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Don’t Overbuy Before You Get a New Dog

Puppy in a crate

If you’re ready to invite a new canine family member into your life it’s tempting to go out and buy all kinds of treats, toys and more. Before you start over-buying for your new puppy, here’s our list of the top things to purchase when you get a new dog.

Identification Tags, Collar and Leash

The first thing three things you should purchase when you get a dog are, in this order, are identification tags, a collar and a leash. Be prepared for your new puppy’s natural curiosity to get them into all sorts of trouble — including wandering off. A puppy is like a toddler and you’ll need to keep track of them at all times. They should never be without a collar and tag. If your puppy is high energy, avoid tags and collars that can get caught on things and cause injury.

Dog Pads

If you live in an upper floor condo, apartment — or if you have a Service Dog in Training (SDiT) and your disability makes it difficult for you to take your dog out as frequently as needed, dog pads are definitely worth considering. They’re soft, absorbent pads that are perfect for indoor potty training.

Crate or Kennel

Crate training is crucial for all puppies. In the wild, a dog’s den is their home — a safe place to sleep, hide from danger and raise a family. Crates function as your dog’s den, where they can find comfort and solitude while you know they’re safe and secure — and not shredding your couch while you’re out getting milk. However, it’s important to use a crate correctly.

  • Choose a crate that is only large enough for your dog to turn around. If the dog has too much space they will choose a corner to go potty — and the main purpose of a crate is to teach them how to hold themselves. You can choose a larger crate if you block off the rear area with a sturdy cardboard box as long as they won’t shred it… which brings us to our second point:
  • Never use soft toys, towels or any bedding inside a crate. It may seem mean, but young puppies will chew anything and everything. If your dog shreds fabric, they could swallow the threads causing them to become knotted in their intestines.
  • Never use the crate as a punishment. Your dog will come to fear it and refuse to enter.
  • Puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can’t control their bladders and bowels for that long. The same goes for adult dogs being housetrained. Physically, an older dog can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to.
  • As tempting as it may be, when you first come home do not rush to open the crate. Your puppy will likely be overexcited to see you — as you are to see them! Instead, ignore them for a few minutes until they settle down. Once they settle, then greet them quietly and open the crate. This will teach them two things: that they get more attention when they’re calm and that their being left alone for a little bit (and you coming home) is not a big deal.
  • Crate your dog only until you can trust them not to destroy the house. After that, leave the door open and they will enter to sleep on their own. At this point you can introduce a dog bed to the crate if you wish.

Grooming Supplies

Keeping your dog clean will go a long way in keeping your dog healthy as well. The types of grooming equipment you would need for your dog really depends on the breed. However, some basic grooming tools that all dogs will need are the following: a pair of pet-safety nail clippers, a fur removal brush, a toothbrush, a deodorizer, an ear cleaner, and a shampoo/conditioner.

Food and Water Bowls

Consult a veterinarian for the best times you should feed your dog and what type of nutrition or dog food would do your dog’s health good. Always keep two separate bowls for water and food for your dog. We recommend the material be made of stainless steel because it’s very difficult to break and it doesn’t harbor bacteria. Also ensure to clean the food bowl properly after every meal so to prevent bacteria from accumulating in them.

 

Learn more about voluntary, community-defined training and behavior standards for handlers and their Service Dogs at USSDR.org

 

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