Getting a new family member is an exciting time and preparing for their arrival is all part of the fun but with so many products on the market we thought we’d share our favourite and most useful buys from when we welcomed our pup last year.
Your pooch needs to be safely restrained in the car. That doesn’t mean you have to buy an expensive car seat like the children but a clip that attaches to their harness will do the trick, just make sure you don’t attach the clip to their collar as it could kill them in the event of an accident.
We found Pet Remedy really helpful in getting our puppy to settle. Initially we brought the plug in version which came with an individual wipe in a sachet that we wiped in the car on the way home and used the plug in at home. He was instantly very confident and settled at night without any tears. We still use it occasionally now, when there’s fireworks or windy weather and added the Pet Remedy Spray to our collection which we use when we have to go out and leave him at phone as I’m not a fan of leaving plug-ins on unattended.
Such a simple but effective idea. Dog training bells are essential a length of cord with bells attached. Puppies very quickly work out that if they’d like to go outside they tap the bells and an obedient human comes along and lets them out to go to the toilet. Genius!
The training bells are excellent but accidents are going to happen with a puppy and they’re usually in the same place. If I can I prefer a re-usable option which is kinder to the environment and a lot of people find that puppies enjoy a good game of ‘Let’s Shread the Disposable Pad’ so washable mats are the perfect alternative. They rinse off easily outside and pop in the wash with a cap of disinfectant to be good as new. Even when your puppy is trained they make great mats for muddy paws when the little monkeys come back in from the garden.
This one comes down to personal taste as at first sight crates look very much like a cage. However, I know our dog doesn’t look at his like that, he sees it as his den where he has a comfy bed, he can go and chill out when he feels like some quiet time (we leave the door open during the day) and he happily puts himself to bed there at night. If you use it as somewhere to send them as a punishment they’ll learn to hate it but if it's largest enough that they can stretch out and turn around it can be a great way to keep them somewhere safe at night (where they won’t get up and start chewing wires) or if you have to go out in the day. When we were considering if crate training was right for us our vet told us not to feel guilty as we wouldn’t think twice about using a cot for a baby. The leader of our dog training class was also pro-crate training and she was sure that the majority of puppies she sees being re-homed are the ones that haven’t been crate trained. It is down to personal preference but worth considering.
Socialisation is really important for puppies and even when they haven’t had their vaccinations you can take them out in carry bags to get them used to the sights and smells in the big wide world.
Toys that hold food are great for engagement and really handy if you have a ‘tricky’ time of day. We found getting ready in the morning our puppy wanted to play while we were trying to get ready for school and it would turn into trying to bite our ankles.
Kongs make good, strong toys including ones that can hold food and can withstand cheeky little dog teeth better than most. Licki Mats are a textured mat you can add a healthy treat to like lactose free yoghurt or peanut butter (make sure the peanut butter doesn’t contain xylitol which is harmful) and it will take them ages to lick up (they can eventually be chewed so don’t leave them unattended). Having a happy, distracted dog = no teeth marks around my ankles!
Dog’s Trust very helpfully have recordings on their website of many common sounds which can make a dog bark, things like fireworks, alarms and motorbikes. The theory is playing these in the background at a low level gets your dog used to the noise and therefore they don’t feel the need to bark at them. We’ve got to say that it has worked wonders with our dog, at times he does start to bark at random things but going back to the sound therapy recordings gets him out the habit very quickly. Plus it’s free!
Last product but it’s a good one. Clever dog is a cute little camera which is easy to use and keep an eye on your precious pup when you have to go out. The camera connects to your wifi at home and you’re able to watch/listen through an app on your phone, you’re even able to talk to them if you wish!
This review does contain affiliate links to help you find the products. They are all products that we’ve personally purchased and are happy to recommend so we hope they help you enjoy your new dog!