If you follow Nick & I, you know that our little 6 month old labradoodle, Ryder - is the love of our lives! A puppy is such a blessing, but man is it a lot of work! Here are some of my puppy MUST-HAVES that have gotten us through the hard times, and the best times! From travel, to teething tricks, to toys & training - as always, I got you!
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Below the photos, I give details about each item to explain why and what we used it for!
Portable Puppy Playpen - Judge me all you want, but we tried traditional “crate training” Ryder - and that only lasted a few nights. We are very lucky to be able to bring him to work with us everyday, so we knew beforehand that he wouldn’t be crated at all most days…so when it came to sleeping, he would freak out (like most dogs) when we would try to put him in the crate. Some dog owners are stronger willed than we are - but we caved! Ryder has slept with us, or on the floor in our room from night 3 & on - and we’ve had no issues, we personally love it. BUT, when we did leave him alone, we got this playpen for him that he LOVED! It was spacious, open at the top, and still gave him a sense of security. We used it for about the first 3-4 months, and then one day when he was big enough, he outsmarted the playpen & jumped out…and that was the end! Now we can leave him out when we leave. We also LOVE that this is so easy to pack - which is great for traveling situations. It even fit in my suitcase. This is definitely my number 1 must-have!
Comfort Pup - This was a must-have for the first month. This is a stuffed animal dog, with an artificial “tick” simulator, that simulates the beating of a heart! It’s comforting for the first few weeks when they are newly separated from their mother & siblings. Think about it, they are used to being in a dog pile, and very close to their mother’s heartbeat, so this was a huge comfort for Ryder the first month.
Bully Sticks - They don’t smell the best, but these were and still are Ryder’s favorite bones to chew on! These are great to keep them busy while they are going through the biting, teething phase.
Gooby Comfort Harness - The best harness ever! Super comfortable, gentle and secure for walks. Really to easy to put on, too!
Training Clicker - We got these from Ryder’s puppy school class, and it’s great for training and positive reinforcement! Here’s a video on how to use them.
Potty Training Doorbell - We used this technique for the first few months of potty training. We don’t use it anymore, but it was good for behavior/potty-training in the beginning months.
Frozen Carrots - Whaaaat?! YUP! But HEAR ME OUT. These have been a SAVIOR, to this day. When your puppy goes through the crazy biting & teething phase, put a bag of large carrots in the freezer - and pull them out when you are desperate. The coldness feels great on their gums, and it keeps them busy for a long time. To this day, whenever I open the freezer, Ryder runs right over!
Kongs - I’ll put a scoop of peanut butter in these and freeze them as a treat for Ryder when we leave him for a few hours - keeps them busy & is a sweet treat!
Soft Training Bites - Perfect for puppy school or training times.
Slow Feeder Food Bowl - If your pup eats too fast (sometimes Ryder would eat so fast he would just throw it all up) this is a great bowl & tool for slowing them down.
Collapsible Water Bowl - Great for long walks or traveling when they are aware from their water bowl.
Potty Pads - Ryder didn’t use these much, but it is good for backup in traveling situations, or if you live in an apartment.
Furbo Dog Camera - We don’t have one of these because he’s with us during the day, but a lot of my girlfriends have them to monitor their pups while they are at work & love them! It can even shoot out treats for them!
No Chew Spray - Great to spray on things that your pup is chewing, and shouldn’t be chewing!
Tear Stain Removing Comb - This is so great & gentle for getting tear stains/eye boogies out.
Baby Gate - Totally necessary if you have stairs in your home, until they are able to get up & down themselves, or if you just want to keep them in certain areas of the home.
Soft Carrier - We had to fly with Ryder after picking him up, and this is the carrier we used. It is approved for all airlines - and he loved it & we could tell he felt safe.
Carpet Foaming Refresher Spray - This is a lifesaver for bringing your carpet back to life after one too many puppy accidents.
Deer Antler Chew Toy - Ryder’s current favorite chew toy! It’s great for their teeth as well.
Doggie Blanket - This is great to throw over your furniture where they lay, or for traveling.
Calming Chews - We used these before flying with Ryder, and they seemed to calm him down!
Grooming Brush - Ryder doesn't shed, but this is the brush we use to comb him out (when he lets us!)
Donut Cuddler - We JUST ordered this for Ryder & we are so excited to try it - the reviews are amazing for this bed. It’s supposed to be super comforting and anxiety-relieving for dogs.
Poop Bags - You’ll need these. Lots of these! (and they smell good!)