Hello! Today I am talking about one of my favorite topics: my puppy! Pepper is now 5 months old and I have only made one other post about her! (linked here) I have learned a thing or two since having her and she is kind of my first puppy that I solely have to care for so if you are a first time pet owner, I'm with ya! Also, this is more geared towards the pet owners who live in an apartment building type set up. But, most of these will work with any scenario.
I have compiled a list, as well as some tips, on what you need for your puppy! Just a heads up, some of the links are affiliated. What this means, is if you decide to buy these must have products, I will get a small commission for it. Really, it's a win win for us both haha.
1. Dog food Now I did a lot of research on dog food and please, be as picky with their food as you would with your own! Most dog foods contain grain, aka corn, as the main product and this is seriously not good for your baby. Dogs cannot digest it very well, so look for dog foods that main products are meat. We use Nutro and it is seriously the only food she will eat. (Also, because she is a cocker spaniel, we use the Nutro Small Breed Puppy.)
2. A favorite toy So, this will help the puppy adjust to its new home. As soon as we got Pepper, we went straight to Petsmart and let her pick out a toy. Y'all... this duck still to this day is her absolute favorite! I think it helps the puppy feel a little more comfortable and have something almost like a security blanket.
3. Dog bowls I think this one is a given, but I thought I'd still mention it! The dog bowls we got her came with a stand, and for the first few months she was too short to use it, so we would just put the bowls on the floor. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because as she grew bigger we used the stand and now it's perfect height and essentially 'grew with her'. The link below is the exact one we have, and I love the copper!
4. Harness This is something I got later on, but I definitely wish I had it sooner. Pepper is pretty awful on the leash, and I hated that I was pulling from her collar. A harness was the best investment and she has been doing a lot better on it!
5. A bell I believe I touched on this in my last puppy post, but if you are looking for a way to potty train... Buy a bell. It sounds crazy but here is how it works. Every time you take your fur baby out to potty, you ring the bell and say "let's go potty!" This teaches them, that if they ring the bell, that will mean they can go outside and potty. It took her about a month or two to catch on and start using the bell by herself, and let me warn you, it may make you tear up and have a proud mom moment! haha
6. Doggie Lawn Along the lines of potty time, for the first month of living here we were miserable! We had a new puppy with a small bladder, in the dead of winter, and we live on the third story! Two words: Doggie. Lawn. We found this company through Amazon actually and it made life so much easier. It is a service that provides fresh grass how ever often you like. (we recently changed it to once a month) You buy the trays just one time, and however often you want, they ship you fresh grass for your puppy to use.
Also, just a tip: don't buy puppy training pads. This will encourage your puppy to go inside and will be harder for them to understand they need to do it outside only! We bought two huge packs and never used them haha. I know them going inside is terrible so invest instead in urine wipes and a spray for carpeted areas. (I'll link some down below) But, if you are home with your pet when it happens, immediately grab a paper towel and press down firmly over the stain. This will lift it up completely!
7. Poop bags Now our apartment provides these, but only at particular spots. I like to take her on walks and just my luck there is usually not poop stations the way we go. Our old leash came with a little poop bag holder which is super handy! If you are in an apartment, or take your pet for frequent walks, you can usually buy a huge pack of these for cheap.
8. Puppy Shampoo Pepper loves bath time. We started giving her baths every other week, just because she has longer hair and she was a puppy with messy bathroom times... This helped get her used to the bath a whole lot sooner and while she hated the first few times, she has grown to love it! I know none of my past dogs would ever tolerate a bath time, so if you can, start them young! We love this puppy shampoo because it doesn't really smell like anything, but I know with the aloe in it, this helps her skin feel so much better.
9. Dog Bed When we went dog bed shopping it was so tempting to buy the cutesy little beds, or look at the tree house style ones, or even the more enclosed. Boy am I glad my husband talked some since into me! At least for their first bed, go as basic as you can, and here is why: Pepper had multiple accidents in her bed, she always gets up and tries to get comfy (hence why the tree house one would be a disaster), and she hates being covered up. Try and get the most universal one, (and don't be afraid to go cheap!) that way as your puppy grows and gets a personality, you can find a bed that they will like and want to lay down in.
10. Baby gate The smaller the section of your house your puppy can get into... The better. As we were potty training, we slowly used the gate. We would leave for less than an hour in the beginning, and leave her in the smaller bathroom. As she grew older, we would baby gate her in our bathroom that is much bigger. Now, we can section her off in our bedroom, bathroom and she does just fine! I can't trust her in the main area of the house just yet, because she has an appetite for anything fuzzy haha.
Baby gating will also limit their space in the apartment/house and let them learn boundaries on where they can and cannot go. If you are potty training, trust me this is a great investment!
And those are my top 10 to make up the ultimate puppy guide! Above all else, you know what is best for your dog. Listen to their needs and don't skimp on the cuddles. They are only a puppy once, and seeing the above picture makes me sad because she isn't my little baby anymore haha. I love having Pepper so much and I could probably go all day showing you pictures of her haha. I made her an instagram if you are dog obsessed like I am it's just @pepperthecockerpup! If you are a puppy/dog owner, tell me down below! I'd love to know what kind of dog you have and what its name is! Do you have any more essentials for your puppy? I'd love to hear down below!