Saturday, 2 April 2016

Minding Buddy #2 : What do you need for a Puppy

So, for those who don't know I'm going to be minding a puppy for 2 weeks from the 22nd of April. He's called Buddy and he's a brown & white crossbreed puppy (poodle x cocker) I've decided to blog about his stay with me.
Buddy (photo from his owner)
Preparing for a Puppy: What do you need? 
I know it's slightly different to if he was actually mine (for example, his owners have already got his collar etc...) but I wanted to post about what you'd need for a puppy*

Collars: there is a variety of collars available, choose an adjustable collar (otherwise you'll need to buy a new one every 2 weeks!) so an nonadjustable paracord collar (such as Wilson's orange & turquise one) isn't ideal. Make sure it's not too thick or thin, on average I get 20mm thick collars for my 6kg & 8kg crossbreed and cavalier. Here are a few places to get collars from: Personalized Fabric CollarsCustom-made Paracord Collars & Fabric Collars or you can get some from Ruffwear Collars & Hurtta Collars
Wilson and Holly's collection of collars; paracord, fabric & ribbon/nylon
ID tags: there are a lot of different ones to choose from you can add a lot of details to them now, I have my dogs name, my phone number, my address and 'I'm microchipped' on my dog's collars. We currently have RedDingo Tags & I've ordered 2 tags from Dogwood Medaljoni (although, I've just got their names on it, you can probably get your number etc.. on it too).
Wilson's RedDingo ID Tag; Our number is on there, but I've blurred it. It's not very shiny anymore, but it is 3 years old.
Harnesses: I think harnesses are great, as puppies can't hurt their necks of they pull, for if you want a trailing leash whilst training recall (people can accidentally step on the leash, and you don't want their necks jerked) or for if you choose a dog seat-belt for travelling in the car. There are a variety of harnesses available I recommend the Ruffwear Front Range HarnessHurtta Padded Y-Harness or Hurtta Padded Harness, but as your puppy is growing, you may wish to buy cheaper harnesses whilst they grow, or use old harnesses from when your dogs are puppies, or (if you have one and it fit's) your other dogs harness (for example Zara fitted Wilson's harness for about a week!)
A few of our harnesses; Hurtta Padded Harness, Ruffwear Front Range Harness, Hurtta Y-Harness & EzyDog ChestPlate Harness
Leashes: Again your overwhelmed with choice! Fleece/Agility leashes, standard leashes, double ended leashes, rope leashes .. the list goes on! Here are a few we have Fleece LeashRuffwear Knot-a-Leash & Hurtta Double Ended Rope Leash. Just if you go for the Ruffwear leash, get the smaller size for a small dog or puppy, as the carabiner is quite big.
Some of our many leashes.

Food: A big consideration is what to feed your puppy. For the first few days you should probably keep them on what the breeder was feeding them, but then start weaning them onto what you think is best. I feed my dogs Raw food, they have Carnivore Kelly's pre-prepared raw food. They love it! And I think raw is the healthiest food for them. Some other brands are Natural Instinct & Nutriment. If you wish to feed kibble some good brands are; Acana, Lily's Kitchen, Millie's Wolfheart, Origen, or another kibble with high meat content and low/no grain.
Our dogs enjoying some beef ribs from top left, Amber, Wilson, Holly & Amber. Although they're having ribs, you can feed just pre-prepared raw, which is like mince.

I don't buy the treats from pet shops that are filled with sugar, salt, food coloring & flavorings. Instead we use high quality (and mostly grain free) kibble such as Lily's Kitchen, cooked chicken/turkey or Millie's Wolfheart chews as a special treat or a jackpot.

Treat Bag: Whether or not you need a treat bag depends on whether your precious about your clothes. Although even if you don't mind having dog treats in your pocket,  treat bag such as the _______ makes treats easier and quicker to access, which even if your clicker training, is a bonus.

Toys: Get your puppy a variety of toys! See what he likes, try fetching (not too often and try and roll rather than throw the ball) tugging (don't pull too hard and get down to the puppies level, to not pull their neck) and chasing. Make sure they're appropriate to your puppies size and chewing ability. If your puppy grows out of them, either put them away for a future puppy, or donate to your local rescue center. If you have another dog, think of toys that may like to play with together. Here are a few of our (many) dog toys! Some good company's are: Firefly Canine OutfittersJW Dog ToysRosewoodKongTug-E-NuffTugtastic & Tough Tugz.
A selection of our dog toys: If you want to know where I got each one, please ask!
Bedding: You'll need lot's of spare bedding, so you can just change your puppies bedding if they make it dirty. Vetbed is great as it's hard for them to destroy, and it's easy and quick to wash and dry. Fleece blankets are also good, as again, they're easy to wash and you can use them to protect other bedding. The pink vetbed in the photo is what Holly had as a puppy; it's now 3 years old and still in good condition.
Make sure to have plenty of bedding, readily avalable so you can cahnge your puppies bedding when necessary. 
Towels: Get some towels for your dog, to dry them off in the rain, or if their nice and fluffy they could also be used as bedding.

Clean-up Spray: Chances are, your puppy is going to have a few accidents in the house aswell as takingthem out regularly and rewarding for going out side, ignoring accidents and cleaning them up is really important. This is the spray we use for all our puppies as it removes the smell : Clean-Up Spray, you also need to buy plenty of bags to pick-up after your puppy.

Crate: I know there is a very split view on crates. One side is 'It's cruel to lock them in a cage' the other 'it's like a den, his special safe place'.I think it a very valuable tool for training a puppy, it aids toilet training and keeps your puppy safe (and not chewing your house) whilst you can't watch him, but if left there for hours-on-end, it's very unfair. I recommend setting up a play pen with a crate in for your puppy, for the day where they can go for brief periods of time for a nap, as a break from play, or whilst you can't supervise. I think a crate my your bed (maybe also with a pen) is the best thing, so you can hear them fuss and can take them out. They need to be introduced to it correctly (I'll post more on that another time). They are good for (whilst they are puppies and dogs) giving the dog their place to escape to, if they are fed up of a game, or being petted. Crates should be for your dog only, no children, adults, cats etc...

Clicker: This is a great training tool, for any dog but especially a puppy. A clicker basically means 'That was good, you earned a treat' and it gives you a few seconds to get the treat out of your pocket etc where you could otherwise accidentally reward the what they do between the desired behavior and the treat (for example: licking their lips, jumping up,  looking away ...) I personally like Karen Pryor's i-Click, which you can get them from; Positive Animal Solutions or, if your prepared to pay 1 pound extra to choose a color; Canine Concepts or your local pet shop should have clickers.
i-Click, Clickers (not my photo)

Anyway, that's just what I could think of! I'll probably do a couple more 'getting ready' posts, and I'm hoping to do daily updates on Buddy once he's here.

Beth & Wilson Xx

*All these recommendations are based on my experience with my dogs. The company's have not requested I promote them, nor is it a guarantee that they will suit your dog.

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