Essentials for the First 6 Months of Having a Puppy

We got our yellow lab puppy, Remington back in January when he was just over 8 weeks old. You can read about that story here (which also includes some questions to help you determine if you’re ready for a puppy and tips for getting one). He’s about seven months old now, and so I’ve rounded up the items we’ve purchased and loved for him during his first 6 or so months with us. You can find them all here on a list through Amazon. Keep in mind that these are things we purchased over 6 months, not all at once.

A special thanks to my friends Kaelea and Katie who also have dogs who recommended quite a few of these for us when I was in desperate need of something to help with his biting, chewing, and barking. Thank you!

If you don’t yet have a puppy, but are looking to get one in the near future, you can check out how to prepare for having a puppy at home on this post. It shares some questions to ask yourself as you begin to think about getting a dog, some of my tips on preparing your house as well as some additional tips for after you bring them home.

Crate Options

  • Crate For Home – This one comes with a divider that we used when he was a lil pup, and how he uses it with no divider. This sucker is heavy for one person to carry when collapsed, but has been so perfect for him to sleep in since he’s crate trained and loves it. It has doors on either side which make it easy to find a spot for it in the house.
  • Travel Crate – We initially got a smaller version of this one when he was a puppy but he outgrew it very quickly so we gave it to a family member. We now have the X Large version for him. He’s a big guy. This is great for when we take him to a friend or family members or can be used to car travel. The only issue we’ve had is he wants to chew it the whole time he’s in it so we have used some bitter apple on the areas he chews and put some toys in there for him to play with.
  • Baby Gate – Teddy’s parents gave us this one which has been one of the most useful things to date for us. We also have a 6 year old black lab, so this is a great way to separate the two of them when they need their space downstairs.
  • We did try out a collapsable playpen and a little metal playpen inside for him but it worked for only a few weeks until he was too big for both of them. I didn’t think it was worth it for how little we used them initially.

Travel

  • Car Cover – We have one of these in Teddy’s truck and my car. The one I have is this black one so both puppies can be in the back and can’t easily sneak up front.
  • Video Camera – This is not something I initially thought I’d want, but I buy into it now. We have one little mini camera on a ledge above his crate that connects through our Blink doorbell and it’s so helpful to just know he’s okay when we are away from the house for periods of time.
  • Portable Bowls – These are so nice. We have them in the house for when we go on a walk but also in each of our cars in case we forget them.
  • Doggy Bags – You get what feels like a zillion puppy bags in this package but it’s nice to keep some in your car, in your bag you use for walks, and inside. You always need them.
  • Waste Carrier Holder – We got ours from a local store so I can’t find an exact match online but it’s very similar to this one. We can hook it on the leash or the backpack, and then we’re not carrying multiple bags of waste from both dogs on our walks.

Leash Options

  • Tag – Rem has this fancy tag Teddy picked out for him with some mountains on it. You can get plain ones at Petsmart too.
  • Collar – We have a Carhartt collar for both of them that reflects in the dark. Rem has to size up soon since his puppy one is about at it’s max.
  • Retractable Leash – We use this one specifically for in our yard when he has to go to the bathroom since we don’t have a fence or anything. We don’t use this one to walk him on the trail.
  • 6 Foot for Walking – This is the leash we use for him when we go out on walks on the trail. We also have this one as well that we use interchangeably for both dogs.
  • Gentle Leader – We’re still currently training him on this one but since we have two dogs, we’ve heard that walking both is so much easier at once when they are wearing this.

Training Tools

  • Harness – We use a harness on both dogs for walking. It’s nice to be able to know they are less likely to slip out of it than just if they were on the leash. Neither mind their harnesses and know it means we’re going on a walk.
  • Milk Bone Minis – We use these for their treats. They both love them so this is their “regular” treat.
  • Training Treats – We used these as well as string cheese and lunch meat for Rem during his training classes. Because he would get very excited during them, we found the cheese and meat to be the best for him so he actually chewed what he ate.
  • Air Spray – He went through a phase of barking when he didn’t get what he wanted and this was helpful to correct the behavior and then when he was quiet, reward him.
  • Bitter Apple – This was a life saver when Rem would try and eat our furniture legs. He loved (still does) eating and chewing wood. So he would try this on chair, coffee table, and tv stand legs as well as our baseboards. We also sprayed it on shoes or other things that he shouldn’t be eating.
  • Treat Pouch – I have an older fanny pack I used for training, but should have used something like this for our classes and learning to walk on a leash. It’s so helpful.
  • Kong – We use this one in the car most often for him so he gets used to and enjoys car rides without barking the entire time or trying to jump in the back or front.
  • Lick Mat – This has been so helpful for him to get some energy out. We fill it with peanut butter, freeze it, and then give it to him to enjoy. We’ve gone through two sets though since he will sometimes eat the plastic while trying to get to the peanut butter.

Toys

  • Kong Frisbee – He likes to chase this in the yard. We also just throw sticks for him that he enjoys just as much.
  • Elk Bones – We got the one linked as well as this set when he started biting everything as a puppy with those very sharp teeth and they were a life saver.
  • Puppy Teethers – We got them for him when he was very young so he could teeth something that again, wasn’t us.
  • Nyla BonesHere’s some for puppies, and then we now just use the regular sized ones since both our dogs can use them.
  • Toys – We get most of their toys at Home Goods. They’re about $4-$10 and we can see which may be best for them. We avoid those with stuffing, or little legs or arms that Remington could chew off (because he does). They both like the krinkle ones and the tug ones so we go every few months and stock up on a few different ones and keep them tucked away until it’s ready for a new toy.

Food

  • Food – We use the TLC dog food which is what was recommended by our breeder and approved by our Vet.
  • Storage – We store the food in this large container, with one for Bailey’s food and then one top for Remington’s food.
  • Scoop – We use this to measure both of their food so we don’t over or under feed them.
  • Slow Feeder – Bailey uses a regular bowl, but Rem needs a slow feeder. We’ve gone through two now because he likes to bit the corners trying to get to the food.
  • Water – I got a dog bowl like this one for water at Home Goods for them both. It holds a good amount of water and we refill it a few times a day.
  • Peanut Butter – We buy the big containers and the dogs have their own jar of it we use for their lick mats and kong. An essential.

That’s a lot, but again, we purchased this about a month before he joined us, all the way up until he was 7 months old. He is a puppy full of energy, and some of these were just desperate purchases that have been really helpful when he was teething, and others we use for both Bailey and Remington so it’s not all just for one dog. For all these items, as well as a few others we’ve purchased and liked, you can check them out here.

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