5 Must-Haves for your New Puppy
This post was sponsored by The Naked Dog Box. All Opinions Are My Own.
I cannot believe that Teddy has been a member of our little family since the end of April and I have yet to officially introduce him here on HTC! Granted, we brought Teddy home two days after Dustin had his emergency surgery in Boston, and three weeks after we closed on our house, so we were a little distracted at the time.
Now that Teddy has been around for some time, I wanted to share his sweet little face here on the blog and share some of my tried and true tricks for bringing a new puppy home for the first time. Since Teddy is the second puppy we’ve brought home, I’d like to think we’ve gained a fair amount of knowledge on how to adapt and prepare for a new puppy.
Why we decided to get a second pup
Dustin and I have always wanted to get a second dog so that our Rosie Roo would have a pal to spend time with. Rosie suffered from the worst separation anxiety the first year of her life, and while we have gotten that under control, we knew that a friend could really help her not feel so lonely when we had to leave. However, since we were moving SO much and we didn’t have a yard, we knew we had to wait for a second dog until we were more settled.
If you’ve been around these parts for a while (and have followed me on Snapchat for some time) you’ll know that I spent last summer taking care of our friend’s dog, Cooper. Cooper is an apricot golden doodle, and boy, did he steal my heat. He is as SWEET as they come and the snuggliest, goofiest, happiest dog I’ve ever met. I wasn’t the only one smitten by Cooper Trooper. Rosie was the happiest I had ever seen her because she had Cooper over every day to play with. They wrestled. They played tug. They spooned each other on the bed. And, Rosie never whined when we left her to go out to the movies because she had Cooper to be with her.
After last summer, we knew two things: we were going to get a second dog as soon as it was logical for us to, and it would be a golden doodle.
Teddy is a Teddy-Bear Goldendoodle (hence his name!) Teddy bear doodles are half poodle, half English Cream golden retrievers (the white ones.) Dustin wanted to surprise me with a puppy for my birthday (a week after we closed on our house) but decided to tell me he wanted to get me one so we could pick one out together. We decided not to bring a puppy home until after my sister’s wedding in April but wanted to look at a few pups before we left on our trip to get an idea of what was out there. Teddy was the first puppy we went to see and it was love at first sight. He came right in, plopped down right in front of us, and kicked his legs straight out behind him. We went to look at two other puppies that day, but we knew that Teddy was the one for us and went back the next day to put a deposit down on him. Thankfully, the breeders agreed to hang on to him while we went home to Boston for the wedding and we were able to bring him home after that.
Teddy is now 7 months old, and he. is. a. hoot. He reminds me of Cooper in so many ways but has his own very distinct personality. Teddy LOVES the hair dryer, he drinks water like he is a camel, he is undecided about the vacuum (but usually wants to fight it) and he is obsessed with his big sister, Rosie. He loves to chase laser lights, puts his paw on your face when he wants pets, and has only chewed up my college diploma.
Rosie took about two weeks to warm up to the idea of Teddy. Cooper was one thing, but a bouncy puppy was another. However, we only had one incident where Rosie got too grumpy, and after two weeks, it was clear that they had bonded. They are always together, always wrestling, sharing toys, and (much to my dismay) digging holes in the backyard.
I’ve always said that bringing home Rosie was the best thing we’ve ever done in our marriage and I still stand by that. But bringing home Teddy was the best thing we could have done for Rosie, and in turn, makes our family a little more complete.
5 Must-Haves for your New Puppy
Kennel/crate – The easiest way to house-train your puppy is through crate training! When we first brought Rosie home, we didn’t know how important crates were going to be for her – I thought it was mean of us to put her in a crate when she was such a social creature. Because we didn’t start crate training right away, we dealt with a lot of accidents. We knew that we were not going to run into that issue a second time, so
Dogs are den-creatures, so they crave having a space to call their own. They will never have an accident in a space that they consider their den, because who wants to sleep in that? Crate training is essential because it helps a puppy have a space where they learn to hold their tinkle. Eventually, they start to learn that the whole house is their den and not want to have accidents anywhere in the house!
Crate training is also really important because it keeps your puppy safe when you are gone. They won’t be able to get into anything they shouldn’t be in when you are away.
We love our collapsible wire kennel we got from Amazon because it’s easy to break down and move around the house or take with us on a trip.
Treat Puzzle Toys – How do you keep a puppy busy during the day when you are trying to get stuff done and can’t be watching their every move? Puzzle toys!
Puzzle toys usually have some kind of hole or nook to hide a treat in that the puppy has to figure out how to get out. Teddy is a super busy puppy and is prone to pull books out of my bookshelves to chew up when he doesn’t have anything else to do. We have several treat toys, including this one by KONG called the KONG Genius toy, that keeps Teddy out of trouble. When I’m working in my office, I’ll put some treats into his puzzle toy and he will work on getting the treat out for hoursss. Plus, puzzle toys are great ways to challenge your puppy to use their brains and problem solve!
Another treat toy that has been ESSENTIAL to our pups has been the standard KONG! We stuff them with peanut butter or cream cheese and freeze them so that it takes them longer to lick the treat out. Teddy only gets his peanut butter KONG when he goes into his kennel, which made crate training him super easy because he learned that he got a yummy treat every time he went into it!
Puppy Kibble – We had NO idea that there was so much to consider when choosing puppy kibble when we first brought Rosie home. We had her on the cheap IAMS puppy kibble for the first few months of her life and just thought that it was normal for puppies to constantly have the runs. NEWSFLASH – It’s not.
Our puppy trainer taught us how important it was for us to look at the ingredients when choosing a puppy kibble. A lot of the cheap kibble contain ingredients like chicken by-product or corn meal as the first ingredient, with a lot of fillers and unnecessary additives. This means that the majority of the kibble is made up of mashed-up bones from chicken or corn meal – neither of which is nutritious or good for your puppy.
We now look at every bag of puppy kibble and make sure that the ingredients are nothing but REAL food. It’s amazing at the difference that real ingredients can make for a dog. Both Rosie and Teddy’s coats are shinier and softer and their energy levels are consistent. Plus, no more runs, which is ALL the praise hands for this puppy mama.
When we brought Teddy home, we decided to try out The Naked Dog Box, courtesy of the kind people over there. The Naked Dog Box is a dog food subscription service, where you can have grain-free, gluten-free, nutritious dog food without any fillers or additives delivered to your door every two weeks.
How does it work? Simply go to The Naked Dog Box website and click the “Get Started.” You will answer 5 questions about your dog’s age, activity levels, and weight. This helps the people at The Naked Dog Box pick out the ideal formula for your dog!
How much does it cost? Shipping is free and subscriptions start at $18.00 every two weeks for a bag of food, which is actually right on par (and even a bit cheaper) compared to other grain-free dog foods.
Does Teddy like the food? See for yourself in the video below!
Paw Wax – Puppy paw pads can be pretty delicate and tender and if you aren’t careful, your puppy can tear up their paw pads! We were so excited to bring Rosie home and take her for walks that she had torn up her paw pad within the first week of having her! We definitely didn’t make that mistake with Teddy and bought a big tub of Musher’s Secret Wax to apply every couple days. This product was actually formulated to be used on sled-dogs to protect their paws, and creates a barrier between the paw pad and other surfaces while adding moisture to the pads to make sure they don’t crack!
Microchip – This is something you will need to ask your vet about at your first puppy check up but I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your new puppy micro-chipped. A microchip is a small chip that is given to your pup through a shot. It sits under their skin and, when scanned by a special scanner, will bring up the owner’s contact information.
Before Dustin and I were able to have dogs, we spent a year volunteering at the local animal shelter every weekend. I can’t tell you how many dogs came through the shelter that were CLEARLY someone’s pet, but had no identification because they weren’t wearing a collar when they got lost and didn’t have a microchip.
Having a microchip gives us peace of mind to know that if Teddy ever got out and was brought to a shelter, the animal control officers would be able to contact us and help us get Teddy back home.
Bringing a puppy home can be scary, overwhelming, and, I’ll be honest, it’s a crap ton of work. However, I can’t imagine life without our dogs. They truly complete our little family and have taught me so much about sacrifice, patience, and unconditional love. That’s why I want to make sure I give them the very best, including the best puppy kibble!
Do you have a pup? What are your must-haves for him or her?