How To Spoil Your New Puppy With The Best Accessories
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Life with a new puppy is full of exciting surprises! When you get a new puppy, the temptation to buy alllllll the adorable things is strong!
But puppy stuff can be kind of expensive when you consider all the necessities.
From potty training to play time, these accessories will help you and your new dog get a great start to a happy life together.
I’d always wanted to have a puppy, but ended up with awesome, older dogs. Until…one February morning when a box of abandoned puppies popped up on our neighborhood Facebook page.
I lasted maybe 20 minutes thinking before dashing over there, and came home with my very first puppy, Roxy!
Then only 3 months later, we did it all again when we rescued Rico.
I learned SO many lessons on life with a new puppy over those first few months.
For one, don’t go crazy spending a ton of money on cute accessories, cause puppies grow QUICK. Plus, they have sharp teefers that can chew a fluffy bed in no time!
Top 10 New Puppy Must-Haves
- Adjustable Dog Collar
- Boomerang Tags – Silent, Durable, and Will Not Fall Off
- Metal Dog Crate
- Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate
- Deluxe Pet Bed
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
- Pet Training Pads
- Kong Classic Dog Toy
- Trixie Pet Puzzle
- Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Dog Toy
Most Important – Collar and Tag
A good, sturdy collar and tag are the top two things any dog needs, even puppies. I’ve seen a ton of Facebook posts on young dogs that ran off and got lost, so a tag is a must. Poor Ri was so scared of noises that he froze when we put a metal dangling tag on him.
We ended up finding Boomerang Tags and we all love them! They work with most collars, letting them have style with none of the clinking you get from other tags. P.S. Here are more tips on dealing with lost dogs, just in case you need it!
A Cozy Crate & Bed
Crate training is very highly recommended. It didn’t exactly work for Rico, so we had to make some adjustments. We suspect a regular crate was a little too similar to the box he was found in. We instead used this pen below and put R&R in it together, which worked great!
With Roxy, we got a cute, fluffy bed for inside the pen…which of course ended up being mistaken for a stuffed toy! I quickly realized that thinner, flat beds like the one below worked best for her, and she enjoyed laying on them without being destructive!
Toys & Treats
Kongs are amazing for puppies who get bored easily. Giving them something yummy to chew helps keep their teeth away from your skin!
You can add fillers that are easy on the tummy so they don’t get overloaded. I often mix a bit of white rice with peanut butter, and R&R LOVE it.
They dash over as soon as the peanut butter comes out of the cabinet. I also played puzzle games with Rico. Can you tell Roxy is NOT a fan of them, or having to think to get her food? At least Rico loves figuring them out! Click here for some of our favorite dog puzzles!
Having a strategy in place for dealing with potty accidents is key to keeping your sanity! We had tile floors everywhere, luckily, so I used these microfiber cloths constantly.
The blue was great for cleaning nose art off windows, while the white was perfect for dusting.
Any guesses on what the yellow ones were used for? 😉
We didn’t use pee pads, but many swear by them! Pro tip: bacon works GREAT for potty training!
Ri was a tough one to train because he was extremely fearful of being outside with all the street noises. Bacon was seriously the only thing that worked to motivate him.
Have a new puppy? These methods will help you keep your sanity while housebreaking a tough-to-train dog!
Healthy Food & Yummy Treats
We want to feed our pups the very best food, but it can be a bit challenging to sort through them all.
DogFoodAdvisor.com is a fantastic resource for finding the best fit for your family.
It breaks down the ingredient lists and shows details of protein/fat/carb content. Plus, you can sign up for their free recall alert service.
I also recommend fish oil, as it’s beneficial in helping the brain and eyes develop properly.
A great way to save money on one of the most frequent pet expenses is by ordering through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program. We recently switched Roxy & Rico to Wag dog food, as it’s pretty highly reviewed on DogFoodAdvisor.
By ordering their food through Subscribe & Save, I can save up to 15% when I have at least 5 items selected. Plus, it gets delivered regularly each month, and saves me from carrying bags of dog food out of the grocery store when it’s -20 degrees outside in the winter! Click here to view all the dog food options available through Subscribe & Save.
Now, this is something we’ve never actually used for the babies. Mostly because the ones I found wouldn’t work with our vet in Puerto Rico, and by the time we moved to Alaska, most things might’ve been considered a pre-existing condition. I definitely encourage you to check out a few different plans to see if one fits your needs, though!
Puppies are NOT cheap. Shots and frequent check ups are pricey, but well worth it, as is a microchip, which I highly recommend. Here are some ways pet owners can save money.
I recently started playing with Stash Invest and this would’ve been a GREAT puppy emergency fund. It’s got a bit of risk behind it, but so far my investment fund has grown over 19%, and I’m getting educated on investments. I mostly like that it’s money set aside from my bank account, so it’s not likely to be spent. And it’s easy to transfer back to your bank account when needed.
For a less risky option, Digit is highly recommended. It syncs with your bank account and determines how much it can add to your savings safely, based on your spending. If you struggle with remembering to save, the monthly fee might be well worth it!
Another way I saved was by shopping online with Rakuten. It doesn’t cost anything and PAYS YOU via cash back when you shop at participating stores. Petco is one of their partners, and also where I typically bought most of R&R’s toys, so it was free money! Plus, if you sign up by clicking here, Rakuten will give you a $10 bonus credit after your first qualifying purchase!
Pups need LOTS of stimulation (toys!!) and to be kept really busy. I wish some of our local dogs were kept busy, they might bark less!
We have a puppy pen!!! We thought was would be brilliant to keep our foster kittens in one place. Sadly they were out in 3, 2, 1……… and running around the house lie maniacs! * sigh *
Oh my gosh, that’s too funny! I can just picture the kitty scramble!
These are good tips for new puppies. We thought a pen would be great but my boys were too big even when they were little and they just knocked it over. But crates did work for us. I like how you note the difference between puppies and what works for them.
I’m honestly surprised Roxy & Rico never figured out how to knock it over. The sturdiness was pretty impressive! We used it when we moved to the new house to get them acclimated while preventing them from acting out, and Rico actually figured out how to open the latch, so we had to use the extra security latch!
I have never had a puppy – only older dogs. But like you if one ended up in our neighborhood in need of a home I could probably be convinced!
I say I got my fill of the puppy stage, but who am I kidding. If another situation like those popped up, I’t totally do it again!
Puppies are so much fun and so much responsibility. I’ve been thinking about starting a Stash account, and now I think it’s time to actually do it.
I love Stash! We started using it awhile back and it was great to build up some extra savings. We easily transferred cash back into our bank account when our Ginger girl needed surgery in November 2016, and it was great to have that already set aside.
I remember being surprised how much time and money was needed for kittens after Truffle and Brulee came to live with me. It had been 16 years since I’d had a kitten and now I had two. They are definitely worth it, but quite the responsibility.
It can certainly be a surprise with how much they can cost! They are so worth it for sure though!
I have been looking into pet insurance and indeed pets are not cheap and one should be sure they can afford them before getting one. What a great list for those just starting out!!
So many people don’t realize the importance of crate training. Lots of good suggestions here. I really like the tag that actually attached to the collar. I haven’t seen that before.
The tag has been a fantastic improvement over noisy tags. We haven’t had any issues with it falling off, which is perfect!
Thanks for reminding people that it takes money to properly care for pets. Years ago, I took in a pup and assured my dad that he was “free.” My dad said, “Honey, there is no such thing as a free puppy.” A few years and a few thousand dollars later (pancreatitis, y’all!), I told a friend the same thing. Live and learn. I never thought about a separate emergency fund just for pet expenses, but it’s a great idea!
Roxy and Rico were both “free” too and man those free puppy costs add up!
This is an amazing post that every puppy parent or potential puppy parent should read! “Money, honey” for sure! Puppies or any pets for that matter are not cheap to raise, food, vet bills, and everything in between comes at a cost. And I can’t stress enough the importance of some form of crate for a puppy – for the puppies safety and for our sanity!
Crating saved us so much headache too!
Gusto is a 10 month-old pup and I agree with everything you have set out on this post. The cost of the pup is minimal compared to the added expenses of vet care, toys, obedience and conformation classes, premium food and treats, crates, pee pads (ongoing in this frigid weather since I don’t want to go out in -5 degree weather), leashes, long lines, show leads, bait, cleaning wipes…and the list goes on. I have not yet checked into pet insurance…there is so much fine print to read…lol
I totally feel you on not wanting to go out in the cold! I’m so thankful we have a fenced yard so I can let them out in the mornings. I can pretty much tell how cold the temperature is outside by how fast they potty!
I really like the tips here and the idea of using an exercise pen instead of a crate is really good. Have you heard some dog trainers recommend putting wheat straw or shredded paper in a crate and some dogs like to burrow in that? Also, thanks for covering the $$ factor.
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