It may seem obvious what a prospective puppy owner will need to get before the puppy arrives. A food and water bowl. A dog bed. A crate. But canned pumpkin? That’s right. The kind where the only ingredient is pumpkin. It is a must-have for any dog owner for that stinky occasion when the pooch is having loose stools. Add a little pumpkin to the dog’s food and watch his belly problems disappear. Interestingly, it works as well for constipation.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Turkey Baster
I hope you never have to use it, but you must keep HP handy in your dog’s medicine cabinet. In the event your pup ingested something he shouldn’t have (like antifreeze or your heart pills), you might be instructed by Poison Control Hotline (or by your vet over the phone) to administer Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting. Hydrogen Peroxide should be the kind you buy at a pharmacy (3%). It must be a fresh, unopened bottle to work properly. If you need to induce vomiting, you will be instructed to draw 1 teaspoon of HP for every 10 lbs. of dog’s weight into a turkey baster (aha! that’s the baster part) and squirt into the back of the dog’s throat. A syringe (without a needle of course) works as well.
Airtight container for kibble
Regardless of whether you will prepare home cooked meals for your dog or feed him raw dog food, you still should have a small bag of kibble as a back-up for emergencies. Once opened, kibble should be always kept in an airtight container. Fats go rancid fast. This is also a reason why I recommend to stay away from buying kibble in bulk.
For our terriers we recommend Pure Paws Terrier Touch shampoo. It is formulated for harsh-coated terriers, so it will remove dirt without softening the coat and creating a “fluff butt”.
Norwich Terrier’s coat requires hand stripping – plucking off dead hairs (more on that in another post soon). The toolkit for the process I recommend is :
- a stripping knife that feels good in your hand (I love Pearson Knives but they are no longer being made. If you are able to get one I recommend two sizes “medium” and “detailing”; I believe that a good alternative is AARONCO “medium” and “face”)
- nail clipper that feels good in your hand ( I use Miller’s Forge style, which looks like scissors with a hole to put a nail in)
- styptic powder (to stop bleeding of a nail cut too short)
- metal greyhound comb (for weekly brushing)
- two kinds of scissors: thinning and blunt-edge ones (one is for cutting around the butt and the sensitive part of the belly, the other for trimming between the paw pads)
- finger cots – available at a pharmacy ( a very important item!) – these are indispensable for stripping a terrier coat
- ear powder (to put on your fingers when pulling hairs from face and ears)
- grooming table with an arm ( a big ticket item but truly indispensable for do-it-yourself grooming of a terrier coat)
Toothbrush and Enzymatic Paste
The pearly whites require brushing, ideally daily. For a small terrier’s mouth a soft child toothbrush is perfect, or a rubber finger brush. Any enzymatic toothpaste formulated for dogs is fine. On days when you have no time to brush the pup’s teeth, you can squirt a dab of the dog toothpaste onto a rope toy and let him chew it. Just don’t make it into a habit of skipping tooth brushing.
Our modern life involves cars. Your dog will be traveling with you. You can bank on that, even if it’s only a 5-minute ride to the vet’s. I really like booster car seats for little terriers, because they allow them to look out (help with motion sickness) and offer you a chance to be closer to your pup. Riding in a crate is a safe alternative.
Food and Water Bowl
It seems straightforward, however, please make sure the bowl is either stainless steel or ceramic meant for human use. There are no laws governing pet food dishes and many have been laboratory proven to contain toxic glazes, especially in products made in China.
Crate and X-Pen
Consider the crate and x-pen your new pup’s bedroom. Make sure the crate is welcoming, right size and with a comfy bedding. X-pens come in different sizes, heights and materials. For a little dog a 24″ height is all you will ever need.
Toys are an important item, especially when you need to have something in your hand when little shark teeth are looking for engagement with you. However, you don’t need much: a couple of squeaky toys, a rope toy and for an older pup a puzzle toy or a kong is enough. Do not overbuy toys. You can easily slip an empty water bottle in a sock that lost its mate and voila! you have a new toy.
Not really a must-have, more of an optional item. Up to you. A puppy x-pen might be enough but I find baby gates very useful in separating areas of the house that a pup can access, and better looking than utilitarian x-pens.