Thursday, April 27, 2017

Prepare for Puppyhood With My 15 Item Shopping List!

My Rhodesian Ridgeback friend, Chopper, is ready for puppyhood!

This week I became inspired to advertise a convenient "Puppy Prep" shopping service for clients because with all of the nerves and excitement of bringing home that bundle of joy it's hard to concentrate on anything other than picking up your pup at the adoption site, right? Wouldn't it be great to arrive at home with all of the items ready for him or her or go shopping with a professional pet sitter who knows exactly where to go and what to buy?  

My first puppy client, Rocky, a Cairn Terrier,  in 2006!

 Please enjoy the following shopping list which was compiled from my own personal experience as a new mom of my coon hound, Daisy, and from clients who hired me to watch over their puppies over the years:

1) A size-appropriate crate (for example, a Chihuahua doesn't need an extra-large crate) that is metal rather than made of fabric because fabric crates will be destroyed easily. Should you purchase a crate that you anticipate your dog will grow into I strongly suggest you buy a divider that can be moved backwards as your pup grows.
2) A ticking clock (it has been proven that the ticking reminds pups of their mom's heartbeat) that could either be wrapped in a towel and placed within the crate, above the crate, or in the back half of the crate.
3) Classical music CD's to soothe pups while you are away.
4) Chew toy to keep them busy - I recommend a Kong Classic Dog Toy that can be filled with plain peanut butter (I recommend the all-natural brand, Teddie) or cheese.
5) A water bottle dispenser or a no-spill bowl that securely attaches to the crate (because some pups might knock over their bowl).
6) Toys - Avoid toys that have ribbons, feathers, strings, eyes, or other small parts that could fall off, be removed, chewed or eaten. I recommend EVERYTHING from the Kong company
7) Pee pads BUT I caution they not be placed inside the crate until you get to know your pup as some love to shred them!
8) Doggie playpen - An alternative to an open crate but some puppy parents like the idea of placing a crate inside the playpen area so pups have optional spots to rest and in. However, I recommend this dual option months down the road once he/ she has been trained.
9) No-pull Lupine brand harness or no-slip Martingale collar (these collars have 2 metal rings and work as a training tool, slip over their heads, and gently nudges the pup when he pulls without the fear of the collar getting loose.
10) Four or six foot leash and no longer and that includes avoiding retractable leashes which are unsafe and only encourage poor walking habits.
11) Bach's Rescue Remedy Pet drops which are known as a natural anti-anxiety product that can be administered orally or added to their water.
12) Treats -I recommend organic, grain-free soft treats or carrots but every dog has their own distinct tastes! 
13) Dog crate cover (a blanket will serve the purpose just as well as a store-bought one) to make the crate become like the sanctuary it is meant to be!
14) Dog crate bed/mat - Until your pup is fully potty trained I recommend using blankets or towels from home at first!
15) ID tags - Of the many options available I've found that the most economical ones are at the Quick Tag booth inside Walmart!

 Nellie, my dearly departed King Charles Cavalier client, preferred hamburger in her Kong rather than peanut butter!
Whether I do the shopping for you or whether you do the shopping yourself I hope this list gives you a stress-free start with your new bundle of joy!

Do you have any other go-to shopping items that I've forgotten to add to the list? Please share them! I'm sure all puppy owners would love to read about your experiences! Thank you!


  1. Excellent. We all assume when we bring a new pet into the family that we know all there is to know, what we need to get, and what we need to do. If we need any pet supplies, surely if it is sold at PetCo or PetSmart it must be the right thing and surely the "professionals" that work there can guide us correctly. Of course, it isn't until something goes wrong that we realize this is not the case. April's wealth of knowledge comes from years of experience working directly with animals as well as continuous research to keep her knowledge up to date. After all, what is safe today, may turn out to be not the case tomorrow. April worked with me and my current dog Jilly and my dear departed Sandi. Engaging April's services when getting a new puppy would be an ideal first step not only in the well being of your new puppy, but in your peace of mind as well. For example, I started with a retractable leash. I figured if PetSmart sold them, had to be safe. Right? Not. April explained to me the dangers of them and instructed me on the proper leash and collar and showed me how to fit them. In addition to her knowledge, she just seems to have a way with animals. I was assured by the shelter that my dog hated other dogs. Imagine my surprise when April sent me a photo of my dog walking happily along with her dog! I am not saying she is a miracle worker but I will say that taking advantage of her puppy prep shopping service would be a perfect first step after (or better yet, before!) welcoming your new furry family member.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and recommendation! Now I need to re-do my website and add this service onto it!
      As a person with a background in teaching it came naturally to me to share my knowledge with my clients (you included and it was a pleasure) and it is nice to see happy pups enjoying their new items whether it's a new leash, collar, walking style, etc!
      Believe it or not, before I adopted Daisy I didn't know about the advantages of a few of these items! In fact, I learned from clients who enrolled in Puppy Kindergarten classes! Their knowledge and my practicing these tips with their pups was the foundation for this blog post!

  2. Great suggestions. Look at those cuties!!
    Lily & Edward

    1. Thank you! I'm sure your mom knows all about these shopping items since you two are perfect pups! :)


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