I am often asked for a shopping list for puppies so here is a list of items, most are from Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small payment from qualifying purchases but these are all items from my shopping history and I often show in stories.
FOOD: I feed the puppies Darwin’s raw food and they have a great introductory offer of 10 pounds for $14.95. Follow the sign up process, I would suggest listing 20 pounds as the adult weight and check puppy for the age. I believe it will tell you your dog will eat 4 pounds per week. You have the option to select between the organic line ($30.38/wk in Nov 2022) or the value line ($24.61/wk in Nov 2022). After you get your intro offer you can change the cadence, the default seems to be every 5 weeks. You can also change between organic and value. I am not a Darwin’s partner or affiliate so please reach out to them with questions, they are a local company and their customer service is fantastic. You can do the entire process on the phone or sign up online and then call them at 206.324.7387
POTTY: I suggest going from the litter box to potty outside. The litter box is just a training technique I use here but you can see in my FB/IG stories my adult dogs do not go potty in the house. I buy poop bags from Amazon and typically get 900 at once because it is so much cheaper than places like Mud Bay. I’ve tried many products for potty accidents and I like this one the most for cleanups: Pet Force Stain and Odor Eliminator – this is a concentrate so you probably need a smaller bottle (I purchase the 128 oz but it also comes in 16 oz and 32 oz). Good reviews and looking at my order history I’ve been using for about 5 years. Another potty training tip is that I recommend not letting them have access to too large of an area at a time. I would suggest a baby gate – I like these extra tall walk through gates because they just make life easier. Just an example, if you hang in your living room in the evenings then start by just letting your pup have access to the living room and not the entire house. If gates don’t work with the layout of your house another thing that works to section off a room are these exercise pens which are shown as a circle but I create a wall with them.
CRATES: You are going to bring home a crate with your puppy but it is very small, I expect it to last maybe 3-4 weeks. Small is good, it is comforting and keeps puppy from going potty in their crate. I started my girls in the 24″ crate and then we eventually moved up to the 30″ crate and that is what they still have now. What I like about this style is that they can see everything happening but if you that is too much stimulation and you need to you cover it I suggest something light like a sheet or pillow case, nothing heavy because they get hot. I also send my families home with a snuggle puppy which helps comfort them while they are in the crate and reminds them of snuggling wit their siblings. I know there are some knockoff brands on Amazon but check out the reviews, they seem to have issues with the battery operated heartbeat.
HARNESS: I recommend a harness over a collar and I think a local store like Mud Bay is a better place (vs Amazon) because Mud Bay’s return policy is awesome. If you purchase on Amazon make sure you are measuring your puppy prior to ordering because as an example, Beyonce’s harness is an XS and she’s 17 pounds. For some brands an XS harness is for a 5 pound dog. I also want to share that I don’t have my girls wear their harness unless we are going for a walk or a car ride because the rubbing against your puppy causes mats. I’ll talk about those next. I do not recommend walking your dog around the neighborhood or public places until they are fully vaccinated against parvo which is another 6 weeks after leaving here but that doesn’t mean that you can’t practice leash walking in your yard or even inside of your house. I show this in my IG/FB stories, when you first take puppy home, before they are vaccinated, I use a tiny chicken harness (size small) and have had great results.
GROOM: Ok back to the harness causing mats, most dogs don’t love being brushed/combed so it will take time to get them used to it. If you get a puppy from me, I use a comb on my puppies to desensitize them and I also put an electric toothbrush on their feet to get them used to having their feet touched. Please keep up on combing your puppy because they get matted very fast and if it gets to be too much the groomer will shave your dog down and that fluffy, teddy bear coat is probably part of what you feel in love with so let’s work to keep it! Here are the tools that I use. My groomer recommended starting with a slicker brush as the first step to combing your dog. You can search “slicker brush” on Amazon/Petco/Chewy etc and read reviews and find one. After you use the brush you can move to combing them out. I have about 4 of these combs and they are my favorite because you can get all the way to their skin and not just brush the ends of their hair. If there is a mat I need to cut through I have one of these de-matting combs.They are shipped for a dominant right hand but it was easy enough to switch – one side is very sharp so again be careful – watch your fingers butalso be careful combing out your dog with this item. You shouldn’t need this for a new puppy, this is useful as they get older and hopefully you don’t need to use it often. I recently shared that I purchased this grooming dryer and I LOVE it. I don’t know why I took so long for me to realize I needed. I blow the coat completely dry and with one hand on the dryer and the other on the comb using the dryer makes the comb move through their coat so easily. I have shared in stories that I use an electric toothbrush to desensitize puppies to grooming but I’ve recently purchased this nail grinder and have been using that on puppies as well as my adult dogs and so far I really like it.
TOYS: My favorite place to buy toys for my dogs is Ross and TJMaxx because I think they have the best deals. You are going to go home with some toys but puppies will be teething so they are going to want to chew A LOT. I recommend you have a generous supply of toys! Squeaky toys, stuffed toys, hard toys, and chewy toys! Lots of options will help keep your pup entertained and can be used to provide a diversion for when your pup wants to chew on something they shouldn’t. This is important for your puppy, and will make life better for them and you! I do not recommend buying rawhide because I feel it is not a digestible, safe product for dogs but that is just my opinion and stores continue to sell – just do some research. Puppies need supervision with toys and they have a better experience if you actually play with them. In our stories, I show my girls play with “interactive toys” (in quotes so to help you search and find). They love puzzles and they come in different levels – 8 week old puppies can start with level 1. I recommend that you supervise so they don’t destroy and I suggest rationing the time they have the puzzle so they don’t get bored after using twice. My girls have this level 2 puzzle and then we moved to level 3 In addition to puzzles I’ve shared that we use licky mats, snuffle mats and I put baby food in these treat dispensing toys and freeze and these all provide mental stimulation.
BEDS: Your puppy is usually going to want to chew up and destroy even their dog bed. The truth is they are absolutely fine sleeping on the hard floor, they do not require a soft bed to feel comfortable. A lot of times a dog bed can make your puppy feel hot. If you watch our FB/IG stories then you will see we have a few of these beds and I’m sure you will see in videos. If you are looking for a dog bed that has a raised edge like a couch search “bolster” – I think the dogs like to rest their head on the raised edge.
TREATS: I talk about treats a lot in stories. I use freeze dried raw dog food for treats. The product is a little higher price for me to feed multiple dogs as their meal but the love it for treats and the small size is perfect. Our favorite brands are Vital Essentials – I have purchased the mini nibs in duck, rabbit, salmon, beef as well as their minnows. I sent my families home with freeze dried salmon from cat-man-doo (local company) and this is the treat that I use when I teach them “sit for please” which you may have seen in my stories.