Since the last time I got a puppy was five years ago. Things have improved in the field of puppy management.
Here are the life-saving puppy essentials:
The Snuggle Puppy – this is a plush toy that comes with a beating heart sound maker you put inside it. No longer do you have to endure whining so piercing it can shatter glass. This helps baby adjust to being alone. Caveat: The battery won’t last a week if you don’t turn off the heart when not in use.
DAP Spray – This is a synthetic spray designed to smell like a mother dog so puppies (and adults) feel comforted. Use to calm them for car rides, thunderstorms, fireworks. I spray some on a handkerchief.
Kong Crate – I had never crated before, and I don’t know how I did it.
Crating helps with potty training, and gives you a break so you can actually finish a shower. These are built fairly well, and come with optional red pad that has bumpers around the edges. Be sure to attach a water bottle.
Wee Wee Pads – Got to have these lined up all around whatever room you designate as The Puppy Room. This room should not contain things you care about. I transformed our family room by putting in a rug I didn’t care about, unplugging everything, and removing most items. Get XL, I think they are the same price.
Chew Toys – Unless you want to lose your remotes, cell phones, shoes, glasses, sofas, pillows and everything else, get plenty of chew toys. My favs are the Nylabones, not the ones called “edibles”, those won’t last a day. Also, rawhide chews are good.
One thing dogs LOVE are the cattle hooves. Described as “providing endless chewing entertainment,” these chews emit a pungent odor that makes your entire home smell like a feedlot. Avoid.
Also, avoid the deer/antler chews for the power chewers. They’ll just eat them.
For the power chewers: Tuffy Toys are the best. They are super reinforced and extra stitched to not fall apart under the most relentless thrashing and gnawing.
My Rott puppy loves Gary the Gator.
Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray – This will easily stop all kinds of bad behaviors: pawing at things, chewing, biting, jumping. No need to scream or slap. Just a spritz near the face, or drench the item. Note: other brands don’t work as well.
Lupine No-Pull Training Harness – This one is designed to use gentle pressure on their leg, which stops their pulling. The harness is pretty toughly made. Trains them pretty quick. Note: it clips onto the dog’s existing collar (that you buy separately.)
Loc8tor Pet Tracking Device – This is not a GPS. It’s a little homing tag you put on your pet’s collar and through this you can track them with the handheld device that lights up as you get closer, and makes louder beeping sounds.
Guides you to within a inch of your pet. Also will start tracking inside when your pet is outside. You can also locate them when they are above you. It works amazingly well.
This has saved my pets many times. Order it online from a British company here, takes a couple weeks to get it.
I will update this post as I find more useful items.