Things I Love and highly recommend…
Doggie Bed-I recommend the memory foam bed from Fosters and Smith. It comes in a variety of cover options to match your decor and you can even have them monogrammed with your pets name. Trust me raising boxers for so many years I have gone through my share of pet beds. These are a bit pricey but really hold up year after year. You can even buy new covers when one wears out, you need a color change or just a spare between washings. Keep in mind your new puppy is small. Go ahead and get the bigger one because he/she will grow into it.
Pet Food-I use IAMS Puppy Food in the yellow bag. I start my puppies on it when they are three weeks old. They are small nuggets for their little mouths. They love the taste and it is good for them. If you can’t find it in your area find another quality dry food. Just be sure to wean your puppy to the new food gradually over a two week period so they do not get an upset belly. Feed them 2-3 times a day. Keep in mind cheap dog food is cheap for a reason. Usually it has too many fillers. This in turn causes lots of doggie poop to clean up. If you have ever used a cheap brand food you know what I’m talking about. Quality food is better for your pet and much easier on you.
Puppy Treats-First only give treats as a reward for good behavior. Boxers seem to be aggressive eaters so don’t let them snack all the time. I like the doggie treats nunn better. One they are small in size, and two they are healthy for them when used in moderation. The brand is Nunn-Better puppy biscuit treats. I use the variety pack which is green, red and gold. Snap them in half for puppies. They love them.
Feeding Dish-Boxers are broad chested dogs so as they grow their feeding bowl needs to grow too. It upsets their stomach when they bend over to eat. It’s like standing on their head. I highly recommend an elevated dog dish. You can buy this at any pet store. You can even get nice ones made of oak on Ebay. These can also be personalized with your pets name. If your dog is a fast eater try putting a couple golf balls in the feed bowl. Makes it harder for them to eat thus slowing them down. Much better for their belly.
Playpen or Gates-A puppy playpen is a must if you do not have a fenced in yard and enjoy being outside. This keeps your puppy safe and free from harm. They can be used inside and out. I have the 36″ metal collapsible pen. Folds up for easy storage or traveling. Amazon has them for around $50. You can also buy plastic versions if using inside on hardwood floors. Do not use these for potty training purposes. Only for play time. Gates are great if you have a room you do not want them in. Also great for blocking stairs so they don’t get hurt or go where you can’t keep an eye on them.
Toys-I can’t say enough about toys for puppies. They tend to get bored easily. One chew toy loses its appeal after a short while. Get a basket and fill it with all kinds of fun things. We like variety in our life…so does your puppy. The less bored they are, the less likely to find their own toys like your shoes. Make a game with it and tell them to put their toys away, or go get a certain one. Keep in mind your boxer can sling things pretty good when he/she gets bigger so put them in a safe area. Kind of like baby proofing your home.
Collar & Name Tag-Please, please, please, as soon as you bring your new puppy home get a name tag with your name, address and phone number on it. I provide you with their first Molly Collar so you can even bring the tag with you when you pick your puppy up. Check out my page for Molly Collars so you can order one or more for when he/she grows. Great for cats too. If your pet wanders off then someone can call you so they get home safely. Without a name tag your pet could end up in the pound. We do not want that. I even have my dogs microchipped. Very inexpensive and well worth the $20 if they do get lost.
House Training-I recommend crate training. There are so many articles on the web about this. Do your research and find the one that works best for you. It seems cruel at first but soon your puppy will learn it is a safe place to be. They just have to learn it is not a punishment and that you will return. It takes patience and tough love. After a week your puppy should sleep through the night and know the first thing to do is potty before breakfast. Then time for play. If you cannot keep an eye on your puppy it is best to put them back in the crate. Do not give them any extra room to move around. They usually will not potty where they sleep. So add a box or milk crate inside so there is as little room as possible to move. Once trained they can have extra space for comfort. Most people find that once their pet is used to it they go to their crate when they are tired to take naps and sleep without even being put inside.
Snuggle Puppy or Bear-For young puppies leaving the comforts of their mother and litter mates, these are great. It is a stuffed puppy or bear with a realistic heartbeat sound. Put them in the crate with your puppy and they think they have someone with them. It’s a big scary world for them when they first leave our home. This helps to soothe them. Worked great for our pets. You can find them on Amazon and ebay.
Leash-Buy your dog a leash and start training them young. Boxers are active so they can be the best running partner you ever have. Our Rosie even ran on the treadmill with me. I like the retractable leashes. Gives you more freedom to let them move or you can keep them close by. A great investment.
Car Safety-If you’re like me you like to take your pet for rides. Just like children they don’t always behave. You can get car safety harnesses in all sizes. This serves two purposes. One if you do have an accident they will not be thrown from the vehicle. But most important, they are not jumping all over your car and possibly obstructing your view or sitting on the steering wheel. Some states require this by law. Safer for all involved.
Doggie Door Bell-I love these things. Yes, they are actually called doggie door bells. It’s a ribbon that hangs from your door knob in the house that has several large jingle bells attached. You can train your dog to paw at it when they need to go outside. Some dogs just sit waiting by the door thinking you can see them. If you don’t then you get a puddle to clean. With the bells they just paw at them and hopefully you hear the jingle sounds. This lets you know they need to go out. The only draw back to these I have found is that they learn very quickly that they get to go out and play if they keep ringing them. Sometimes the dog is smarter than the owner.
Chuckit Dog Toy-I first seen these when vacationing and thought they were the coolest thing. I had to come home and buy a couple. My girls still don’t fetch, but they have fun keeping the ball away from me. Buy spare balls. They do seem to disappear. Loads of fun for you and your pet.
Vet Check-Up-Please see your vet as soon as possible. A healthy dog is a happy dog!! Don’t forget to treat them monthly for heart worms, fleas and ticks.
Hope this list has helped. I will add more as I find new ideas!
Have fun and Good Luck with your boxer baby!!!