If you’re thinking about bringing a puppy into your life right now, I highly recommend it! I live in a family of enthusiastic dog lovers and all of them have been dreaming of a new puppy for a couple years, so my husband and I decided it was time to take the plunge. For extra drama, we kept the secret from our children and surprised them on a Saturday morning with a road trip to pick up our new little baby. At that point, we had no idea how significantly the COVID 19 quarantine would change our lives, but I have no regrets. In fact, I’m so grateful that we made this step when we did. We’ve had our little Bernedoodle, Elphie, for about 6 weeks and I have to say she has very much made a positive difference in our social isolation situation. As long as you have access to reliable veterinary care available, there really isn’t a better time to consider adding a furry friend to your tribe.
Just in case you haven’t heard of the Bernedoodle breed (I never had!), it’s a mix between a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog. We were looking for a bigger dog that wouldn’t shed much and would be a friendly, easy going family pet. Here’s a little more information about this kind of dog! Bernedoodles can be rather expensive, but, true to form, I was able to find a better price on a less-desirable color. Technically, our dog was on clearance! So far, she has been super sweet, very calm and YES, she sheds less than I do! Also, she is really notably smart and has been able to learn tricks at an impressive rate!
If you are ready to bring home a puppy, here are some of my suggestions for must-haves and a few canine luxuries. We found some of our supplies at HomeGoods when shopping was still in full swing, but much of our gear is, of course, from Amazon.
We bought a leash and basic collar but we MUCH prefer a small harness for her. Our little pup could actually wiggle out of the collar when we brought her home and the harness really helps her to walk better. Here is the harness we got, but there are many more available here. There is still a great deal on dog ID tags for only $3.99. In addition, you’ll need waste baggies and we recommend a dispenser!
We chose two crate liners from HomeGoods, but a similar affordable option is available on Amazon by clicking here. We keep one in her crate and one in the kitchen and they have washed well. After watching many Youtube Puppy Haul videos, I decided to order this crate, because the removable partition is great for crate-training a puppy and can be expanded as she grows!
For yard clean up, click here for the Petmate Bin & Rake. I’m a little on the fence with this because it is rather cheaply constructed, however, the design is smart and it is really easy to just rake the waste into the baggie…I am willing to overlook construction since the design is so functional. I just spray the rake off with the hose and I use regular grocery bags in the bin. Our hairbrush works very well and the memory gel handle is amazing. Our brush is dual-sided from Sharper Image and very similar to this model. It’s important to have a double sided brush for Bernedoodles. We have been happy with this shampoo, from Burt’s Bees.
I’ve never had a dog that was such an obsessive chewer. I’m guessing this is a Bernese trait or just something our particular little sweetheart is prone to. She can hardly take a stroll around the yard without trying to chew a pinecone, stick, or anything else she can get her paws on. Bully Sticks are a great safe chew alternative and she also chews a bone similar to this every day!
We have been trying to teach Elphie to “ring the bell” when she needs to go out, but so far she just heads in the general direction of the front door. Still, I’ve heard great things about bell training, so we won’t give up on this! Click here for the Doggie bells we found. It’s definitely better to teach them to use these bells rather than scratching the door (like my last dog loved to do).
I couldn’t believe how quickly our girl was gulping down her meals, so much so that she got hiccups every time! We knew we needed to slow down her so we got this “maze style” feeder which really helped. The reality is, she has learned the tongue tricks so that she still eats pretty fast but this is an improvement! We chose Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy food and she loves it!
Ok, we haven’t gotten the nerve to give her a haircut ourselves, but I’m sure she’ll be hot pretty soon. I’m nervous about that for sure, but here are the Animal Clippers that we purchased. Also, we found a Nail grinder that works well and is much safer than trimming. We also got the ecloth puppy set, which works great. The towel dries much faster so we aren’t using like four bath towels when we bathe her.
This is an item I DON’T recommend. I read it was great, and we were willing to pay $40 to help her sleep when she was first home, but she HATED it, cried louder immediately when we gave it to her and it was so incredibly loud we could hear it all the way across the room like the tell-tale heart. I imagine it might work well for some people, but it wasn’t a hit for us!
Please share your favorite puppy must-haves in the comments. If you are bringing home a new puppy, I wish you all the best!