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Puppy Essentials - Puppy Owner's Guide

Updated: Jan 21



Having a puppy comes with great responsibilities, especially if it's your first puppy. Furbabys Ireland (IMDT accredited dog trainer / puppy specialist +R) and Kopi & Co. have partnered to share with you a variety of different equipment, accessories and quick tips to help you get ready to bring your puppy home.


Here are some of the things you’ll need to make your house feel more like a home for your new furry friend.

  • "Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy" book by Steven Mann

  • The Dog Decoder app

  • Dog License

  • Hot water bottle & comfort blanket

  • Crate & cosy bed

  • Vet bed

  • Bowls

  • Toys

  • Food

  • Treats

  • Collar

  • Harness

  • Lead

  • Toilet training accessories

  • Tag

  • Diary or sheet for the wall

Scroll down below to read more about each item and recommendations.



"EASY PEASY PUPPY SQUEEZY" BY STEVE MANN

Did you know that there is no such thing as alpha etc in canine behaviour? Your puppy does not need to find their place in the pack, they are not trying to dominate you and there is no need to be their ‘leader’ or ‘master’; this very old school way of training has been proven to be a leading cause of bite cases. Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy written by the founder of The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers, offers a fantastic understanding of puppies and has the most up to date training information, from preparing the house, to crate training, first nights, toileting, mouth manners, understanding body language, skills to teach… every dog guardian should have a copy, it’s a game changer.


THE DOG DECODER APP

Would you know if your puppy was stressed, scared, being aggressive vs. playing, or even happy? A wagging tail does not always mean a happy tail, the Dog Decoder app is €4.49 with no further in-app purchases and teaches you how to read canine body language in an easy to learn manner with visual examples and fun quizzes to involve all the family.


A DOG LICENSE

In Ireland, all dog guardians are required by law to have a license for their furbaby. These can be purchased annually for €20 or lifetime for €140 at your local Post Office or you can buy one online at www.licences.ie


A HOT WATER BOTTLE & COMFORT BLANKET

Bringing a new pup home is an exciting time for humans, we have lots of plans and cannot wait for cuddles, but for puppies this can be a scary time when they leave everything that they have ever known. They are baby mammals and prior to 12 weeks old they go through a developmental period where they are more sensitive to negative experiences; with this in mind, having a soft warm blanket to leave with the breeder/rescue ahead of collecting your new addition, will enable it to catch familiar scents that will bring comfort to your new furbaby when settling into their new home. Transferring the familiar scent of pups’ old home into pups’ new home helps them to feel more secure.


It’s likely that pup has spent the majority of their life cuddled up to Mum and their littermates. Upon arriving home from collecting your pup, bring them straight out the back to go to the toilet, whilst they are out prepare a warm hot water bottle, wrap their scented blanket around it and leave it in their crate for them to find.


CRATE & A COSY BED

Dogs will spend time in crates during stays at the vets or groomers, whether you intend to use a crate full time or not, adding positive associations to them during early development pays dividends.


Pup should be able to stand up, turn and have plenty of room to stretch in their crate.


Dog’s naturally love dens and crates become a dog’s safe space. They provide furbaby’s with comfort and relaxation, aid toileting training and become a space that we can use for control and management, e.g. for pup to chill in if we are washing floors, for them to enjoy enrichment during human meal times, if they need some down time. The crate should never be used for punishment,. More info on crate training can be found in Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy book or Furbabys Puppy Page on Facebook.


VET BED

This cosy fleece is sold by the metre in most pet shops, it is incredibly handy to have on hand should your new furbaby have an accident in their crate as it is machine washable (with non-bio detergent) and extremely useful for including in training sessions as you can bring it with you when visiting loved ones or out adventuring for the day to provide a safe, familiar space.


BOWLS

Washable bowl for water. Fresh water should always be available for puppy, be sure to lift their water around 6:30-7pm, pups can hold their bladder for an hour per month of age so make sure that they have relieved themselves by 10:30pm.


Dogs are natural foragers, food bowls are a human commodity, scattering their meals inside their crate suffices to not only add positive associations to their safe space but also builds pup’s self-esteem as they engage in natural instincts, eventually you can scatter feed around the garden, play find-it games etc… 10 minutes of sniffing is the equivalent to an hour's walk in regards to mental stimulation! And has the added bonus of relieving mental tension that results in Zoomies!


Snuffle mats are fantastic for meal times as well as building tolerance for happy alone time, simply hide pups meal among the pieces of fabric and offer it for them to enjoy in a room away from you but with the doors open so they can choose to risk leaving you to enjoy their meal and know that they still have the choice to come back to you as well, this choice creates confidence, and again sniffing to get the food releases feel good endorphins leaving you with a content chilled pup.


If you feel that you are depriving your furbaby of a food bowl, or if you are feeding a raw diet, slow feeding bowls and plates are great for adding mental stimulation to meals.


TOYS

Puppies discover the world through their mouths, a good variety of toys are an absolute must for exploration, teething, creating bonds and even building confidence as they problem solve.


To survive pups landshark stage invest in :

  • Nyla bones

  • Hol-ee roller ball

  • Stuffables

  • Soft rope toys

  • Chews with different textures

  • Fluff n Tuff teddies (@HappyTailsTreats)

  • Puppy teething gel - available in pet shops

  • DIY: Tea towels (for enrichment, see @Schniffn IG)

  • DIY: Cardboard tubes and boxes (teach a strong drop cue if pups tends to ingest cardboard, see files on Furbaby’s Puppy Facebook page)

  • DIY: A water bottle to fill with lemon & black pepper or warm water and Vicks Vapour rub to create a natural chew deterrent for household objects – always test an area first to avoid staining.

  • Plasters!


FOOD

In general puppies get fed three to four times a day initially, using some of their food to build positive associations with their crate, to reinforce correct toileting habits and to train new behaviours such as sit will aid to reinforce the behaviours that you want and help pup to feel more secure in their surroundings.


If you are changing the food that your pup has been weaned on to, do it gradually as even with adult dogs there is an adjustment period with their digestion. If sticking with kibble I highly recommend sensitive fish-based foods for pups.


Good commercial foods will always give percentages of meat within the first ingredients in the composition. Kibble loses the majority of nutrients during production and as the canine food industry is vastly unregulated, vitamins are then reintroduced using synthetic blends in order to reach the shop floors (see additives), for this reason it is important to source kibble that uses fresh ingredients to begin with. Always check for high quantity meat content making sure that it is fresh not from meal which is powdered low quality leftovers, that they use single source protein (one meat so not salmon plus chicken etc) and low g.i binders such as sweet potato as rice converts to sugar can spike insulin, risks obesity and pup will be wired.


Re both food and treats - avoid anything that says various sugars, meat derivatives, cereals, meal, potato starch and rice.


If you are interested in learning more or offering your furbaby a healthy raw diet, I highly recommend getting a copy of Feeding Dogs by Dr Conor Brady.


TREATS

You can never have too many treats 😊 A lot of people worry that they will always need treats and due to this avoid using them in the first place, you wouldn’t work for free and pup is the same, with the correct training you can gradually lose the treats and just offer them variably once you have strengthened their cues and understanding.


Treats are also going to be used to build positive associations with puppy’s world as you work to build their confidence around kids, cars, visitors, stranger textures, weird noises, etc… make sure that treats have high meat content and as above avoid anything with various sugars, cereals etc… in the ingredients,


Some of our faves are JR Pet Products (@FetchYourPetsNeeds)


Avoid

  • Prepackaged or roasted bones – all cooked bones splinter and all raw bone needs to be frozen for 2-5 days to kill parasites)

  • Rawhide - extremely dangerous and widely available in most shops. Marketed as a natural chew, chemicals are used throughout production, they contain glue, rawhide is indigestible, expands in dogs stomach and can be a choking hazard as well as causing blockages.

  • Bonjella or human grade teething gels as they contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

  • Treats that have cereals, meat derivatives, various sugars, palm oil or meal in the composition / ingredients. Avoid bakers, pedigree chum etc as you’ll have a wired pup on your hands.

For info on our game changing Magic Freezer bag and a 10 page file answering all things landshark see Furbaby’s Puppy Page on Facebook


COLLAR

This will be pup’s first time ever wearing a collar, a nice light collar is ideal, nothing too heavy or thick as this could prove to be stressful for your new furbaby, as with introducing all new things, go slow and keep it positive. For example, pop it on just before a meal, this adds motivation for pup to want to eat, they eat with it on it creates a positive association, you then take it off when finished. Pop it back on for a quick game etc.


Kopi & Co. collars come with neoprene padding for comfort, and are fully adjustable so that pups can grow into it.


COMFORTABLE HARNESS & LEAD

Why use a harness? A harness provides more comfort, connection and control than walking pup by collar around their neck. They should be Y-shaped simply meaning under and around the body as this avoids adding pressure to their chests and growing bones, and should have added padding to provide the correct movement and support.


Start with a light lead so puppy is unaware that it is even attached. Avoid retractable leads, instead of offering freedom they remove any control and place dogs in danger, the added tension dogs feel when stopped risks pairing negative associations to the outside world, they can encourage pulling and cause noise phobias.


Kopi & Co leads and harnesses provide amazing support whilst still being extra stylish and the harnesses are reversible. The shape and padding also make them an ideal first harness for pups.


Eventually when teaching recall you could order a long line lead. Check out a range of long line leads handmade by Kopi & Co. in Ireland here!


TOILET TRAINING ACCESSORIES

  • Poop bags

  • Poop bag holder: Having a Kopi & Co poop bag holder attached to the lead means that you will never be left short when out and about. It’s roomy enough so you can also store some treats and house keys in the bag.

  • Waste bag holder: Kopi & Co also offers a waste bag holder range meaning that if there are no bins readily available you are not left carrying a pungent poo bag during the walk.

  • Enzymatic spray: It’s inevitable that pup will have the odd accident, they can hold their bladders for an hour per month of age with maturation expected around 16 weeks on average. Dogs will return to where they urinate based off scent, for this reason it is imperative to use an enzymatic spray after cleaning as it breaks down the proteins to eliminate scent.

  • IMPORTANT : In accordance with dog laws you must clean up after your pup if they foul in a public place. Failure to clean up your dog’s waste can lead to a €150 “on-the-spot” fine or on summary conviction to a fine of up to €4,000.

DOG TAG

In accordance with Irish dog laws, all dogs must wear a collar with the owner's name and address and phone number on an attached badge or disc.


Kopi & Co. have a range of handmade resin dog tags that you can check out here.


DIARY OR SHEET FOR THE WALL

This is going to be used for toileting… I know it sounds ridiculous but once you get to know your puppy’s schedule e.g. first thing in the morning, how long after eating, waking, any excitement in-doors, last thing at night… there will be a lot less damp socks(you’ll see). I’ve used A3 charts over the years on the kitchen wall as it’s a good way to get all family members involved as they become watchers helping to look for the signs that pup is about to eliminate, they then dive for the treats to throw a puppy party after pup has eliminated outdoors and whoever spotted pup gets to add sticker to the chart along with the time.


Last but not least.


PATIENCE

The above can sound overwhelming at first but you’re about to get lots of puppy cuddles 😊 It can be an adjustment introducing a new member to the family but the fact that you’re already sourcing information shows that this is going to be a very lucky Furbaby 😊


www.instagram.com/furbabysireland


*All recommendations are based on personal experiences, they are not affiliated with any brands listed above.




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