Grooming dogs yourself can be a big undertaking but with lots of practice and the right tools can be done well and saves a lot of money long term. This is definitely not for everyone, but if you decide to groom your dog yourself, here are the tools I recommend. It is worth it to buy the better quality tools. It takes far less time with these tools.
Training your puppy from day one and making sure you have all the resources that you need is very important. We send home 'The Puppy Primer' with all our puppies now, but there are a lot of good books out there that we recommend.
Travelling with Dogs
Having lots of chew toys is very important for a young puppy. They need to learn what positive things to chew on are, so that they are not putting their mouths on things they shouldn't be. I recommend having lots of toys you can redirect them to when they are wanting to chew. They will be teething a lot when they first come home and again when their adult teeth are coming in.
With many of these toys it does matter if you choose the name brand or not. Make sure it is high quality material that is not going to chip and cause a choking hazard.
Same with items like bully sticks and antlers, they are great but you need to make sure once they start to get small or splintering, that you take them away immediately and dispose of them.
Stainless Steel Bowls
We highly recommend getting stainless steel bowls. They are easy to clean and safer than many of the plastic alternatives.
For a dog that eats to fast, these slow feed bowls are a nice alternative as well.
Brushes and Combs
Buying the right brushes for your dog and using them regularly will help with keeping matting down. You want to make sure that you get a comb that is going to get down to the skin so that your dog not only looks great on the outside, but you are getting all the matts that you can't see close to the skin. I always use a comb on a regular basis and if I want my dog to have the fluffy look then I will use the slicker brush to help with that. The slicker brush however will not get the matts at the skin, so always use a comb as well. Dematting combs can be used if needed too, just be gentle when using them.
Treats and Dental
Keeping our dogs teeth clean is important, just like our teeth. We want to pick health treats and use proper dental care for this. Here are some products that I recommend.
It is important to note that treats (even good ones) should never be used in excess. A dogs high quality kibble is always better than any treat. Our dogs are also very praise oriented and while a treat can be good for training sessions, it isn't always needed and praise works great as well. Health wise the worst thing for a dog is being overweight and the primary cause of being overweight is usually treats and table scraps.
Products We Recommend
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Ear and Nail Care
Keeping our dogs ears clean and healthy is important for their overall health. It is important to pluck the hair out of your dogs ears on a regular basis so there is air movement to the ears. You can also use ear cleaners to maintain a healthy ear. The number one cause for ear infections is moisture sitting in the ears. All dogs with floppy ears are prone to ear infections. As well, keeping their nails trimmed is important. We trim their nails weekly as puppies to get them used to the feeling of having their nails trimmed, so it is easier for their new families when they go to their new homes. You will not need to trim them that often, but when you do trim them, it is important to use the right tools.
Picking out what size crate is always hard. But we have some recommendations to go by that help. We always recommend going one size bigger with your crate than what the company recommends. This is because these companies size the crates to allow the dog to turn around and lay down, but no extra room at all. We instead want you to buy a crate that has a divider and is oversized because the divider makes it so you will only allow the puppy to have a space where they can turn around and lay down, but you can adjust the size as the puppy grows. But, once the puppy is fully potty trained, there is still a period of time where they still need to be in their crates for their own safety when their family is not at home. We don't want a puppy getting into something they shouldn't and hurt themselves. I prefer at this stage for the puppy to have extra space though to spread out if needed.
Wire crates are also very easy to clean and disinfect. Plus have very good ventilation.
For our Petite and regular Mini Puppies we would recommend the Medium Sized Crate:
Travel Crates are great to use on trips, as they are more vehicle friendly and don't scratch your vehicle. They also fold down nicely (Wire crates fold down too, but not as flexible and vehicle friendly)
For our Petite Puppies:
For our Mini and Medium Puppies:
Are you short on room in your house and want to have your crates be dual purpose? These are a great way to have an end table and crate in one. I don't recommend these (unless you get one with a divider), until they are fully potty trained, but great for people without a lot of space in their house.
What you need to have before your puppy comes home
Harnesses, Collars and Leashes
There are a variety of harnesses, collars and leashes that are good and is more of a personal preference so I will only put one on here for reference. It is important to note that I send home a harness and leash with all of our puppies. The reason for this is that many of our puppies go to families with children and children can often pull too hard on the leash. A puppy can easily be hurt by that kind of pulling on their neck. A harness is a safer option for this reason. That being said obviously we want to teach children to respect the puppy and not pull on them like this, but we understand that accidents can happen, so we would rather see a harness on a puppy.
I will put links to training harnesses and leashes I recommend too. It is very important for puppies to understand at a young age that they should not pull on leash, so teaching them young is the best strategy, but sometimes families will need the help of a training harness. I like this one because it just gives a gentle tightness when they pull and releases when they don't, which they figure out very quickly what they should and shouldn't be doing. The same goes for teaching recall to our puppies. If we teach them early then this is an easy skill to learn. I like the long training leashes for this.
These crate beds will fit the above crates and are a great thing to use in the crates. They will fit under the crate divider, so you can buy it full size, then use the blanket that we send home with the puppies on the side of the crate that is divided (over top of the crate bed).
For 36 inch Crate:
Midwest Homes for Pets Maxx Bed
For 42 inch Crate:
Regular Dog Beds:
My dogs love their orthopedic beds
Kuranda Dog Beds are by far my favourite for durability and the dogs love them, especially in the summer when it is warmer. They can be used indoor or just having one in your yard outside for when you are in the backyard with your dog. They come in a variety of colours and sizes.
A large (40x25) almond, ballistic nylon example:
TLC Pet Food is the food we recommend. It is a very well balanced, high quality kibble, that is reasonably priced. For more information on TLC Pet food Click Here. If for some reason TLC Pet food does not work for you, other foods that we recommend are Acana and Orijen. Our first choice is definitely TLC though.
I get questions all the time about what products we recommend and what families need to purchase for their puppies, so we decided to compile a list for all our puppy families all in one place.
Puppy Play Yard
I have several of these and highly recommend them. They are sturdier than many of the other types I have seen on the market and I love the gate feature. I use these for when we are wanting to do things outside, but I cannot keep an eye on the puppy at all times, but still want them to be able to enjoy being outside with us. These are also the pens that I use for out puppy play areas in our home when raising the puppies.
Cleaning up after your puppy:
It is important to always have poop bags around when you go on walks and in your yard to clean up after our dogs. This minimizes the spread of parasites and also is just a nice thing to do!
Cleaning up after accidents:
When our puppies have accidents in the house it is important to clean up afterwards with a good deodorizer and disinfectant. This way they are less likely to keep pottying in that spot due to odor remaining there.
I also like to use puppy shampoo while they are young and we love our microfiber towels.
Bell training is a useful tool to teach your puppy to let you know when they need to go potty. Bell Training.
There are lots of training collars out there and many of them are good. Overall, this one we like for a variety of reasons. It has many settings including sound, vibrate and shock with many different intensities. We like the vibrate option the best because our dogs tend to be very sensitive to vibrate and shock is just simply not necessary. We put it on the lowest vibrate setting and work our way up if needed. These collars should be used as a safety thing when training boundaries, etc., but are not meant to be used for everything. It is important to teach your puppy recall and boundaries without a training collar too.