What To Get For Your New Puppy!
The following is a list of items that you will need to get BEFORE the puppy comes home:
FOOD: We use and recommend TLC All Life Stages adult food that also exceeds the AAFCO requirements for puppy food (for large fast growing breeds like bernedoodles we recommend the All Life Stages over puppy food or even large breed puppy foods). If you go with a different brand, DO NOT FEED Grain Free or food with Corn, Soy, and wheat as they are cheap fillers that offer no nutrition for your puppy. These puppies are a large fast growing breed and should not be on puppy food past 4 months OR can go right on to adult. You can find more information about TLC (and ordering instructions) under the "Information Center" tab at the top. If you decide to continue to use TLC please use the Food link under the "Information Center" tab to order.
HEALTH SUPPLEMEMENTS: We use NuVet Plus Canine Health Supplement and we will have information about NuVet under the "Information Center" tab at the top (and ordering instructions). If you decide to continue to use TLC please use the Food link under the "Information Center" tab to order.
CRATE: We use Midwest xl crate. No need to start with a small crate...they will grow fast and are used to the XL crate and we have never had one soil the inside of their crate. We do not recommend a crate mat when puppy comes home to prevent going potty on it. When older we still find most prefer a bare crate as they like a nice cool surface to lay on. We also find some enjoy a raised bed like a Kuranda bed when not in the crate.
TEMPERATURE: Bernedoodles like it cool/cold and if you give them the opportunity for something colder...they will be even happier but they do adjust to warmer environments but not for prolonged periods of time. They should never be left outside unattended during the warmer months and even with supervision should always have clean cold water available outside. Even with shade they will need access to an air conditioned home that is kept between 68-72F. They would prefer even cooler temperatures than 68F if you like your house cold. As mentioned before, they like cold hard surfaces (ceramic floor tile, vinyl flooring, wood, anything but usually that nice comfy sofa!). Now even our bernedoodles will enjoy time on the couch but after a short while they will even prefer to seek out a cool hard surface to lay on.
LEASH/COLLAR: We prefer 4-5' nylon leashes to keep them close to our side during walking as we are firm about healing to your left side. You can certainly get 20-30' nylon leashes for more room to run but we prefer the short leashes for walking and opportunities for free running without restraint. As far as a training collar that we use for both training and walking we use stainless steel fur saver or choker (Herm Sprenger). Many like the dog harnesses as well and really may be a personal preference. For a general collar we use only quick release nylon flat collars. HOWEVER, never leave these on the dog when at home, in the back yard, without supervision. There have been too many dogs that have caught their collar on an object, or, if multiple dogs in the house, have had the lower jaw of one get caught under the collar of another during play (since they like to bite at each others neck areas during play behavior) resulting in strangulation.
BOWLS: We use an XL stainless steel water dish and L stainless steel dish for food. We place right on the floor but some will use the prop up holders but we have not found that to be necessary. We use an old towel that we put underneath the water bowl. Water dishes will develop a biofilm if left uncleaned so be sure to use warm soapy water daily to clean the water and food dishes.
SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER: We are currently using Burt’s Bees puppy shampoo and conditioner.
COMBS AND BRUSHES: We use a Stainless steel comb with wide and narrow teeth (Andis), a Detangler comb (beauty supply store), Pin brush and Chris Christensen Big G or Big K slicker brush or another quality slicker brush. These are expensive but worth the investment.
CHEW TOYS: We use an assortment of chew toys and it's best to change things up to stimulate interest in the chew toys they should be chewing on. We use split Elk bones (Ridge Ranch, Mountain Dog Chews), West paw or Aizara chew toys, Nylabones (remove when start eating or getting really chewed up), Kong toys or West Paw Zogoflex Tux (for an extra motivator when needed you can take one, pack with peanut butter, Greek Yogurt and put into the freezer), Starmark Everlasting chew ball, Chuck it ball, Tennis balls (discard when showing wear), Star Mark Bob-a-lot , assorted Puzzle Feeders, stuffed animals as long as there are not sewn on objects (eyes, nose, etc).
SOUNDS: We use a sound machine (rain noise) at night time when they are sleeping (usually 11pm-6:00am) and then during the daytime naps (there's one in the morning and afternoon) we play classical music.
HEALTH INSURANCE: We will provide a phone number and reference number to Trupanion for a free 30-day policy. You will get this at the time you pick up your puppy and will have 24 hours to register with Trupanion. This is EXTREMELY important that you register within 24 hours so that you have the 30 day protection. The first 30 days home is arguably the most vulnerable age to health issues and we have an agreement with Trupanion to provide you a free 30- day plan so please take advantage of that. After 30 days you can cancel the policy without any penalties. The normal cost for health insurance for your new puppy is $40-60/month.
READING/TRAINING RESOURCES: There are many great resources available to read up on and we highly recommend doing this before the puppy comes home. The resources we most recommend are Puppy Culture (we do the first 8 weeks but there's additional training thru 16 weeks of age and their program will help guide you thru the process) and the Monks of New Skete Revised Puppy Book. Those those that want a quick read we have our Puppy Training Guide under the "Puppy Central" tab at the top.