So you’re ready for a dog - congratulations! If you’re reading this blog, it means you’re doing your homework. At this point you’re probably trying to find the best crate, collar, toy and etc. Well, you’re at the right place. I did a ton of research, which involved some trial and error, on the best pet supplies, food and products. I’ve purchased the expensive stuff and the cheap stuff and made this comprehensive checklist so you don’t have to. This puppy checklist is pretty much pulled from my Amazon order history. Pippa is so spoiled. Let's get started.
1. A Really Good Collar.
I recommend buying this in store. You have to feel the insides of the collar to see if there are any rough edges. If it scratches your fingers, imagine what a pain in the ass it is to have it strapped to your neck all day. You know that wool sweater your aunt gave you for Christmas that scratches your neck all damn day? Yeah, it’s kind of like that with a shitty collar. #burnitwithfire Your pup grows every time you blink. So make sure you get a collar that is adjustable in size. As for design and color, that's up to you.
2. A Really Good Leash.
Remember when you tried to climb a rope in gym class as a kid and failed miserably? Remember the rope burn on your fingers? Ok, maybe that was just me, but that can happen if you pick a bad leash. This leash is padded for your precious fingers and has another padded handle to help teach your dog to heel.
3. Poop Bags.
Don’t be THAT guy. You know the guy I’m talking about. The one that lets their pet take a shit on the sidewalk and then non-chalantly walks away. Clean up after your dog. It’s sanitary and it’s the right thing to do. This one comes with a dispenser that clips on to your leash. Plus, you’ll have enough to pick up dog crap for a year.
4. A Two-Door, Adjustable Dog Crate.
You’re going to be moving your crate a lot (trust me). It just never looks like it’s in the perfect spot. It’s all about the feng-shui man. Having two doors offers flexibility on where you keep the crate. And being adjustable will help with potty training with your pup (an article we will cover later). Oh and keep a couple of worn t-shirts around and don’t wash them. Gross I know, but if you keep a couple of them in the crate, your dog will sleep better at night with your scent in there with them.
5. A Cover for your Crate.
Your dog naturally likes cavernous places, it’s in their DNA. A cover helps to keep your dog calm and relaxed by making the crate darker. Especially useful if your dog cries a lot.
6. A Collapsable Traveling Crate.
This one is optional but if you intend to bring your dog with you to travel a lot, this collapsable crate can be assembled in 10 seconds. It’s pretty nice to bring a “safe place” with you for your dog. But be aware, this is not adjustable so get one that’s big enough for your dog to turn around in and no bigger.
7. Nature’s Miracle Enzyme Stain & Odor Remover.
Unless your dog is the rebirth of Eistein, he’s going to have an accident. Get the big bottle because you will need to clean up your dog’s pee and poop real good so they don’t create an elimination area. We fill a couple of these spray bottles and keep in them in different rooms for convenience.
8. Clickers for Training.
I recommend clicker training. It’s consistent and super effective. These are great clickers because you can keep them around your wrist and they have a solid sound. When you own a puppy, you will always have a lot of things in your hands or pocket and having this thing around your wrist is a lifesaver. Pippa gets praised all the time on her training while she is only 4 months old and I believe it’s truly due to her clicker training. I keep one in my jacket pocket and a couple around the house so I can immediately tell her she’s doing a great job if I catch her being good.
9. A Treat Pouch for Training.
This pouch is awesome. Your can loop it on with your belt, or clip it to your pants. It also has a key clip so you can hang it up. I prefer this pouch because it has a hinge so you can quickly close it so your treats do not fall out while you bend over to praise your dog. Plus, I look like a real pro when I’m walking around with one. It’s a cool look… right? Guys?
10. Kongs. Lots of Kongs.
The holy grail of all dog toys. The King of them all. Other dog toys will bow down to this one. Kongs are a great toy in general but even better when it’s stuffed with food. Great way to stimulate them with their food to tire them out and keep them busy. Also great for separation anxiety (an article we will cover later). But definitely keep a couple around, stuff them with food and leave them in the freezer for a quick treat if you’re in a hurry. (Check back on different frozen food mixes to stuff into the Kong for a stimulating lunch)
11. A Bob-A-Lot Interactive Food Toy.
This toy is a great way to stimulate your dog mentally and physically. I prefer the Bob-A-Lot one over the Kong Wobbler because you can adjust the level of difficulty with the Bob-A-Lot. This toy will teach your dog to work for her food, be patient and also to be a bit clever. You always want to stimulate your puppy and tire them out mentally and physically. A tired puppy tend to be less destructive. Tired puppy = good puppy.
12. Jolly Tug Squeaky Toy.
You can play fetch with it. You can play tug with it. And it squeaks. It’s an all in one toy at a good price. What more can you ask for?
13. Chuckit! Balls- The Best Balls Ever.
Man’s best friend loves to fetch. But man’s best friend also likes to destroy things with their teeth. These balls are almost indestructible. And you want toys that are indestructible. If you can’t throw for shit, get the launcher with it and you’ll put most baseball players to shame with how far you can throw the ball.
14. An Infant Gate.
Some dogs do well in crates when you’re not home and some do not. Pippa does not do well in the crate but that’s ok. We “pen” her to an area in the house with some treats and toys and she loves it. We must’ve bought 7 gates and they were all junk and really cheaply built. We purchased this one in all different sizes and they are super flimsy - if you have a medium dog and bigger, I feel like this would collapse down quite easily. We ended up buying this one which is a solid metal gate. It feels nice, it looks nice, it's really sturdy and it’s adjustable. Did I mention that it looks nice? But beware, once your dog is fully grown, the gate becomes a mere suggestion. Your dog can jump twice as high when you’re not looking.
15. Deshedding Tool.
You will find fur everywhere. It’ll be in your food, on your clothes and even on your office desk at work. They are literally everywhere. This tool works really well in keeping that under control and it’s a great price. They compete against the FURminator which is a bit more expensive but the only difference is that the Furminator has a button to push the hair off the comb which I can do with my own fingers. Brushing your dog not only helps reduce the chance of fleas and ticks but it makes them soft #itssofluffy
16. Nail Trimmer.
If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking when they are walking, it’s time to trim them. Most people are nervous about cutting their dog’s nails. Well, it’s just all about practice and this trimmer is great because it has a stopper plate built in so you can’t cut too deep. Practice makes perfect. It also keeps more greens in your pocket from paying someone else to do it. So practice.
17. Bathing Shampoo.
There’s a lot of debate on how often you should bathe your dog. I’ll make this one easy, when the furball is dirty, bathe her. But I’m not cold-hearted either. I did a ton of reading, and this is the stuff that should keep your dog’s coat clean but not irritate her skin at the same time. And it smells nice which is a plus.
18. Food Bowls.
I recommend some non skid (rubber bottom) bowls that are nice and wide so your dog can’t tip them over. Dogs also eat really fast. Trust me, a puppy can literally inhale the food if you don’t slow them down. But I find that by throwing a ChuckIt Ball and a Kong in the bowl, that typically slow them down. The food bowl I linked isn’t non skid, but they fit into a nice stand that is height adjustable so they won’t move. If you have a dog that will get big and tall, get a stand for your food bowls and they’ll have an easier time eating.
19. Food Vault.
This food vault has a gasket (fancy word for a seal) built into the lid so dogs can’t smell their food. Which means they won’t destroy their container to get to their food. The lid is also HUGE so it’s easy to open and close. Plus they are stackable and pretty heavy duty. You don’t want to leave bags of kibbles laying around. Trust me.
20. Speaking of Dog Food, here is a Solid Choice.
Listen, you should probably do your own research on this (and you probably will). I recommend this site - Dog Food Advisor. They do their homework and they break down every ingredient for some of the most popular dog food choices. They will highlight any questionable ingredients in red. Your dog only lives so long so don’t feed it crap. Feed them 5 star pet food only. Please. Taste of the Wild (the one I linked above) above is a 5 star dry formula and is quite affordable compared to most 5 star dog food. However, if you want the best of the best, there is no better choice than Orijen. But at the end of the day, do your dog a favor and feed them the good stuff.
21. Odor Free Bully Sticks.
I like grass fed burgers. My dog probably likes grass fed bully sticks. If you don’t know what a bully stick is, it’s a roasted, dried out cow penis. So naturally, they smell pretty disgusting. But these ones do not smell and your sensitive nose will thank me. These bully sticks are much cheaper when you buy in bulk. I personally don’t think it helps THAT much with tartar build up but it’s definitely a treat that will keep them busy for a LONG time. These sticks are high in calorie so watch how many you give your dog. Did I mention they don’t smell like sweaty balls?
22. A Food Dehydrator.
You think gas is expensive? You should see me at the dog treat aisle as I’m shelling out cash for the best dog treats. Wait, did I mention I spoil the hell out of the dog yet? Pippa eats the good stuff, but the good stuff costs an arm and a leg. I’m a bit of a foodie and I like cooking so yeah… I make my own dog treats. And it’s not hard. Go buy a pack of chicken breast (or lean beef like top round), cube it up to bite size pieces, maybe throw in just a pinch of salt, lay it out in this dehydrator, let it work it’s magic over night and voila. You have the best dog treats in the world. You know exactly what went into them, and it’s nothing but protein. Best of all, your dog knows it’s the good shit and Fido will do back flips for it.
You’ll notice I didn’t recommend puppy training pads. Personally, I find training pads to be a waste of time. Literally. Training pads teach your dog to pee INSIDE the house. Half of the time, they’ll miss the pee pad completely anyways. It’s OK for your dog to have an accident inside the house, just clean it up and move on.
Thanks for reading this blog guys and I hope you find this checklist useful. If you find this helpful, share it with your friends, wives, husbands and everybody else. I will expand on some of these items in future blog posts but if you have any questions, hit me up in the comments below.