Updated: Feb 14
Preparing for a new little fluffy family member is filled with excitement and dreams. These are the items that will make life easier for my new puppy owners to have on hand the day that they bring their little white ball of fluff home
A supply of the same food that they were eating at the breeders. If it's a Peyton Goldens puppy, I'll provide a bag of All Life Stages (ALS) Life's Abundance to get you started. They've also been eating real meat along with kibble ever since they began weaning.
Cranberry supplement (NaturVet Cranberry Relief for example) Puppies are so small at 8 weeks that when they pee it's easy to pick up bacteria from the ground or grass. This is just a precaution against a UTI until they're bigger. Note: If you're having alot of trouble with potty training, sometimes a UTI is the problem.
Leash and adjustable collar. At 8 weeks, about 10". Be prepared to buy several new collars as he grows.
Chew toys. Puppies have to chew something! If you don't give them an appropriate chew, that something could be your couch. Try different chews until you find out what your pup prefers. Bully sticks are great, but watch out for diarrhea with them. Don't give any rawhide products. They don't digest in the stomach. Always give them something to chew while they're in their crate.
Soft toys. Hunting dogs i.e. pointers and retrievers absolutely love their soft toys. They carry them for no reason. Use them as a pillow. Sleep with them in their mouth. Find them before greeting you.
Large crate with divider. This will provide a contained space which is valuable for potty training, when you're gone, and at night. It must be small enough to prevent the puppy from wanting to soil it's nest. The divider can make the crate grow with the puppy. These guys will eventually need a large to extra large crate in order to be comfortable. It needs to be tall enough for them to sit and stand comfortably.
Enzyme cleaner. Sorry, but puppies will have accidents for several months as they're learning their bodies and the rules. I like an Oxy Pet carpet cleaner. Technique for pee on carpets: Fold up layers of paper towels and step on the wet spot with more paper towels until they come up dry. Then spray with the enzyme and leave it on the spot to do it's work.
Exercise Pen. They will save your sanity by containing the puppy enough to prevent destruction, even when you're in the room. These hinged, portable wire pens are cheap from Chewy.com. A low one allows you to reach over to pick up the puppy. Taller ones will contain bigger puppies. They can block off a hallway. They can lay on the ground to prevent or repair digging in the yard.
Healthy training treats. Hopefully you'll be training your puppy every day. You'll need to be generous with rewards during potty training. You'll also need rewards for teaching manners on and off of the leash. If you train as much as I do, gourmet treats from the pet store can get expensive. Cheaper ones contain questionable ingredients. Always check to be sure that what you feed is legume free!
Here are some healthy alternatives: regular dog kibble, cooked and diced chicken, cheese (string cheese is particularly convenient), scrambled eggs diced (add flour to firm it up), leftover steak or hamburger scraps diced, blueberries. Soft is better to prevent choking.