Kero was a happy accident. Though I’ve been around–and helped raise–dogs my whole life, it’s a totally different situation a) caring for a puppy in the city, b) caring for a puppy in an apartment and c) loading up on all the supplies you need, sans parents.
So while I knew the little things I might need (or need to do), I didn’t really have much of anything when he came home with me. Luckily, I did a quick Petco run, spoke to my mom (the unofficial dog expert in my life) and now have my bases covered.
Of course, as I’ve learned from having Kero, everyone has a different way of disciplining, training and caring for their dogs. So take my recommendations with a grain of salt and always do what you feel is best. However, these are a few tactics that have worked for Kero and for the 7 dogs my parents have owned since I’ve been born, so…. #justsayin.
- tummy-friendly chews: I don’t recommend giving your pooch a bone to chew on until they are at least 6 months or older. However, while Kero is teething, I’ve found these vet-approved, teeth cleaning chews to be a godsend.
- treats: Of course you’re going to need to reward your pup when they go to the bathroom outside (and not on your hardwood floors), or lure them into the crate when it’s time for you to run errands. Just make sure to watch how they react to the treats, and try not to give them too many, since a puppy’s stomach can be extra sensitive.
- poop bags: In the city, there’s no way around it — you’re going to have to scoop that poop. I love these biodegradable Earth Rated poop bags because if you’re going to be throwing away poop two or more times a day, it’s important that you’re not just adding more to the landfill.
- kong: I’m OBSESSED with these toys. If you have a teething pup, again, these are incredible. I have one in a large size and a small size, and I fill them with peanut butter and/or a few bits of dog food and then freeze it in the freezer so it lasts longer. Keeps Kero occupied for 30-45 minutes.
- bitter apple: Your pup is going to get into things they shouldn’t. For example, Kero loves pulling on his leash or biting on the edge of the fabric couch. Spray a bit of bitter apple on it, and they’ll leave it be.
- foot/water bowls: This almost goes without saying, but they’re so cute I thought I’d include them. Many people prefer the standard metallic bowls because of their durability (which I agree with), but I couldn’t resist these dog paws ones.
- non-ammonia disinfectant: Apparently ammonia mimics the scent of dog urine, so if you clean up an accident with ammonia-based disinfectant or cleaner, chances are your pup will smell it later and pee in the exact same spot. I’d recommend a “greener” cleaner like the above Seventh Generation.
- dog shampoo: Especially if you adopt, your little one might smell a bit. Kero smells all the time because I SWEAR he gets into everything (or eats everything) outside. Puppy-safe shampoo is a must.
- [not pictured] puppy crate: It’s important to crate train your pup at an early age. Don’t just leave them to run amok in your bathroom, scratching at doors or getting into things they shouldn’t. Oddly, the safest place for your dog (and your home) is in the crate.
- [bonus] stuffed toy: Kero is obsessed with his skunk squeaky toy (pictured above). I got it on sale–which I highly recommend, because they will destroy it.
- [bonus] rags: Accidents, blankets for them to lay on, whatever. Head to a Goodwill or second hand store and pick up a few used towels. Paper towels won’t cut it. You’ll need some rugs.
- [bonus] puppy bed: I got Kero a puppy bed and he took to it right away. Dogs love having their own little spot to go to. Just, again, make sure not to dole out a ton of money on this right off the bat. They will end up destroying it during puppyhood.