Whether you’re welcoming a new puppy or rescuing an older dog into your home, it’s such an exciting time for you, so here’s everything I think are essential for the brilliant chaos of a new dog.
Although not every dog will come to you crate trained, crates are a great way of keeping your dog safely contained for short periods of time alone instead of being destructive at home and eating shoes or cables.
Not only are crates helpful for young puppies before you trust them to have free roam of the house, but it separates them from your existing dogs so they don’t invade each others space whilst you’re out. If you’re getting a rescue dog then many dogs actually find their crate as their safe space to get away from the noise of the house. Particularly if you have young children the dogs can enjoy being around your family and playing, but will often take themselves away to their crate for a bit of peace which we should encourage and leave them be!
Although not the prettiest addition to your interior you can buy crate covers which go over the top of the crate to blend it into your furniture. Some companies even make bespoke dog crates which are built into furniture like side tables, they really are a feature piece! This Lords of Labradors crate cover also keeps the dogs calm with the roll down sides – https://amzn.to/3hw3jAD
Metal crates are best so dogs can’t chew them or escape. They need to be big enough for your dog to move around and rotate their body (remember how big your puppy will grow) but not so big that they have excess room as this can often be a reason they go to the toilet in their crate. I recommend this style of crate – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ellie-Bo-Puppy-Folding-Non-Chew-Medium/
2. No puppy pads
If your new dog is not toilet trained then you may have been recommended puppy pads. These are absorbent pads that you put on the floor for your dogs to go to the toilet on. But you should skip this step completely. You’d need to train your dogs to wee in the particular area of your house that has the puppy pads which can be quite confusing when you train them to wee outside after that. Skip the puppy pads step and after every meal or when they wake up from a nap take them straight outside to the loo. They’ll soon learn the difference between going outside to the toilet and inside. Not to mention a lot less waste and cleaning for you each day.
3. Teething toys
Young dogs are going to lose their teeth and will chew on anything they can find to help with their painful gums. You’ll want lots of toys on standby to quickly offer them instead of them chewing on your fingers (you won’t believe how needle sharp those little teeth are!). No shouting or punishing them when they chew as they’re only doing what’s natural and don’t mean to hurt you, just offer them a toy that is much more exciting.
A bit like chew toys for toddlers these Nylabone teething keys are a must for any puppy owner! https://amzn.to/3WKTeQp
Kongs are a lifesaver for all dog owners! If your dogs are pestering you and you need 5 minutes peace whilst cooking dinner or working just give them a Kong. These super tough rubber toys have a hole in the centre which you can fill with their dinner or snacks and it takes them a while to get the food out. To make it even harder fill it with wet food then put the Kong in the freezer, it will double the time your dogs take to empty it! https://amzn.to/3G5GuO8
Even with my adult dogs I have Nylabones lying around the house. They’re scented so smell exciting to your dogs without the mess of food. Small and easy to take with you when visiting friends or for your dogs to chew whilst sat at a cafe. https://amzn.to/3Tujhs2
The main advice I’d like to share is take as many photos and videos of your new dogs as you can! They’re such special memories to look back on.
Thanks for reading,
Megan, Woody and Wilma x