I was thinking back to when I was pregnant… I was adamant about two things:
- not finding out the gender – therefore not developing the “need” to make unnecessary purchases, and
- my own nutrition
What a concept people have created around the things “we need” when expecting a new baby.
It’s this concept that has led companies to develop a similar need through their marketing targeting new puppy parents.
Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult dog, the most essential need you can provide is your involvement, your touch, your guidance, and your presence. Toys, a crate, a leash, a bed, and treats become secondary.
Here’s a few things to consider in your purchases of “stuff” for your new dog:
- A comfy bed. At Doglando, we get our beds custom made. They have lasted us years…. in fact, we still have and use our very first dog beds. They are made of a highly durable foam cushion covered in a water proof vinyl fabric with a sunshade, waterproof, weather resistant, washable slip cover. Dog beds are crazy expensive. So are the ones get made, but we only have to spend those dollars once! We’ve yet to see a puppy or a dog try to chew threw them.
- Nail trimmers. This is as important as food. Getting your dog started with becoming accustomed to the sensation of their nails being cut makes for such an easy lifetime experience of having to help them maintain their nails. Even if you will be relying on your groomer for nail care, it is imperative you introduce your puppy to the experience in the comfort of your own home.
- Food pouch. Ditch the bowl. Instead buy a food pouch. Fill it with your dog’s daily ration and as you go on about your day, use your dog’s food to engage him/her in learning how to respond to you, wether that is by introducing his/her name, recalls, sitting at doors etc.
- Tether. Ah! If only this tool became a popular purchase item amongst dog parents! At Doglando, we make our own tethers and use them throughout the day, taking advantage of teaching our puppies and dogs to be restrained to a stationary object. Tethering exercises are so important and should come before EVER introducing a leash!
- Soup bones. In addition to the nutritional benefit they provide, soup bones are super healthy in helping your dog develop strong gums, cleaner teeth, and healthy jaws. At Doglando, we give our dogs soup bones every time they are on tether. This makes for a positive association during restraint, and by associating the tether and soup bone combination to a specific time of day, our dogs learn rituals that are hugely beneficial in their home lives.
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Teena Patel is a Certified Dog Trainer and Behavioral Counselor who works with pet owners and owners of doggy daycares to bring her philosophy of Enrichment to the canine population. After almost two decades of successful dog training under her belt, Teena has done away with the standard doggy daycare “warehousing” of animals in kennels and runs. In place of an industrial model, she focuses on what is right for the dogs as living beings, providing experiences that improve and enhance their behavioral health. Coupled with a program of careful training, the Doglando experience results in companion dogs who are better-behaved, better integrated into their families, and above all, much happier. True to her passion, Teena Patel gives dogs the freedom “to be dogs”.