In case you missed the big news on Instagram stories Tuesday, I got a puppy! Her name is Reeses (not Reese!), which I know doesn’t make sense grammatically, but I don’t care. She’s the tiniest peanut butter cup, with black and fawn markings, plus Reeses is my favorite candy. Can you even with those eyebrows?! I’ve only had her at home for a few days, but I am head over heels in love with this little potato! She is so sweet and funny, and we’re having the best time together!
I grew up with dogs, but haven’t had one by myself as an adult until now. Naturally as a Type-A, Enneagram 3 control freak, I wanted to be very prepared. I read The Art of Raising A Puppy, then ordered a bunch of stuff on Amazon, Chewy.com and even did a local Hollywood Feed pick-up for some last minute items before I picked her up. I thought it might be helpful to share some of those items and highlight the must-haves, in case any of you are looking to get a dog yourself! Highly recommend the book I just mentioned as well. It contained some great info on how to get your pup on a schedule with crate/potty training right away, commands, etc that I’ve implemented this week!
CAR SEAT – Since I was driving to pick her up by myself, I wanted to make sure I had a safe and secure place to hold her in the front seat next to me. I ordered this pet booster car seat and it is great! I drive a tiny sedan that has bucket seats, so it fits better with a pillow underneath the back of it in my car. She was able to see out and hang out next to me (didn’t get car sick once!), but was secured to the seat with the safety belt you attach to the collar. She’s since gone to the vet and through the CVS Pharmacy drive-thru with me in it! Highly recommend for puppies and small dogs!
SNUGGLE PUPPY – This thing is an absolute Godsend. From all the research I read (including the book I mentioned above) and advice from my sister, friends and other dog owners, I knew I wanted to crate train her. For one, it’s a great tool for potty training, but it also gets the dog used to being in a crate for travel purposes, the vet, etc. A crate can be intimidating to a puppy, but this SmartPetLove Snuggly Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy eases the anxiety with a first-timer! It features a section where you place a heat packet and the heartbeat simulator, giving the puppy comfort throughout their time in the crate. I used it on my very first night and have every day since! She whines the first couple of minutes, but then snuggles up to the puppy, relaxes and falls asleep. So far she’s only woken me up twice to use the bathroom around 2:30 am before going back to sleep! The other nights she has made it to 5:30-6:30 am without waking me for a potty break. Needless to say, I ordered more heat packets for this thing. I can’t recommend it enough!
PUPPY BELLS – Per some of my follower’s recommendations on Instagram, I also ordered this! You’re supposed to train your dog to request bathroom breaks by having them hit the bell that’s hanging from the door knob. This is obviously just for when she’s outside the crate, but I’m hoping she picks this up over the next few weeks/months! Every time we go outside to go potty, I shake it to make the bell sound. That way, every time she hears the bell she will know it’s potty time! I’ve only had her a few days, so I’ll report back if and when she picks this up.
KONG TOYS – I had a bunch of you recommend KONG brand toys for teething! I bought this puppy pair right away. She’s a little too small to hold it in her mouth, so I think this will be more helpful in a couple of months when she’s a bit bigger and really starts teething a lot.
BABY GATE – For the time being (while she’s potty-training and teething), I’m keeping her in the kitchen and back part of my house only (my bedroom, bathroom, hallway by my office + patio). I want to protect my living room rug and furniture as long as possible while she’s still getting trained! To make this a bit easier and so I don’t have to keep her in the crate more than necessary, I got this baby gate. That way I can keep a better eye on her, and she can’t creep into the front part of the house and leave a surprise for me!
CRATE – As I mentioned above, I am crate training her! I bought this crate on Amazon. I got the 24 inch size, which is much bigger than her now at only 8 lbs. Luckily, it comes with an adjustable divider you can move so it can grow with her as she gets bigger! It’s really lightweight, which makes it easy to move from my kitchen (for daytime crate time), to my bedroom (for nighttime)! Keeping the crate in the kitchen during the day is easier for feedings + there’s a door right there to let her out quickly! I keep her in my bedroom at night right now because she has a little separation anxiety.
PEN – Per a bunch of your recommendations, I got this pen as well, but haven’t used it much. She wants to be near me constantly, so I think this will be better suited for her when she’s a bit older and enjoys playing by herself more! Right now I’m using it mostly as another baby gate, blocking her from certain areas (like all of my electrical cords).
TOYS – Her favorite toys right now are ones she can easily grasp! She loves crinkly toys, squeaky plush toys, and smaller tennis balls! Will report back once I have a chance to try out more!
I bought some other items as well, but either haven’t received them or haven’t used them. For example, I bought these puppy pads, but haven’t used them and am trying not to – they make more sense for apartment living when you don’t have access to grass! I’m going to save them for using in case of accidents in the car and for future travel though. Will give an update in a month or so with more info on other items I’ve used/tried!