So you’re super-excited to get your new puppy. And you should be! But in addition to dog food, tags, and a trip to the vet for vaccinations, you’ll want a few other things that you might not have thought about.
To Keep Your Puppy Well-Fed: Old Tikko Water Feeder Dispenser ($33)
Feeding your new pup at a regular pace is important, and puppies eat quickly. If you’re forgetful or just busy, you might consider swapping out the standard food and water bowls for these gravity feeders.
They’ll hold a week or more of food and water for your puppy, keeping it from going hungry if you’re less than attentive. Pay attention to how much it’s going through, though: if your puppy is overeating (bloating, constipation) you should switch back to a standard bowl or upgrade to an electronic model.
To Keep Your Puppy From Chewing Up Your Entertainment Center: Grannick Bitter Apple Spray ($12)
Puppies are constantly teething for six to eight months, and they’ll have a desire to chew just about everything. That includes classics, like your shoes and bed sheets, and more dangerous stuff. Sometimes they’re especially fond of the rubbery texture of electrical cords or media cables—yikes!
To proactively prevent your puppy from munching on anything valuable or harmful, pick up a few bottles of Grannick Bitter Apple spray. This non-toxic spray makes anything—edible or not—taste revolting to your dog. Spritz a bit on anything your puppy likes to chomp on, and it will soon find something else to chew. (And as a nice bonus, it’s hilarious to watch when they try to spit it out.) Of course, you’ll want to stock up on some chew toys, too, just to give them something safe to attack.
To Take Care Of Inevitable Accidents: Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover ($11)
No matter how effective your potty training is, your puppy will inevitably leave a few “accidents” in your home. (Even adult dogs sometimes have digestion trouble, leaving a mess from either end, if you know what I mean.)
For getting stains and odors out of carpet and furniture, I haven’t found anything better than Nature’s Miracle brand cleaning spray. Its active ingredient, a particular strain of enzyme-munching bacteria, goes after the smells of urine and droppings better than a standard carpet cleaner. You’ll want to stock up.
To Keep Your Puppy Comfy On Walks: PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness ($21)
When you’re ready to train your dog to walk on a leash, go with a torso-wrapping harness instead of a collar. It will put pressure on its chest instead of its neck, keeping it from damaging its windpipe if it has a tendency to strain or lunge.
This PoyPet model comes in five different sizes and a handful of colors and comes with a handy hand strap on the back if your puppy needs a little more direct guidance. Be sure to pay attention to the sizing information on the same page—bust out a tape measure if you’re not sure of a good fit.
To Keep Your Dog’s Feet Warm, Cool, and Non-Perforated: My Busy Dog Shoes ($36)
Maybe you don’t think you need dog shoes, little velcro-equipped booties that go on your dog’s feet, because you don’t live in a cold environment with snow and ice. But they’re great for other places, too: anywhere that has hot summers might also have roads and concrete sidewalks that can cause mild burns to sensitive puppy paws.
These shoes are great for waking in less cultivated areas too, keeping stickers and thorns from in between their toes—I use them every time my dog goes outside my yard for that alone. The My Busy Dog brand includes four shoes, each with rubberized soles and velcro fasteners with reflective strips for walking at night. Again, be sure to check the sizing information to ensure a good fit… and have your camera ready the first time your puppy tries to walk in them. Trust me.
To Keep Your Puppy Looking (And Smelling) Good: Sentry Oatmeal Shampoo ($6)
You’ll want to get your puppy comfortable with regular baths—not just so it’ll smell good, but so you’ll have an easier time washing it when it’s all grown up. For my dog I use Sentry brand Flea & Tick Shampoo, which includes oatmeal in the formula. (This isn’t a replacement for topical or oral anti-flea medication, but it doesn’t hurt either!)
The stuff keeps his coat shiny and soft, and the extra ginger means he smells a little better, too. The stuff if effective and surprisingly cheap, only a little more expensive than my (entirely ordinary) people shampoo.
To Keep Your Puppy Safe In The Car: URPOWER Dog Seat Belt ($10 for 2)
You buckle up every time you get in your car (you do, right?) and your puppy needs to, as well—especially since it’s more likely to exit a vehicle in a crash. This two-pack of seat belts clips onto any harness and plugs into a standard seat belt buckle, and will stretch out to absorb inertia in the case of a sudden stop.
This is important: don’t use these clip-on seat belts with a neck-only collar! The extra pressure on their necks can cause serious injuries in a crash.
To Keep Shedding Fur Off Your Floor: Pet Grooming Gloves ($14)
Your dog’s going to shed, especially if it’s a breed with a long double coat like a golden retriever. You can get it used to regular grooming when it’s a puppy, but some dogs never like being brushed. Why not turn that experience into something fun instead? These gloves with silicone combing nubs will make removing excessive shed hair nothing but an extended petting session. Vacuum up when you’re done. And speaking of which…
To Pick It Up When It Gets There Anyway: Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner ($350)
Yeah, the little Dirt Devil you’ve been using since your first apartment probably isn’t up to the task of cleaning up your puppy’s shed fur off your carpets and furniture. If your budget will stretch, upgrade to the Dyson V8 Animal.
It’s one of the best compact vacuums available on the market, specifically designed with a powered head and a suite of accessories that pick up pet hair like it’s going out of style. If it seems excessive, remember that you’ll be cleaning up dog hair for ten to fifteen years…and you’ll appreciate the money spent every time you do thanks to the cordless 40-minute battery and easy-cleaning dirt bucket.
Image credit: Oleksiy Rezin/Shutterstock