If you have a new puppy at home then you know there is a lot of equipment needed in order to care for it! Beds, leashes, food, toys, crate, collar. It can be a bit daunting if it is your first puppy. Just like gadgets for humans, equipment for your dog is ever changing and new products are coming out all the time. Here is a guide to help you figure out the right tools for the job!
Finding the right collar and leash for your dog is something a lot of people overlook.
Some owners mistakenly buy training collars like choke chains or prongs as their puppy’s everyday collar. These are training tools meant to be worn temporarily as these collars can be a choking hazard if the dog is left unattended and can cause fur discoloration from the metal chains.
A flat collar is the best collar to buy for everyday wear for a new puppy. They are most often made from nylon and simply snap on with an adjustable buckle.
A martingale is a training collar as well but contains only a small piece of chain that is safer if your pup wears it frequently.
Harnesses can be useful if you own a small breed with trachea issues like a pug. It takes the pressure off of the dog’s neck. However dogs may resist the leash and it may be more challenging to walk properly with your dog as you don’t have control of the head.
A typical leather or nylon leash is perfect for a new puppy. If you are training them to walk beside you on a leash (not pull or lag) then this is the leash for you.
If you have a leash chewer, you can also pick up a chain leash. These leashes can sometimes be heavy and cumbersome and sensitive dogs might be afraid of the sound.
Extendable leashes are also an option. As a trainer however I have to say that they aren’t the best leash for teaching your dog to walk properly beside you as these leashes promote wandering during walks. If you don’t mind allowing your dog to wander ahead of you on a walk then this could be your leash. Do be careful with this one though. The snap back can be painful, dropping the leash isn’t easy with a cumbersome handle, and make sure to never wrap the cord around your fingers unless you want to lose them!
As a dog trainer I am an advocate of crate training your dog. Crating promotes structure and a calm dog if done correctly. It’s their private den for them to relax in and it’s a great training tool.
Some people think of a crate like jail but to a dog it’s more of a private room they can feel safe in so long as you introduce them to their crate properly. Read online about crate training and talk to a trainer before just stuffing your dog in a crate the first time. You want to make it a good experience!
Having your dog sleep in bed with you can cause a lack of sleep (for you and the dog) as well as resource guarding. If you find you are seeing these issues come up then maybe reevaluate the bed situation.
Giving Fido his own bed outside of a crate can be good too as long as he isn’t getting into to trouble while unattended. Some dogs will become destructive if left to their own devices. Wall chewing, furniture chewing, peeing indoors and barking are just some of the things your pup can be doing in the middle of the night while you are sleeping.
Food and Treats
Finding the right food can be difficult. Companies give you some many options now; it’s hard to know what’s right for you and your dog.
Do your research before buying any brand or type of food. Many dog food companies even offer tours of their facilities so you can see what goes on behind the scenes. Check out dogfoodanalysis.com to read reviews of common dog foods and read my blog post “5 Tips on Reading Pet Food Labels” so you know what quality of food you are getting.
Stick to a food formulated for your dog’s age and make sure to follow the feeding instructions on the bag.
When purchasing treats for your dog, be sure to stay away from anything that is too fatty, especially for puppies. They can get diarrhea easily. Small, easy to break treats are great for training and you will spend less by making them last longer!
Avoid raw hide as a treat as it is usually chemically treated and can swell in your dog’s stomach if they bite off too big of piece and never leave your dog unattended when giving them a large treat. You can read more about raw hide Here!
Toys are a must for puppies. It teaches them to chew toys and not other things like your feet or couch. It assists them with teething and stimulates a dog mentally. 15 minutes of mental exercise is similar to an hour of physical exercise for some dogs.
Puzzle toys for dogs are available at most pet stores to keep their busy minds active. Your dog will need to move certain pieces around in order to get at the treats hidden inside. A kong toy is also a great place to hide treats and have your dog work for them.
Try to only have 3 toys out at a time so that your dog values them more. You can re-introduce old toys this way and they will seem brand new for Fido!
Puppy class is a great place for your dog to get socialized and learn from other dogs at an early age. Socialization between the ages of 3 and 6 months is very important in a puppy’s development. Puppy classes and the trainers that run them, ensure that your pup will have a good first experience.
Puppy class is also a place to learn about all of the bad habits that your pup either has already or might pick up along the way. Some of these include mouthing, barking, and body handling. It’s best to learn about these issues now rather than wait until they show up later. This way you will be prepared and know what to do if your pup decides to start chewing your shoes!
To learn more about puppy classes in White Rock, Surrey, and Delta BC Click Here!