Road Tested Puppy Supplies from our First Week of Puppy Parenthood
Our first week of puppy parenthood with June Bug has had many messes, mistakes, and bumps in the road. Luckily, since we had a little bit of experience from when Chewy was a puppy, we knew of some supplies that were absolutely essential. With June Bug, we figured out even more things that are really helpful to have and also a few of things we thought we needed but didn’t.
Here are the products that made it on the top of our list after our first week of puppy raising:
Vetricure Pet Area Disinfectant:
June Bug is too young right now not to have the occasional accident in her crate. We use this cleaner to disinfect that ish and we feel good about it since this formula is specially made for pets and their messes and has no harsh chemicals that could harm a young pup.
Because the little pink Kong is so cute! See my post about our favorite super healthy Kong stuffing recipes.
Calf hooves and antlers:
I’m definitely a fan of natural things for the dogs to chew on. Calf hooves work really well for June Bug because she’s small enough that she can’t really do much damage/break small pieces off to choke on. Chewy on the other hand is too rough of a chewer for hooves. We get antlers for him per our vet’s advice because he can slowly wear them down instead of breaking little pieces off and swallowing/choking. June bug likes antlers too as long as they’re split in half so she can get to the yummy marrow inside easier. My favorite place to buy antlers if I’m not ordering them in bulk off of Amazon is Bass Pro – plus the dogs can go with me to get them if we go there.
Top Paw Soap Free Paw Wipes:
This is far and away the puppy product we have used the most. When there’s an accident in the crate, I like being able to just quickly clean June Bug’s paws without having to give her a whole bath.
Earthbath Puppy Shampoo:
Even with the wipes, sometimes the whole bath is needed and this has been my favorite dog shampoo brand since Chewy was young. Right now we use the tea tree shampoo for him and the puppy formula for her.
Definitely a necessity for training and for the overall health of you, your home, and especially your dog. See my super long rant about crate training under the not recommended list.
We tried getting June Bug a comfy bed and lots of comfy blankets and snuggly toys and it all ended up covered in puppy poop. Save yourself the money and use old towels. Throw them out when they get pooped on. Don’t look back. A comfy bed is a potty training rite of passage that must be earned – not given.
Car seat cover:
I like to take the dogs with me wherever they can possibly go, but I also need them to be safe in the car. We have a seat cover that’s kind of like a hammock. It has straps that go around the front and back seat head rests and keeps the doggies from flopping all around and falling on the floor during car rides. Since we adopted June Bug in Florida, both dogs are in for a long car ride back to Kansas and I know they’ll be comfy and safe in our seat cover.
Smelly or loud treats:
At eleven weeks, June Bug’s attention span is abysmal as it is with all puppies. The smellier the treat, the more she’ll pay attention. Some favorites of mine are sardines (no bones for the little one but Chewy eats them bone in and LOVES them), chunks of beef liver, canned salmon, or peanut butter. We also use toys as treats – June Bug, loves squeaky balls and will sit for you to toss one.
A trusted vet:
Puppies need to go to the vet a lot for shots, checkups, preventatives, etc. Do your research on your vet. See as many as you need to until you feel comfortable. When you find a vet you like and trust, stick with them. They will get to know your dog and this can be really valuable if there’s ever a problem. Your vet will be able to tell if something’s off.
With every awesome discovery, there are a few duds. Here is the list of things I wouldn’t necessarily recommend until you’ve gotten to know your puppy enough to know you need them:
Things we bought but didn’t need:
This one, I recognize, is controversial and it will be different for each puppy/house. Puppy pads have a scent in them that encourages puppies to use the bathroom on the pads. Since June Bug is a larger puppy and is capable of holding her bladder for about 2 hours right now, the only time she really potties in the house is overnight if we don’t wake up every couple hours and take her. Of course there are occasional accidents, but not enough for me to personally feel the need to use puppy pads and encourage her to go in the house. Especially since June Bug already understands that she’s supposed to go outside, I don’t feel like the pads are a necessary training tool, but for many puppies, they are. Personally, we use old rags or newspaper in her crate at night in case of accidents. Again, puppy pads can be a necessity and a valuable training tool for some puppies. Just not this one. If you’re bringing a puppy into the family that is around the 10 or 11 week mark too and have the time to dedicate to taking them out very frequently, I would suggest seeing if you can get away without spending money on pads. If you’re not down to clean accidents/don’t have very many tiled areas in your home or need them as a training tool to teach pup where to potty, then I WOULD actually recommend them. Do what’s best for you and your pup.
See old towels on the recommended list. We bought a bed and it was pooped on the first night. *sigh*
Same thing with the bed. Don’t spend money on cuddly bedding supplies until your puppy can hold her bladder through the night. Old towels ftw.
Expensive stuffed toys:
Also pooped on along with the brand new bed. We ended up just keeping the kennel clear of anything that isn’t disposable. There’s only so much I’m willing to put in my washing machine.
Sour anti-chew spray:
This is probably another controversial one. In our house, we crate our dogs whenever we leave and even when we’re home but have to do things where we can’t directly supervise them like showering or cooking. This kind of negates the need for sour spray because we watch them (especially June Bug because puppies are nuts) like a hawk. I don’t trust puppies on their own period. Crate training our dogs was the best thing we ever did for our house and sanity. We never use their crates as penalty boxes. Rather, they are where our dogs sleep at night and relax as they please. They are safe spaces and, a lot of times they will choose to go lay in their crates even when we’re home and the doors are open just to chill for a little bit. Crate training is also good for a dog’s health. Many times, if they need to go to the vet for surgery or something more involved than a checkup, they will be crated. If they are already used to it and feel comfortable, that situation will be a lot less stressful on them. Also, we try to stick mainly to positive training and reinforcement. I don’t like putting my dogs in situations where they could make mistakes and need to be “punished” so we either watch them carefully or crate them. Obviously this isn’t possible every second of every day with two working puppy parents like my husband and I and accidents happen every now and again, but I avoid letting sour spray teach my dogs their boundaries in favor of correcting them myself. This way, they learn actively instead of passively through their own trial and error.
These are just a few of the things we’ve found that have worked for us. As June Bug grows, I’ll post any updates of must have supplies that we continue to find.
What are your favorite puppy supplies? Seriously, these puppy parents wants to know!