Shopping List For A New Dog
Shopping List For A New Dog
Congratulations! Now that you’ve decide that you want to add a canine companion to your house, there are a few things you will need to know. Here is a complete list of things you are likely to need in the near future. You may not want to purchase everything initially, but just be prepared to get most, if not all of them, in the days and weeks before your new friend comes home with you.
Your Frenchie will need a bed to sleep in. Frenchies like to do a lot of sleeping, so make sure his or her bed is comfortable. Beds range from designer headboard beds with orthopedic foam mattresses, to doggie cots to inexpensive pads. It’s usually a good idea to have an official bed somewhere, and a sleeping pad somewhere near your family’s main activity area. Frenchies are rather social, and may want to rest near the family at times, but retreat to a bed when tired. Make sure the bed is large enough for your dog to stretch out comfortably. You will also want to make sure the cover is durable and washable.
Let’s start with the time of year. If your Frenchie will be coming home with you in the fall or winter, you should probably go ahead and get a sweater or coat for your new little friend. Frenchies are easily overheated, but also easily chilled. They have short fur, and will get cold in even short exposure to very cold weather. Pups are especially susceptible to temperature extremes. If in doubt, go ahead and be prepared for a coat.
Likewise, if it is spring or summer, and you live in a very warm environment, your Frenchie may need a cool or chill coat. An over-heated Frenchie can be a life-threatening event. Chill coats are moistened and help keep the dog’s skin cool through evaporation.
Some Frenchies are very reluctant to get their feet wet and/or cold. In that event, you may need to get some rain boots, or more heavy-weight boots for your dog. This can usually wait, however. You will learn your little friend’s preferences pretty quickly, and can determine then whether or not shoes are in order. Many Frenchies do not like boots.
Crating is a great idea for most puppies. Puppies have a lot of learning and adjustments to make in a new environment, and need a special place to retreat in security and privacy. Consider a crate as a special retreat for your dog. Do not treat it as a dog cage. Your dog’s crate should be big enough for your dog to comfortably move around in as an adult, but not so big as to be overwhelming to a new puppy. If the crate is too large, an un-housebroken pup may consider the extra room as a toilet. You can limit your puppy’s access by getting a crate with a divider. As your pup grows to an adult, you can remove the divider for more room.
Make the crate a true retreat for your new dog, by adding comfortable but washable bedding, and a few toys and chewables. Often you can find matching crate covers that give the dog a further sense of retreat. In a pinch, a blanket draped over the crate will also work. Wire crates work best in most circumstances.
You will also need a smaller, portable crate for transporting your dog back and forth to the vet. Generally, these crates are made of a hard plastic shell, and have a handle on top. While your Frenchie is a pup, you may want to carry him or her in a purse-type crate, so the pup can be physically closer to you.
To keep your new little friend safe from any number of household dangers, you will probably need a dog gate or baby gate. The list of potential dangers can be overwhelming. You will need to limit your dog from accessing stairs, household chemicals, cat litter boxes, glass tables, fireplaces, and even certain furniture. A bored Frenchie can do quite a bit of exploring and gnawing, while your back is turned.
Baby gates will work okay if your dog is big enough not to slip underneath it. A better option may be a dog gate. There are several types, but the easiest to use is mounted to a doorway, and has a one-hand gate to access. Make sure the spindles are not so far apart that the pup’s head could get stuck.
If you don’t have a laundry room or other suitable place that your dog can consider his or her own, you might want to invest in an exercise pen. Pens can either be plastic, wood, or soft-sided. Similar to a baby’s playpen, an exercise pen will keep your puppy nearby, but out of harm’s way.
Food & Water Bowls
Your Frenchie will need two bowls: one for food and one for water. We suggest stainless steel, as ceramic can break, and plastic can harbor germs. Another option would be one food bowl, and a water fountain.
Grooming supplies will vary greatly on your pup’s needs. It’s always a good idea to take you dog to a professional groomer at least once, to get some suggestions, and learn how to do basic grooming.
Because Frenchies have short coats, they generally do not require a lot of heavy grooming. Here are a few suggestions:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Skin treatment supplies (consult with your veterinarian, as needed)
- Nail clippers or rotary-style trimmer
- Dog toothbrush and toothpaste and Greenies to prevent dental issues
Because of breathing issues, Frenchies should wear collars only as decoration. For everyday wear for puppies and young dogs, we highly suggest soft harnesses, made with a flexible fabric. As your dog ages, and learns basic walking etiquette, you can consider sportier looking leather harnesses. Make sure a harness is on your dog any time he or she is outside, and that the harness has both identification and license tags attached. Many Frenchie parents choose to let their dogs go without harnesses in the house.
Since the harness will be coming on and off of your dog as he or she goes in and out, check to make sure the fit is proper. As dogs grow, this will be a constant adjustment. Once your Frenchie is an adult, you will still want to make a periodic check to see if the fit is right. You should be able to slip two fingers between the straps and your dog’s skin. If you cannot get two fingers in, the straps are too tight. If you can get more than two fingers in between, the harness is probably too loose, and your dog may be able to escape from the harness.
Harnesses come in wide variety of styles and colors.
Most cities and towns require dogs to be immunized and registered. You will receive tags for your dog, from either your municipality and/or your veterinarian. These tags should stay on your dog’s harness or collar, and always on him or her whenever the dog is outside. Just in case your dog ever slips away from you, you will also want ID tags, with your dog’s name and your phone number on them.
The best form of identification is a microchip. Microchipping is a simple process that puts a tiny ID between the dog’s shoulder blades. Microchipping does not hurt the dog in any way, and is a permanent identification, should your dog ever become lost or stolen. Your veterinarian can microchip your Frenchie at any routine visit.
Leashes come in a huge variety of types and colors. For puppies, the best leash is usually in the 4-6 foot range, so that your puppy can be trained while he or she is young. The material you choose is a personal decision, and you can either match the harness or mix and match, depending on your personal preference. Make sure the leash is comfortable and light-weight, and that the clasp is strong and easy to use.
Once your dog understands basic walking etiquette, you might want to consider a retractable leash. Retractable leashes give your dog a bit more room to explore.
If you have more than one dog, you might want to consider a multi-leash, which helps keep leashes from getting tangled up.
Dog toys vary almost as much as children’s do. One thing to consider about Frenchies is their chewing abilities. Most Frenchies LOVE to chew. Consider this when selecting appropriate toys. Generally speaking, Frenchies do better with hard toys, like hard rubber balls, Nylabones®, antlers, etc. These are things they can play with, as well as chew. When your puppy is young, you might be tempted to give it a soft toy or lovie. If you do, please supervise your pup carefully. There are many things that can potentially be chewed off and swallowed.
Frenchies are smart and curious dogs. They do well with puzzle toys too. Just make sure your dog is well-supervised when playing with such toys.
Inspect all toys periodically for wear and tear.