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10 products to help survive puppyhood!

199539 Views 122 Replies 108 Participants Last post by  KleinCrew
Hi All,

Yesterday, I published an article online that is my sort of "Top Ten" list for positive puppy products -- a list of things that I wouldn't dare try to raise a puppy without. I thought perhaps it might be helpful to the puppy owners here on the forum, so I'm sharing the link in case anyone is interested. You can find the aticle here:

Thanks for looking!



Toys, toys and more toys! -- A puppy should have at least 15 different toys. Only keep about five down at a time and rotate which five toys are down every few days. This keeps things interesting for the puppy. Get a variety of toys – soft toys, rubber toys, toys that squeak, toys that rattle, toys that bounce, etc. Be careful with stuffed toys – some dogs like to “un-stuff” them and spread stuffing around the house! Online sites like Pet Edge and King Wholesale are great sources for inexpensive toys and other products. Keep the toys handy. Whenever puppy starts to chew an inappropriate object, calmly substitute a toy and praise him for correctly redirecting his energy.

KONG – A super durable, red rubber hollow toy. Great for stuffing with treats. A dog can spend a long time “working a KONG” to lick out all the good stuff. A quick search down the toy isle of any major pet store will reveal several other similar toys designed to hold kibble and treats. You can even feed a puppy his entire meal out of a KONG or similar toy. Not only will this keep him happily busy for a fixed period of time, he'll also be using his brain to problem-solve!

Appropriate Chew Toys – Puppies and dogs need to chew. As puppies, it's part of the teething process and in adolescent and adult dogs, recreational chewing can relieve boredom and stress. The trick is to teach puppy to prefer chewing appropriate items. Durable Nylabones are a wonderful choice. They come in different flavors, shapes and sizes. They also make a softer puppy version – but it’s not recommended for aggressive chewers. I like to limit the amount of rawhide products. It's often highly processed and can be difficult for some dogs to digest. Dogs can even choke on a chewed-off piece of a rawhide bone.

Sterilized Hollow Bones – Like the KONG, you can stuff treats inside the bone or smear a little peanut butter or cream cheese inside one end of the bone. Most dogs even like to chew an empty bone, too. Look for bones that are “clean” on the inside – meaning, they are free of the honeycomb texture, etc. A peanut butter filled hollow bone makes a GREAT puppy pacifier – and who can resist a dog with peanut butter breath! Try preparing in advance and freezing the peanut butter bone for a cool summer treat that takes longer to eat.

Bully Sticks -- I've yet to meet a puppy who wouldn't happily settle down and chew a bully stick! Bully sticks are made from, are you ready for this? Dried bull penis! Yes, it sounds gross, but the good news is that it's completely safe for canine consumption and a Bully Stick seems to be the ultimate in pooch pacifier for most dogs. Unlike Durable Nylabones and hollow bones, bully sticks can be completely consumed by dogs. Be sure to supervise your dog with any chew product and discard it when it becomes small enough to present a choking hazard.

Pressure Mount Baby Gate – Great for creating a “puppy safe” area in your kitchen or laundry room. Target, Wal-Mart, etc. sells wooden gates with see-though wire mesh for under $25. If your dog is bigger than “toy” size, we recommend the 32” gate. Most dogs can easily be taught not to jump over a baby gate, even if they're physically capable of doing so. Contact a local trainer if you need help with this behavior.

X-Pen – An X-pen works much like a play- pen for a human child. When you can’t directly supervise puppy, he can go in his X-pen with toys and a nice bone to chew. While in the X-pen, he can’t get to your fancy Persian rug, so it’s impossible for him to chew on it when you’re not looking!

Dog Crate – Great for creating a special, private “room” for your dog. Dogs are den animals and appreciate having a secure place to “den up.” A crate is a wonderful, safe place to put the puppy when he cannot be directly supervised and at night for sleeping. It’s also great for traveling – wherever you go, you can take your dog’s room with you! Crate training a puppy also helps with house training because a dog will instinctively not want to soil its den, so he will whine and bark to let you know he has to “go,” giving you the opportunity to take him outside and reward him for “going” in the proper place. Crates come in three styles: plastic, wire and soft-sided. Soft-sided crates are not recommended for puppies due to their tendency to chew whatever they can reach! When choosing a puppy crate, make sure it's just big enough for the puppy to go in, turn around and lie down. Any bigger and puppy may potty at one end and nap at the other. Many wire crate manufacturers now offer a divider panel that can be used to shrink down the usable space of an adult-size wire crate.

Bitter Apple – A taste deterrent spray you can apply to items you don’t want puppy to chew. For example, if you baby gate the puppy in the kitchen, you can spray the cabinets, etc. if you think he might chew them while you’re at work. Don’t let puppy see you spray the items. Bitter Apple and similar deterrent sprays are available in most pet stores. You can also try using the original yellow Listerine (or generic brand) in a spray bottle.

Nature’s Miracle – Great for thoroughly cleaning up pet stains. Also available at most pet stores.

[Admin Edit: Added referenced links and updated formatting for ease of reading.]
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Great list Stephanie!! Sam would not have survived puppy-hood without most of those things lol
I will make this a sticky so all the newbies with puppies dont miss it. Good idea.
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Well done Steph. I think one of the mods should put it as a sticky or next to the "Puppy Buyers Fact Checker".
Once again, a great article. I really like when you post them here, so I hope you continue to do it!
Excellent! Great list!

I also checked out your bio and am now watching your videos. You're famous!! :D :D :D
I will make this a sticky so all the newbies with puppies dont miss it. Good idea.
Oh, great idea!

I appreciate that you like when I post links here. I never want it to come across like blatent self-promotion. Please let me know if that ever becomes the case. I'm just trying to share information that I think might be helpful to members.

I'm really trying to up the amount of writing I'm doing as of late. I've realized I really miss the journalism end of my skill-set. I've got lots of ideas for articles for upcoming articles and tip lists! I think on the Examiner site, you can sign up to receive an email everytime I post a new article - just in case I forget to link it here.

Thanks again for your support of my writing. It's much appreciated!
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I appreciate that you like when I post links here. I never want it to come across like blatent self-promotion. Please let me know if that ever becomes the case. I'm just trying to share information that I think might be helpful to members.
Well, so far you've been writing articles that provide clear, thorough answers to the kinds of questions that are asked dozens of times a week on the forum, so it's been completely great. I don't think there's anything wrong with linking to your dog-related expertise. This forum rises above other internet chat-fests precisely because people with serious expertise are willing to share it.
Great article, thanks for sharing. A must read for potential puppy owners.
Great Job Steph, any new puppy owner needs that list!

This is GREAT! I just posted it on my blog - lots of puppy/dog owners read it and will love it.

I am also saving this for myself. We never had room for an X pen, but I'd love one the next time around.

Thanks for sharing!
Great article. Good that you emphasized toys, toys, and more toys. Haha, ohh how golden pups love to chew.
Good article. I didn't realize we were under-stocked on toys! I'll pick up a few more today. So far we've been lucky that Wyatt hasn't done any major damage. He seems content with his 7+ toys, but he's wearing them out now that he's got most of his adult teeth!
Great Information!

Thanks for posting this article. I am going to head out and purchase Bitter Apple as soon as I get a chance. Our new puppy, Charlie, seems to loooove the chair legs :)

Oh, and the bully sticks are the GREATEST things! Love 'em!


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great read, thanks for taking the time to write it
Very well written article, loads of great advise.
Thanks for your time & efforts.

Great article, thank you. Also thanks for introducing KONG lol
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