We started with the Lavender Scented Earth Rated bags, and their dispenser.  The dispenser works fine.  We don't love the scented bags, and they are really hard to open.  The Earth Rated Unscented bags are our favorite so far, and they open a lot more easily, but I've only been able to find them in a 4 pack.  I recently got 16 rolls of these, which were way cheaper--they don't have a cardboard core, so they don't roll as well, but that makes it easier to tear them off.  First bag tore when I took the tape off, but they seem easy to separate.

Pee pads: We weren't going to grab any of these.  But, as my housetraining post will detail, it became a good idea.  I bought two EZwhelp pads.

Paper Towels: I've gone through a lot more of these in the last month than usual (and we use a LOT).

Trash bags: I've also gone through a lot more of these than usual in the last month. 

Rags: Have rags?  Great! You'll have plenty of chances to use them with a new puppy.

Oh my...there were not nearly enough photos near the end there.  Here you go:

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