Puppy Prep Shopping List

Here are some of my favorite puppy items. You may use this list as a guideline when shopping for your new buddy! 

Nature’s Miracle is great stuff. It honestly deodorizes any accidents your puppy may have while potty training. I prefer the non-scented kind. When I use it, I KNOW I haven’t just masked the smell.

A bag of Current Dog Food and Water Bowl/Food Bowl: Starlight Ridge puppies are raised on Life’s Abundance All Stages Grain Free Dog Food. We have recently made this switch after concerns about dog food companies outsourcing overseas and losing quality control. I never want to get a phone call saying that something tragic has happened to one among our puppy family because of a dog food that has been recalled… just a little too late. LA pet foods are based on solid holistic vet science. They provide both prebiotics and probiotics, fruits and veggies and multiple sources of proteins. I recommend my puppies switch to LA (grain free) All Stages Dog Food at six months of age. Here is a link to the puppy food the puppies have been raised on. Please make sure to order it far enough in advance before puppy go home day.

Bitter Apple Spray WORKS. Your puppy is teething. He will chew anything that’s in his path. It’s not his fault if precautions aren’t taken and your best shoes get ruined. This spray can be used on cords, furniture, shoes… pretty much anything.  It’s a great natural consequence. You won’t need to verbally scold. (Which is important to avoid during their fear period 8-11 weeks)  Just spray and snicker. 😉

All natural Treats for outings. You’ll want to take your puppy with you to safe places as often as possible. It’s good to introduce him to as many new people as possible. When puppy meets a new person, ask that stranger to give puppy a treat that he LOVES. This goes a long way in making meeting people an immediately positive experience. Make sure you’re holding puppy while stranger is giving treats. Speak with a super happy tone, not a cautious tone.

Crates are great! Until he’s potty trained, any time you’re not able to watch your puppy, or have your puppy close by, he should be contained. This can be in a single room with a litterbox (I use woodstove pellets available at Grange), in a crate, or in a puppy playpen -Not my favorite, because my pups are used to more space, nevertheless, it’s an option. Remember, immediately upon coming out of his crate, or waking up from any nap, puppy will need to go potty. Walk him directly outside. Do not pass GO.

Leash/Collar    In most of our litters, we no longer wear collars after 5 weeks, for safety reasons. There’s just too much wrestling and room for feet to get caught in collars. When you’re ready, for leash training, place a short leash on him and let him drag it around the house several times per day for a few days. (Use bitter Apple Spray when he tries to chew it.) Then pick it up and call the puppy to you. At this point, never drag the puppy or pull the leash, or he will instinctively resist you. Make it a positive experience. Treats are okay to use here. Give it time. He will get used to the feel of it. Then you can move on to training on lead.

An Appointment With His Vet     Your puppy was given his first set of vaccinations in at seven weeks. His next set is due when he is 10 to 11 weeks old. A vet appointment should be set before your puppy comes home, so you’re not caught off guard. Vaccinations and proper vet care are essential for his wellbeing.

A Spot in Puppy Kindergarten   It’s my deep hope that each Starlight family will take their puppy through at least Kindergarten and Obedience One. It helps both your dog and you in so many ways: It gives you and your pup a common language, which aids tremendously in bonding. It provides socialization and builds your dog’s confidence. It provides enrichment and stimulates your pup’s brain. It nips behavior issues in the bud, which enhances your pup’s safety. …and it certainly creates less work for you in the long run!! Okay, I’ll get off my soap box. But, please… sign him up now. ☺

Soft Plush Toys, Teething Toys, Small Tennis Balls    I will provide you with an old plush toy carrying the scent of his litter mates and mama. You will need plenty more with his new home scent☺ Make sure to rotate toys and chews. Puppies will get much more enjoyment out of a toy that has been hidden for a week and reintroduced. …So start shopping!

Bed and Blanket    Your Pup will need to nap a lot. (Basic rule: for every hour of play, he’ll need two hours of nap. Hopefully this is broken up into small segments; with lots of play/nap cycles throughout the day. I keep a bed in my master bathroom. During the winter months especially, my dogs prefer the comfort of a bed to the hard stone floor. Blankets/Beds are great for their crate too. Places like Ross and TJ Maxx are a super option for dog beds, dog bowls and some dog toys. You will find quality brands for less than your traditional pet stores.

I love the Chris Christiansen line of Brushes. The 16mm T Brush (Available through Amazon) is an important tool in getting tangles out. It isn’t as necessary when the puppy is small, but when he gets his full coat between 11 and 13 months, you will appreciate this brush line.

My favorite shampoo HANDS DOWN is called Mink Sheen Shampoo. Again, available through Amazon. You won’t believe how soft and silky it leaves his fur! Tangles and burs are easy to get out when you use it regularly. For additional detangling and softening, use Nature’s Specialties Detangling and Conditioning Spray. They both smell amazing too!