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- Recommended Items -

(**This information is best viewed on a desktop rather than mobile device**)

Choosing Products

When choosing the best products to buy for your dog please consider whether the product is made from quality materials (for toys and food products especially consider toxins) and whether or not the product is easy to clean.  Dogs explore the world with their mouths and paws, therefore it is important to consider and limit the amount of toxins they may be exposed to, particularly on a regular bases.  Additionally, puppies can be hard on their things so you want to invest in quality, durable products to help with the longevity of the item as well as the safety for your dog (i.e. items that can be chewed into pieces and swallowed).

- To Purchase Before your Puppy Arrives -

•  Feeding your puppy is one of the most important things you control in raising a great dog.  Knowing how to choose a good food empowers you to make a good choice.  If you have not already, please read my section on food here. When your puppy comes home you should continue to feed what I have been feeding, at least for one bag.  Your puppy has been eating Taste of the Wild, Ancient Stream with great success.

• In addition to choosing a good food for your puppy, you will want to give some supplements to ensure good health.  The top priority is a NuVet Plus vitamin tab daily:  Additionally, I recommend giving a Omega 3 supplement and a probiotic.  Please find more information about supplements on my Supplement page.

• Using a crate as your puppy's home when you are away and for bedtime is not only the safest plan, but it will also greatly help with housetraining.  I recommend getting a large crate about 42” x 28” with a divider. This divider is GREAT for housebreaking as it limits the space your puppy has to eliminate.  I highly recommend crate training.

•. A training leash is a long leash that allows you to exercise your puppy and specifically work on recall (come!) while ensuring your puppy stays safe.  The recall command is the most important command to master.  

• A walking leash is a shorter leash that allows you to keep your puppy close and safe while walking/running.  A shorter leash keeps your dog from taking control and leading and allows the dog to read your body language more easily.  I particularly like a walking leash that has a handle close to the collar for great control, particularly in urban settings.  Some other nice benefits of the leash I am recommending is the bungee give and take which reduces the amount you and your dog are jerked while your puppy is learning to walk on a leash, yet it still provides firm control and it has a buckle to be inserted into your vehicle's seatbelt so you can secure your dog while driving!

• Initially your puppy will need a very small puppy collar.  The collar is used for identification (purchased separately) as well as a nice way to hold onto your puppy when needed.  From the time a Golden Retriever is 8-12 weeks old it will need a collar that is adjustable from about 10-15 inches. 

• A puppy harness , size medium, is the perfect way to begin training your puppy to walk on leash for several reasons.  The best reason is that it doesn't jerk your puppy's neck around while he/she is learning the boundaries of a leash.  It also reduces pulling and chewing on the leash.

• A dog bed not only provides comfort, but is also a great way to teach your puppy where his or her 'spot' is.  I prefer a waterproof bed with a washable cover that I can use around the house and also in the crate.  I suggest getting a medium sized bed that won't be too big for the puppy stage, but that they won't grow out of too quickly.  

• Water and food bowls need to be the right size, easy to clean, and they need to stay in place!  I recommend heavyweight stainless steel bowls with a silicone base.  You will need two.

Additional information on products:

Potty pick up bags - if you will be walking in public places you will need to pick up after your pup.  Find a dispenser that hooks onto your leash for easy access.  It is a great idea to use non-plastic/biodegradable bags.

Small Dog Treats for training - the less processing and more identifiable ingredients the better! 

Dog Brush - Initially, a flea comb is the best to use until your puppy's adult coat comes in.  When you find the flea comb is too hard to work through their coat, a grooming comb (the ones with the "teeth" spread out a little bit) and a slicker brush (Safari makes a great slicker brush that has a self-cleaning button -- invaluable!) make a great combo.

Dog/Puppy Shampoo - gentle, all-natural, non-toxic

Dog Nail Clippers - a clipper with a guard to help you not cut to far is great.

Dog Toys - Good toys can be hard to find, despite how many there are on the market.  The bottom line is that puppies should be supervised when playing with toys to ensure their safety.  

Rawhide - If you give your puppy rawhide, make sure it is not the bone shaped ones with the large knots on the ends.  The knots will not soften and can cause choking or digestive upset.  

Nylabones- please know they are made of gross ingredients and most dogs end up eating them, so I would avoid them.

Rope toys - are lots of fun.  Please always supervise play with these toys and discard any loose bits or the whole toy if it comes apart.  If your dog chews them up or if they come unraveled they can be dangerous.  The rope can get stuck in your dog’s stomach.

Tennis Balls - I highly recommend, but DO NOT use "real" tennis balls as they are very abrasive to teeth.  Please purchase tennis balls made specifically for dogs.

Unstuffed toys are great fun and tend to last longer than stuffed varieties.

Puzzles -There are more and more puppy/dog puzzles out there and these are great for engagement and learning.

Always check to see where the toys are made and if they have a bad odor.   These toys will be in your puppy’s mouth and we don’t want harsh chemicals there.

Consider rotating toys and having a toy basket.  This renews interest in

toys as well as shows your puppy you are in control/alpha, which is good!

Please know we have taken a good deal of time to carefully consider each recommendation we have made and we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites at no additional cost to you.

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