Monday, 9 March 2020

Five essentials to buy for your new puppy

People often ask me what they need to buy before they bring their puppy home.  Here is a round-up of the essentials that you will need in advance of the ‘big day’.


When dog crates were first introduced a lot of people, including me,  thought they were monstrous.  Who would put a dog in a cage?
We know better now.   Used sensibly, a  crate is a brilliant invention,  it provides a place of safety and relaxation for puppies when they are tired.  And some respite for you when you are too exhausted or busy to make sure Fido is not destroying your antique chair legs.  It makes toilet training a million times easier, and keeps your puppy safe at night whilst the family is asleep.


Another great invention.  Vetbedding is that fake fleecy fur that comes in a roll.  You buy a piece to fit your crate.  It is not cheap  BUT,  in this case, you do get what you pay for.  It goes in the washing machine, and in the tumble dryer.  And it lasts for years.
For puppies, you should avoid any dog bed with a fancy liner and stuffed or padded interior.  Your puppy will rip it open and eat the contents.   No matter what it says on the label.


Your pup will need two bowls.  One for food,  one for water.   The heavy ceramic kind are best for water as they are very difficult to tip over.  Stainless steel food bowls are very easy to clean and unbreakable, but they tip up at the drop of a hat and make a horrendous noise as the puppy chases them around the kitchen.


A good breeder will send you and the puppy home with a few day’s provision of the food that he is used to.  You will need to buy your own supply in advance if you are intending to change to a different brand.  This will allow you to make the changeover gradually from his old food to the new before the old runs out.


Last but not least, I can’t stress too strongly how important it is to have health insurance for your pet.   There have been astonishing advancements in veterinary treatments available for our pets today.   Most things you can be treated for, your dog can be treated for too.  Open heart surgery,  complex hip operations, advanced cancer treatments are all available to the dog.  But they are very expensive.
You are usually looking at an average week’s wages for anything involving x-rays and general anesthetics. The last thing you want to be doing when your pet is sick is choosing between saving the dog’s life, and your daughter’s college fund.
Many pedigree puppies come with a few weeks of free insurance.   If not,  get some insurance the day before you bring your puppy home.  And read the small print before you buy, some of the cheaper policies will dump you at the end of the year if your dog gets a long term condition.  I did not read the small print and this happened to me.  So take care to choose a policy that keeps on renewing as long as you keep on paying.
And you?
What do you wish you had bought before your puppy arrived?