New puppy! New puppy!
What did you decide to get? Big or small? Fluffy or short haired? Does the puppy have a name yet? It’s pretty obvious that we’re as excited as you are!
Not quite ready to buy a puppy yet, but plan to in the future? Then I highly recommend checking out the Ottawa Pet Expo. Vendors are on hand to teach you everything there is to know about puppies and their specialised needs. It’s more than a shopping experience, it’s a complete learning experience too!
Now that you’ve made the decision of welcoming a fur baby into your life, it’s time to get busy shopping.
New Puppy Essentials
There’s plenty of awesome stuff you can get for your puppy, but let’s start with the basics first.
Your puppy needs a good head start to live a healthy, long life and it begins with quality dog food. Puppy food has all the essential nutrients a young dog needs such as extra calcium, protein, and even probiotics. Ask your vet or breeder about different brands and choose one that’s suitable for the size of your dog.
A note on treats: you can give your new puppy treats, but only as a reward during training. Avoid giving your dog treats just because Fido looks cute or is begging for it! Overfeeding and obesity are severe issues in dogs.
Dog bowls come in different shapes, sizes, customization, colors, and materials. The most common ones are plastic, ceramic, silicone and stainless steel. All these materials have their pros and cons, but if you want a dog bowl that’ll last a lifetime, go with stainless steel.
Stainless steel is indestructible, and your dog won’t even try to chew on it. Steel bowls are also easy to clean and bacteria resistant. According to DogLab, you should always get two bowls, one for food and one for water. Get a good-sized bowl that your puppy can grow into, but not too big!
If you want your puppy to leave the furniture and your shoes alone, get her a few toys! Stuffed, squeaky, silicone chew toys, rubber balls – it doesn’t matter. As long as the toy isn’t toxic and doesn’t pose a hazard to your new dog, such as pieces breaking off, it should be fine.
Toys you can stuff with food and puzzles are excellent training tools to help stimulate your puppy’s brain. Hold off on getting a tug toy or anything rough. Your puppy’s bones aren’t developed yet, and rough play can cause injuries.
Collar, Tag, and Leash
Just like dog bowls, there’s an ocean of collar and leash choices out there! Collars come in many different styles, designs, and colours. The important thing is that the collar is the perfect size for your puppy. Two of your fingers should fit the space between the collar and your dog’s neck. Anything other than that means it’s either too tight or too loose.
Also, get an ID tag with your information written on it (for emergencies) and a sturdy leash. Unless you own a giant breed, a harness will be too big for your new puppy so you can hold off on buying one for now.
Dog crates are excellent for potty training and giving your new puppy his own safe space. Make sure you make the crate as comfy as possible by placing a dog bed, stuffed toys, a pillow or blankets. Training your puppy to stay inside a carrier early can also help you later on when you want to take your dog on a road trip.
Crates come in many different makes and sizes – wireframe, fiberglass, and plastic. Wire crates are the most affordable, lightweight, come with adjustable dividers and can last a long time.
If you don’t like crating your dog, your other option is to use baby gates to section off your home. Gates let your puppy know where he can and can’t go when inside your house. The same rules apply here: place your puppy’s dog bed, blanket, toys and other things inside the space you make for him.
Check out the Ottawa Pet Expo
If you have a new puppy, one of the best way to learn about new products and experiences is by checking out the Ottawa Pet Expo. It’s the best shopping experience for Canadian pups. With a wide variety of vendors offering hundreds of products, you’re guaranteed to find the best puppy gear all in one place. Best of all, you can bring your dog along too!
There are a few ground rules you need to follow to make sure your pre-puppy shopping adventure goes according to plan.
Avoid Last Minute Shopping
Give yourself enough time to plan for your purchases, say a week or at least three days before the puppy arrives. You don’t want to wait until the last minute, because you may end up with a lot of things your puppy doesn’t really need!
When it comes to dog products, pet supply stores or the local supermarket should be your first stop. You can also shop online if you gave yourself enough time. Sites like Amazon and eBay have plenty of puppy products that may end up cheaper when compared to buying from the store.
Know Your Puppy
What kind of dog did you get? When shopping for essentials, you have to know the size and breed of your puppy. You don’t want to end up with a bowl meant for a Rottweiler when you’re expecting a Chihuahua.
Every item that you buy should be the correct size and scaled to fit your puppy. You should also consider that unless you own a toy dog, your puppy will grow, and fast. Think of getting items that are adjustable or convertible so you won’t have to keep on buying the same stuff.
Mi Casa, su casa
You need to make sure that your puppy will feel right at home in her new environment. Dogs need their own space where they can sleep and feel secure, like a den. A dog crate or a sectioned off part of your living room will work wonders. Note that there’s always going to be an adjustment period for new puppies to get used to their new home.
Prep your home and get all the essentials to make your puppy’s transition a smooth one.