As most of you know, I recently had a new addition to my pack: a beautiful 5-month old Australian Shepherd mix puppy named Cordelia!
I adopted her from Animal Haven NYC. Cordelia and her sister were both born deaf, so were thrown out in Ohio — probably because the owner thought they couldn’t sell them for money (heartbreaking)
Even though she was a totally unplanned pup, I knew she belonged in my life.
However, it’s been a while since I’ve dealt with a puppy phase. Being that it’s my second time at the rodeo, I’ve discovered a few tried & true items that I wanted to share.
I’m going to assume we all have the obvious “classics” down, such as the right crate, Easy Walk Harness, the Classic Kong, Nature’s Miracle, etc. But wanted to share the “why didn’t anyone tell me?!” discoveries:
I’m a firm believer that you are what you eat, so I always want to feed my pups the very best. To me, there is nothing better than the Champion Petfoods lines: Orijen and their lower protein sister brand, Acana.
They never outsource their materials, and are dedicated to quality ingredients and formulas. I’ve only experienced excellent results with this food, and it’s especially great for any pups who have grain allergies (Orijen, in particular). For more info about the two brands (and their differences), click here.
I feed Syd Acana Lamb formula, since it has the lowest protein in their line, and she’s a small dog (12 lbs or so). I have Cordelia on the Orijen Puppy Formula, since she’ll be a medium size dog, full-size.
Helpful hint: even though you may not be feeding her a large bulk quantity of food, both lines are very high-quality, so go by the KCal info on the bags and feed accordingly.
ADDENDUM: I’ve also recently heard good things about Freshpet – but I’ve also seen commercials on TV, which stirs up the skeptic in me.
I’ve never had to deal with shedding before since Syd is a schnauzer, so dealing with pet hair was a whole new world. Cordelia has lab-like hair: short bristles.
Looks barbaric, I know, but it works so incredibly well and really pulls out the undercoat, SO easy & quick to use and you don’t have to spend time cleaning the tool itself.
Most importantly, it doesn’t seem to hurt the pup.
Even better: it’s made by a company called Kyjen, which is US-based and dedicated to creating quality products for dogs, ranging from toys, outside gear, to accessories.
(I also personally love that the hedgehog is filled with recycled plastic bottles!)
They also have tug toys made from recycled firemen hose!
THE PUPPY PACIFIER
By far, this has been the most amazing discovery yet. I lovingly call it the “pacifier” because it’s the only thing that will keep Cordelia entertained for an extended period of time: an ELK ANTLER.
What’s the difference between an elk antler and a rawhide or a Flossy? A world of difference!
- it’s odorless – no smelly (or stained) snout
- it won’t affect your pup’s protein intake (aka stool). Flossies and rawhides will definitely lead to softening
- it lasts forever!
I know I’ve left off a bunch of other things, but these were the main discoveries I had to share!
Good luck with your furbaby!