Bringing a new puppy into your life can be a very exciting and rewarding experience, but you’re not just getting a puppy, you have to get all the things that your new puppy will need too! Of course you will probably need things like beds for them to lay on, and toys for them to play with, and a crate for them to curl up in, and gates to keep them out of areas they shouldn’t be in, and that’s just the basics!
It’s very easy to let the excitement of getting your new pet convince you to get the very best of everything your pet needs. The most plush, high end beds in fabrics that accent your home. The most beautiful wooden pet gates that look more like furniture then a barricade. Colorful soft sided pet crates that not only look more like a friendly fort then a cage, but are also light weight and portable so you can use them in the car or while visiting friends and family. There are SO many wonderful looking products to choose from with so many options that sound great and would look lovely in your home.
But wait, not so fast. There are many items designed for dogs that are not necessarily the right choice for a puppy. Puppies have their own special needs, and it’s important to keep them in mind when setting up your home for them.
You might want to hold off on buying that beautiful $200 dog bed that matches your drapes until AFTER your puppy has grown out of their chewing phase. Puppies have sharp teeth and an urge to use them – and most dog bed warranties do NOT cover chewing. If a dog bed does not specifically say that it is chew proof, then it’s not. For new puppies, you might want to start with cheap pet beds that you don’t feel bad seeing get ripped up. Once your pet grows out of that stage, THEN you can look at those beautiful beds with the memory foam and designer fabrics.
Remember those sharp teeth and the need to chew we were just talking about? Crates that are made of metal or thick plastic specifically designed for training crates are the best choices when your pet is young. Wooden pens look great, but if your puppy can sink his teeth into them, they won’t look great for long. You could take your chances with deterrents like Bitter Apple spray, but you may be better off waiting until your puppy has stopped chewing before investing in wooden enclosures. And don’t consider soft sided enclosures at all unless you will be supervising your puppy the entire time they are in them. Soft sided pet pens and crates are designed to be used by pets who have already been crate trained. These crates and pens are light weight and easy to transport making them a fantastic choice for enclosures on the go and away from home, but teeth and claws CAN get through their fabric and mesh designs if a pet is bound and determined to get out of them. So make sure your pet is comfortable with the idea of being enclosed before leaving them in a soft sided create or pen. Most puppies will not be ready for that yet, and even some adult dogs may not accept being closed in, so be sure to supervise your pet closely when getting them used to using Soft Sided enclosures, or you may have an escapee on your hands!
Gates are used to keep pets out of places they aren’t supposed to be while unsupervised. It’s common for those places to be nice areas of the home, and it’s natural to want a nice gate to block it off. There are some truly beautiful wooden pet gates on the market today that are well made and work wonderfully for many dogs. However, like wooden enclosures, if your puppy is still in their chewing phase you can expect their sharp little teeth to leave their marks in your new gate. You may want to choose something a little cheaper and harder for the first few months until your puppy gets a little older. Another thing to bear in mind when choosing a gate for a puppy – avoid too many horizontal bars, because some dogs can be impressive climbers! And finally, choose a gate that is designed for dogs with bar spacing that is appropriate for your pet’s breed. It’s important, especially if you have a small breed, to make sure they can’t get their heads stuck in the bars.
It may be a lot to keep in mind, but your new puppy will be worth it!