care . grow . strengthen
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I have been wanting a dog for a looonnngggg time. When my sister lived with me, I basically acted like her dog, Winston, was mine too and lived vicariously through her. So, when Brad and I welcomed Stella into our family in October, I was beyond excited.
To be honest, I knew it would take some convincing to get Brad onboard (he loves dogs too, but just didn’t think it was the right time for us) and so I did a lot of research on what type of dog` would be good for an apartment, how we would fit it into our lives and the cost. I compiled it all into a PowerPoint and expense spreadsheet. I know it sounds excessive, but it was actually a great gut check to see if we really could take on the responsibility.
And so, when we decided on Stella, I quickly hopped online and made frequent trips to PetSmart and Petco to get all the goodies for Stella’s arrival (She flew to us through Delta Pet Cargo and they were amazing!)
I know a few of you are gearing up for your own puppies and I’ve been getting tons of questions on what to buy so I’ve compiled my complete checklist of what to buy for a new puppy before they arrive and few others you can get based on things you learn about their behavior after a couple weeks.
Some of the best places to shop and get discounts: Petco, Petsmart coupon books, PetFlow, Chewy. Also, remember almost all these places will price match if you ask.
◊ Check out the Banfield Puppy Plan through Petsmart for amazing petcare at a great price
◊ Make sure you ask what food they are currently eating so you can get the same one
◊ Leash - I love the rope leashes, they are really durable and look cute!
◊ Harness - This one is really good. Stella didn't love wearing it at first but it helps a ton so that she doesn't slip out of her collar while on a walk.
◊ Collar - I got both the xs and s that Stella needed in a sale bucket at Petsmart but found similar ones here and here
◊ Potty Bags - you can get these in bulk in Amazon.
◊ Potty Bag Dispenser - I like this one with the zipper so you can store some treats in there as well.
◊ First Toy – This was seriously her favorite toy. We gave her the little whale baby as soon as she got out of the crate the first time and then put the blanket in her new crate so that she could have something that instantly made her feel like home. She still drags both of these all around the house and it’s the cutest thing.
◊ Food bowl - I loved the dipped ceramic look to go with the rest of my neutral decor at home.
◊ Water jug - This one is super helpful so that you don't have to fill the water as often
◊ Bed - I got Stella's on sale at Tuesday Morning but here is one similar. She loves the lips on the side to use as a pillow for her head.
◊ Crate - I really wanted to DIY her crate, but even DIY couldn't beat how affordable this one was. Maybe one day I'll still do a DIY but for affordability, this is the way to go!
◊ Crate Pad - to keep her cozy even in her crate. You can wash this too if there are any early accidents. I did keep a potty pad in her crate for the first few weeks just to be safe.
◊ Training Treats - Stella is super food motivated and love these.
◊ Puppy pads - We used these when she was a puppy and also again once she got spayed so she had an easy spot to go when she was out of it.
◊ Fresh patch - We don't have a yard so we get these delivered monthly and keep it on the balcony so she has an easy spot to go.
◊ Carpet Cleaner - literally the MUST have purchase while potty training. We traveled a lot while she was a puppy too so this came in handy in everyone else's house too.
◊ Food Tupperware - I keep Stella's food on the kitchen counter so I really wanted a cute container. I love this one and then I keep her big 50Lb food bag in the pantry and refill it as needed.
◊ Treat Tupperware - I love this one as a simple and fun jar that keeps her treats fresh.
◊ Brush - I like that this one has a soft side and a harder side. Stella was super sensitive to brushing at first so having the soft side really helped her get used to brushing.
◊ Shampoo - I haven't tried any others yet but this one is great so far.
◊ Slow eating food bowl - Stella eats way too fast and almost inhales her food so we had to get these to try help slow her down. This is the one we got, but here is a more stylish one that I want to get soon.
◊ Mini tennis balls - She LOVES fetch and these are perfect for a small dog or puppy
◊ Chew Toys - I mean, can a pup really ever have too many toys. This one and this one are her favorite.
◊ Toy box - I hate clutter, so everyday, I put her toys back in the bin before bed. I love this one from ikea
◊ Antler chew – This is an amazing toy while teething or if you'll be gone for a few hours, it keeps them entertained and is great for their teeth too.
··· clean list ···
One other tip that I learned from my mother in law is when you feed them, make them sit and use a command like “watch” and have them make eye contact with you before giving them a kibble. We modified this a bit so that we give her a small handful and make her sit or lie down and make eye contact before getting it. This has really helped her listen to us betters and learn her commands. For Stella, it also helps her to slow down her eating, which she needs so it’s a win win. I highly recommend it so that you can incorporate a little training in everyday.
Stella starts formal training at the beginning of March so I’ll keep you updated with all the tips I learn. I’m hoping to get her trained up to pass the Good Citizen Canine test so that we can take her to volunteer events like hospital visits to bring some patients a little happiness.
In the meantime, if you have any training tips, please send them my way, I’d love to hear them!
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