Getting a new pup is an exciting time for you and your family. Adding that one additional fur baby changes the dynamic of your entire home! When I found out I was chosen to be Anmitsu’s mama (after a long waitlist and some convincing... because who would ever entrust me with a living, breathing creature?), I sprung into action to puppy-proof and prep for her arrival. It can be an exciting yet stressful time!
Walk through any pet store, big-box retailer or department store, and you’ll see aisles of premium foods and treats, beds, toys of every shape and size, and even doggie clothes. It's tempting to splurge on your new dog, but don’t do it! To begin with, pick up only the basics : Pee-pee pad, crate, bowl, QUALITY FOOD (where the majority of your budget should be spent. DO NOT GO CHEAP ON DOG FOOD! ).
Anmitsu started off with this puppy harness. AND she outgrew it within a month. Just like anyone, I enjoy buying harnesses and clothes for my pup but, just like babies, they outgrow them quickly and yo end up wasting a lot of dollars. Try not to spend too much on puppy harnesses and clothes, and spend wisely to get the best value for your money.
After going through several harnesses (because she outgrew most within 1.5 weeks), I found that buying a size slightly bigger was the way to go. I decided to try out a full-sized adult harness over at the Frenchie Bulldog Pet Supply harness.
What I really like is that the waistband tightens beyond its standard size (see how it scrunches). So if you purchase an adult 'small' or 'medium', it will fit your puppy. You don't have to wait til they are fully grown to use this harness! Another great feature is that it's reversible...and it comes in cute prints!
Anmitsu was 11-lbs when I purchased the 'medium' harness. A medium will still fit when she is fully grown at 18-20-lbs. The neck was a bit loose but, with a little needle and thread, I made necessary adjustments. Puppies go through several growth spurts (For bulldogs it's mostly the chest region), so it's nice to have a reliable harness, preferably one that we don't have to graduate from every month.
If you plan on training your pup, I found these two items to be essential. This PetSafe pouch (purchased on Amazon) has been awesome, not only during obedience class, but when we are out-and-about running errands. Bursting into spontaneous training sessions help our fur babies generalize what they've learned at home or in class. Dogs can generalize in some situations, but I have seen many dogs, for example, that will not sit on certain surfaces.
I have tried the drawstring training pouch and it was difficult getting the treats in-and-out of the bag. PetSafe has hinges that stay open, which is helpful if you need quick access treats. The bag also shuts tightly enough that puppies can't steal anything out of it. **I use a sandwich bag to keep things clean. On the front side, there is a velcro pouch where I keep my credit cards and car key...I pretty much use it as a fanny pack!
This Clik-R isn't necessary for training, but I found it useful. It's about $2-3 in store. I interchangeably use the clicker and the word "YES" as a release command when Anmitsu does something correctly. The clicker has helped me stay accountable and vigilante towards her good behaviors. The key is to remain consistent. It takes time and patience to train a new pup!
The most important thing is to choose a toy that matches your dog's personality! Keeping our dog's mind stimulated, discourage problem behavior and also promote dental health. Anmitsu enjoys squeaky balls and plush toys, but finds no interest in rope toys. It really is their personal preference! The KONG Stuff’N Easy Treat has been a favorite . She really likes taking the 'Stella and Chewy's Mixer' out of the Kong. For those with puppies, I recommend you graduate the toys to more appropriate size as they grow (avoid choking hazards). Here are a few of Anmitsu's favorites!
Vinegar + Water solution is my go-to cleaning product for any pet accidents. If Anmitsu has an "oops", I soak up as much of the urine as possible with paper towels first. Then, I spray vinegar + water and wait 10-minutes before wiping. Some people also sprinkle baking soda before spraying vinegar+water. This is a great natural deodorizer! There are a ton of recipes online, but I found that a simple Vinegar (1/3) + Water (2/3) is enough to do the trick.
If there is one thing to save money on and get, it's this LARGE K&H Bucket Booster Pet Seat! It has exceeded my expectations. Anmitsu loves looking out the window while we're in the car. Without the booster seat, she stands on her hind legs and, ass a puppy, she doesn't have the best balance. With this car seat, she can look out the window while driving and I can bring the passenger window down because she's clipped into the seat. .
If you follow us on instagram, you may have seen us on a 7-hour road trip this past week. She comfortably slept for most of the trip up north...as a fur baby should.