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Shortly after accepting a new job at Fresh Chalk last fall, I took on another new, arguably bigger responsibility: my quarantine puppy, Vinnie. According to the Washington Post, dog adoptions and sales have absolutely soared during coronavirus. Working from home certainly has made it easier to welcome home our new pup, but researching all of the essentials we would need before bringing him home proved to be quite a challenge. I was so lucky to have a resource like Fresh Chalk to help find the best pet professionals in my neighborhood. Here I'm sharing my list of all of the products and services you'll need before bringing home a quarantine puppy of your own.... more
The first thing you're going to need is a great local pet store so that you've got a reliable source for all of your puppy's ongoing needs. I love Mud Bay because they're PNW owned, specialize in healthy, natural foods, and the staff is so helpful, knowledgable, and friendly. Knowing that everything in the store has been vetted to be top-quality makes it so much easier to stock up on treats without agonizing about whether or not they're going to give my puppy a bad reaction. When we needed to switch puppy food to a more readily available brand, the staff provided so many options and samples and even kept track of our pet food in their computer system so that if we needed to makes changes down the road, we'd know which brands we'd already tried.
We only lasted about two nights trying to crate train our puppy overnight before caving in, but the folding metal crate has come in handy under many different circumstances. Puppies need to be supervised and contained at all hours, and a crate not only helps keep puppy where he's supposed to be, but provides a den-like safe haven where they can feel secure.
Our puppy just uses no-frills stainless steel bowls and is happy as a clam using them, but some pups will gulp down their food so fast they are not properly chewing which can cause all sorts of problems. My partner's mother has Italian Greyhounds with this problem, and she recommends this slow feeder from Outward Hound.
Our puppy loves this stuff! We moved on to this puppy formula (recommended by one of the sales associates at Mud Bay) after the bag we got from the breeder ran out. It's got freeze dried raw pieces in it for high nutritional value and sometimes the pup "picks all the marshmallows out" because they're the best bits, but but it's lower cost than the all-freeze dried raw brands running us about $22/month.
We live in a third floor apartment, so potty training our puppy has been a little daunting. I learned about these terf mats from a YouTube video and am so pleased with the results. Because the pads are made from a material that more closely resembles grass than a traditional puppy pad, we haven't had accidents on rugs. Plus, because you wash these rather than dispose of them, they're better for the environment than puppy pads (always love that!).
Finding a harness that fits a miniature dachshund puppy was quite the process. I discovered the Ruffwear Harness from Jessica Graham and we're thrilled that such a durable harness comes in a diverse size range. The reflective trim is a big bonus, making our little noodle boy more visible at dawn and dusk.
Leashes come in all shapes and sizes—we have three in different lengths, the sushi print from Blue Paw Co. being a crowd pleaser when we're on our walks. Eiger & Emmy turned me on to the Kurgo leash in their Guide to Gifts for Good Dogs. It has six different functions including a hands free mode and a bottle opener carabiner. I really appreciate that it's reflective, since Vinnie and I are often taking our morning walk through the busy streets of Capitol Hill before the sun rises.
I love these because they do everything a poop bag is supposed to do AND they're compostable. Love that.
Both our puppy and our cat goes absolutely bonkers for the freeze dried chicken and salmon from this brand. More than a few seems to do a number on their tummies, but for a treat they will do literal flips for—go for the freeze dried raw. If you're training your puppy, be sure to stock up on something that comes in much smaller bits and they can eat a lot of like the Etta Says! Sit! training treats.
We picked these up after a recommendation from a friend and love them. They come in a two pack, so I have one and my partner has the other. Perfect size for a handful of training treats to take on the go, easily clip onto a belt or coat pocket for easy access, and the magnetic closure keeps the treats fresh.
This brand is one of the undisputed best for teething puppies and super chewers. They have been a god-send for my pup while his grown up teeth come in, and I love that not only can you purchase specially designed treats to fit into their toys to add a puzzle element, but they also have tons of stuffing recipes right on their website. Long live Kong!
This pet hair brush has been a total game changer for my cat and has worked well for my long-haired puppy as well. It gets under that top layer of fur and into the undercoat, thinning out that thick uncomfortable layer closest to the skin, and leaving a soft and silky coat that's much more manageable.
My lil pup feels so secure with this bed. They designed this thing with a bit of magic—it's made to resemble the sensation of cozying up to Mama dog, so it's soothing for wound up pups and I'm here to tell you, it works. We popped it into our puppy's crate and now he curls up and goes to sleep right away instead of crying. Bonus - it's the first bed we've gotten that he hasn't tried to destroy.
Our puppy loves this ramp! We have a mini dachshund so protecting his spine from falls and frequent jumping is really important. I originally discovered this ramp through a targeted ad and when I started comparing it against others, it just seemed so perfect. It assembles and collapses super easily so can be slid underneath the couch for storage and is made of attractive and durable material with great grip for the pupperino. Even my cat likes it for a scratcher.
I recommend choosing a vet that's close to your home and therefore convenient to visit should an emergency arise. There are many on Fresh Chalk with great recommendations—I found Eastlake Animal Hospital by starting a conversation. I suggest heading to the Seattle Veterinarians category and filtering by your neighborhood to find someone close to you.
Between quarantine and an outbreak of kennel cough, we weren't able to get Vinnie into an in-person training program in our neighborhood while he was still a baby. We've done alright on our own, but what he really missed out on was the socialization. It's so important for puppies to learn how to get along with other dogs so they can go on all of the adventures. Check out Fresh Chalk's Seattle Dog Trainers category to find a program that's doing socially distanced group classes.
I'm not sure who loves this subscription box more - me or my dog. They partner with such amazing brands to create the most adorable toys eg. Home Alone, Scooby Doo, etc. and are really high quality. The people there are low-key genius - the stuffy toys are literally stuffed with another toy so when doggo rips through it, there's a bonus toy to destroy! Our pup has been a little meh on the treats and (because they're so durable) now has way more toys than we know what to do with so I wouldn't subscribe longer than 6 months, but in the meantime Bark Box day has been one of the best days of the month at our house.
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