Is there anything more exciting than bringing home a new best friend? We get so excited about new puppies that we tend to go a little overboard on supplies.
Now don’t get me wrong, being prepared is much better than not, but there are a few items you can skip out on – at least for now. Here’s 3 items I wouldn’t buy for a new puppy.
Your Puppy Doesn’t Need a Fancy Bed Right Away
Puppies go through a teething phase just like babies. Pair that with the fact that they learn about the world around them by exploring with their mouth and you can see easily anything can become a chew toy to them. If you’ve ever had a puppy you know how frustrating it is to keep their attention on the “right” things to chew on.
Many dog beds have been ruined by puppies, two of which I can claim personally. If you’re crate training you understand how quickly things can turn ugly, at least for the sake of anything left alone with your pup in their crate.
I am not saying you shouldn’t crate train. When done properly it’s an excellent way to keep your puppy safe, out of trouble, and calm while you’re away.
The problem comes in when deciding what to leave in your pups crate while you’re away. Stuffed Kongs are great because they’re tough and keep your dog busy, but dog beds are just an easy target for chewing.
You’d think I would have learned my lesson the first time my dog Carter chewed up his bed over 10 years ago. But no, when I got Laika I decided to get her a brand new fancy bed.
Out of the 3 dogs I’ve had over the past 15 years 2 of them destroyed their dog bed when they were puppies. I know that’s far from scientific, but it’s a pretty good indication that I’m not the only one whose come home to a dog bed that suddenly looks like it exploded.
Now of course you’re going to want to keep your dog comfy with something nice to lay on, but you don’t have to buy an expensive dog bed for your puppy just yet. I’d wait until you’re confident that they can be left alone without participating in destructive chewing before shelling out big bucks on a nice dog bed.
Some cheaper alternatives to dog beds are blankets, towels, and cushions. If you’re crafty you can make this nifty DIY dog bed with about $26 worth of materials:
If your puppy has started chewing on their dog bed you can salvage it before it’s too late.
Companies like Molly Mutt sell bed covers (called duvets) that are easy to wash & come in a variety of patterns. They’re the reason I was able to keep using the “innards” of Laika’s expensive orthopedic dog bed after she’d destroyed the outside.
I’d Wait on Getting a Fancy Collar
I know it’s really tempting to buy a fancy collar for your sweet new puppy but remember – they’re going to grow out of it pretty quick.
While dog collars aren’t quite as expensive as dog beds a lot of them can get pretty pricey. For practicality I’d stick to a simple dog collar with adjustments that will provide your pup with some room to grow.
If you’ve never experienced how quickly puppies grow (especially large breeds) it’s astounding. That $30 collar you bought last week might not fit your pup in a few days.
From the age of 6 weeks onwards, a small breed pup may gain around 5oz per week, a large breed pup around 2.5lbs. – Understanding Puppy Weight Estimates
Pee Pads Just Add Time to Potty Training
I get the idea behind pee pads, but they tend to cause more harm than good, at least when it comes to potty training efficiently.
Instead of just teaching your dog to go to the bathroom outside you’re adding in another step. It’s still going to a challenge to teach your pup to move from the pee pads to the outdoors. Why not just cut out that unnecessary step?
Potty pads teach dogs to toilet on square, absorbent surfaces. This can cause dogs to make potty training “mistakes” on your rugs, bath mats, dog beds, or blankets – all of which resemble the substrate your dog has developed a preference for. – Houstraining Tips: Should You Use Potty Pads?
If you’re really dedicated to potty training and pay close attention for the first few days you can have a pup that’s house broken quickly. It’s a pain in the butt for sure, but it can be done much quicker without the addition of pee pads.
What Items Has Your Puppy Destroyed?
What items has your puppy chewed up? What sorts of things would you think twice about before buying for a puppy again? How many dog beds have your dogs chewed up? (I know I’m not the only one…)