PupPrep 101: Essential and Additional Must-Haves for First-Time Puppy Owners
1. Ex-pen (1 or 2)
If you're a first-time puppy owner, you need to get yourself an ex-pen. What's that, you ask? It's short for exercise pen or play pen. This bad boy is essential for containing your pup in a safe play area.
Listen, when you bring a new puppy home, you can't just let them roam free all willy-nilly. They'll get into everything, and you'll end up with a big mess on your hands. Plus, you gotta keep an eye on 'em to make sure they're not chewing up your shoes or peeing on your couch.
That's where the ex-pen comes in. You set it up in a designated area of your house or outside, and your puppy can play and explore without getting into any trouble.
Now, here's the deal. I'm telling you NOT to use those darn potty pads. Nope, not gonna happen. But here's what you can do. Get yourself an additional ex-pen. Yeah, you heard me right. This thing can be a lifesaver.
Get another one for outside. Use it as a dedicated potty area and you'll have your pup doing their business outside in no time. Trust me, it's way better than having them pee all over your house.
The ex-pen is a great idea to keep your puppy contained in a designated play area. Plus, you can fill it with chew toys and other entertainment to keep your pup occupied while you're away. But the real magic happens when you set up an ex-pen outside as a designated potty area. It's like creating an invisible fence for your pup. That way, your pup knows exactly where to go when nature calls, and it helps reinforce good potty habits. Just make sure to supervise your pup while they're in the outside ex-pen to ensure they don't try to make a run for it!
If you live in a spot where you gotta take your pup somewhere else than your yard or propety to do their business, the leash-as-a-guide trick is the way to go, my friend.
2. Edible Chews
If you're gonna give your pup something to chew on, don't settle for that toxic crap they sell in those big box pet stores. Get the good stuff, the real edible chews made by small batch companies who actually give a damn about your dog's health and nutrition.
So, what are these magical chews, you ask? Let me be clear, we're not talking about those weird, floppy toys that look like they're from a carnival prize booth. We're talking about real, high-quality chews that your pup can sink their teeth into without any worry. No, we're talking about real food here. We're talking about chicken wings, duck necks, bison achilles, yak and all sorts of other delicious animal parts that you wouldn't normally think to give to your dog. And the best part? These chews are actually good for your dog's health! They're packed with nutrients and protein, and they can help keep your pup's teeth clean and their digestive system running smoothly. Plus, watching your dog go to town on a chicken wing is just pure entertainment.
Check the healthy chews out at Pet Power Studio
Hey, you know what's a good thing for your puppies? Treats.
Yeah, but hold up, we're not talking about those cheap toxic treats that'll have your puppy's insides feeling like a dumpster fire. No, no, no. You want the good stuff. The pure stuff. Treats that are made from real food, freeze-dried or dehydrated to lock in all that flavor and nutrition. I like Jiminys Crickets, but hey, do your own research and find what works for you and your pup. Just remember, you are what you eat, and that goes for your new best buddy too.
4. Treat Training Fanny Pack
You know what's worse than not having treats when you're training your pup? Having the damn treats but they're all the way in the kitchen while you're in the living room, and your pup's like "where the hell are my treats, human?" That's why you need a treat training fanny pack, my friends.
Not only does it keep your treats close by so you can reward your pup for being a good boy or girl, but it's got room for all your other crap too. You got your poop bags, your ID (in case you forget who you are), your cash, your credit cards (in case you need to buy more treats), your keys, and of course, your phone that you never leave home without.
And the best part? You can take this fanny pack with you wherever you go! You can use it in the house or when you're out and about, strolling with your pup in the park. You'll never have to scramble for treats again, my friends. So get yourself a treat training fanny pack and enjoy the convenience and ease of training your pup with all your essentials right there by your side.
5. Elevated Dog Bed
If you want your dog to nail that "stay" command, you gotta get yourself an elevated training bed. Trust me, it's the real deal. This thing gives your pup a clear target to focus on, instead of just expecting them to magically know what staying in some random space means. It's like a home base that your dog can hold onto with all their might. And let me tell ya, it's worked like a charm for thousands of dogs out there.
Don't believe me? Join the Waitlist for Calming the Chaos: A Live Coaching Experience to see this concept in action so you can Give it a try and see the magic happen before your very eyes.
6. Food Bowl
When it comes to feeding your new pup, slow and steady wins the race. That's why I recommend getting a slow feeder dog bowl. But hold on, before you start dumping kibble in there, let me tell you about the Ready? Get It! Game. Yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like - you get your pup ready to listen up and then hand feed them the first portion of their meal. It's a bonding experience, and it helps teach your pup to focus on you.
Now, here's the thing - not all kibble is created equal. You can't just trust the big names like Purina. I mean, have you ever read the ingredients list? It's like something out of a horror movie. If you want a premium kibble that actually has your pup's nutrition in mind, you gotta do your research. That's where Carna4 comes in - it's one of the good ones, folks, but do your research on this. So, slow down, hand feed, and choose your kibble wisely.
7. Lick Mat
Get yourself a lick mat.
Now, I know what you're thinking. A lick mat? What the hell is that? It's simple. It's a flat mat that has small ridges and bumps on it and often has suction cups on the back.
But why is it so great? Well, for starters, it keeps your puppy busy. It gives them something to do while you're trying to get some work done or catch up on something else. And the best part? It's a natural stress reliever. Licking releases endorphins in a dog's brain that help calm them down.
But that's not all. A lick mat is also great for slow feeding. You can spread your pup's food on the mat and they have to work a bit harder to get it. This can help prevent bloating and other digestive issues. Plus, it's mentally stimulating for your pup. It gives them a bit of a challenge, and that's always a good thing.
You spread a variety of foods on it and your pup goes to town. If you're feeding raw or partially cooked food this is a great option. You can also spread a banana that's a bit too ripe on it and freeze it for some longer lick sessions.
So, if you want to keep your sanity and keep your puppy happy, get yourself a lick mat. Trust me, you won't regret it.
You can also use a lick mat to help with grooming.
Grooming your puppy can feel like a real pain in the butt. You've got a squirmy, wriggly little ball of fluff who doesn't want to sit still for two seconds, let alone long enough for you to give them a proper brushing. But here's the thing: grooming is important. You want your puppy to look and feel their best, right?
That's where the lick mat comes in. See, most puppies love to lick things. It's just a fact of life. So why not take advantage of that and use a lick mat to distract your pup while you brush them? Put a little bit of peanut butter or some other tasty treat on the mat and let your puppy go to town while you work on their fur.
Not only will this make grooming a lot easier for you, but it can also help your pup associate grooming with something positive and enjoyable. You can also introduce nail trimming using this method.
So if you're struggling to groom your puppy, give the lick mat a try. It might just be the trick you've been looking for. And hey, worst case scenario, if your pup still won't sit still, at least they'll have a tasty snack to enjoy while they squirm.
8. Water Bowl
Ever read what's in tap water these days? Your puppy deserves better than that! Get them some fresh, clean water, and I'm definitely not talking about the stuff that comes out of the faucet. You ever taste that stuff? It's gross! Your dog deserves better than that. Give them filtered water, like you would drink yourself.
And listen, water affects the pee cycle, okay? So pay attention to when your puppy is drinking and make sure you take them out for potty breaks accordingly. And here's a pro tip: pick up the water bowl by 7 pm if you don't want to be getting up multiple times in the middle of the night to let your pup out. Trust me, nobody wants that.
9. Grooming Supplies
If you've got a puppy, you gotta have some basic grooming supplies on hand. Here's what you need:
First up, you need a soft-bristled brush and a comb to keep your puppy's coat looking great and prevent any pesky matting. But make sure to choose ones that work well with your pup's coat type.
Next on the list is a pair of nail clippers or a dog dremel. You gotta keep those nails trimmed to avoid any discomfort or injury. And don't skimp on the quality - make sure you get the right size and type for your pup.
Of course, you gotta keep your pup clean and smelling fresh, so get yourself a gentle, puppy-specific shampoo and conditioner. And don't forget to have a few towels on hand for drying your pup after a bath or a romp in the rain.
Last but not least, you need some ear cleaner. I recommend mixing apple cider vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio and using a cotton cleaning pad.
And hey, don't forget to introduce your pup to these grooming supplies slowly and positively. Use treats and praise to make it a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
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