Until one has loved an animal, part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
– Anatole France
My husband and I were so ecstatic about bringing our little pup home we could hardly contain ourselves. It was much like a new baby for us. Let me share with you some of the things we did to prepare for this new member of our family before his arrival. Here’s Moose the day we brought him home.
Research! I cannot tell you how much I read about Great Danes before we got Moose. I researched heavily about foods, training, general care and health of Great Danes. It’s important to be prepared for the commitment of a Great Dane or any new pet for that matter. Do your research so that you aren’t surprised or overwhelmed with the needs of your new pet. Here are some excellent Great Dane resources.
All About Great Danes General breed information
Danes Online My personal favorite. Such an excellent resource and forum for Dane Owners or potential owners, all Free!
Great Dane Lady This wonderful lady is THE place to go for Dane info. So much to learn from this site from health and food to temperament and conformation.
Clear Your Schedule! Our breeder let us know that our puppy was eating twice daily since he was weaned, just once in the morning and once in the evening. This was all the breeder could accommodate since she worked outside of the home. All of my research told me that this little guy would need to eat about 3 times per day in order to get all the food into his belly that he would need during the rapid growth months. A Great Dane is in their Rapid Growth phase from birth to about 6 months of age. My husband and I were working full time outside the home. The first week I took off work in order to spend time with our guy and help him get comfortable in our home. After returning to work, one of us would come home mid day to feed and let our little guy outside for some fresh air. As you can imagine, this was very taxing on us! No puppy can be expected to make it more than a couple hours to start in a kennel or confined in the home. Accidents will happen, they’ll tear things up and they could develop anxieties when left alone for long periods of time. Be prepared to make the necessary changes to your schedule and your life in order to be fair to your new pup and get them off to the smoothest start.
After researching the breed, committing to our puppy and receiving the date that our guy would be ready for pick up, we went in to full on nesting. Ok, maybe that was just Me! So we grabbed up a bunch of Must Have items for our Dane.
Shopping! This was certainly the most fun part of preparations. There are some obvious items like food bowl, water bowl and toys that any new owner would purchase. Other items we purchased were a kennel, padding for the kennel, leash, collar, raised food bowl stand and harness for car rides.
It was tons of fun buying these items for Moose. We had some hits and some misses.
Hit #1: We got a small (appropriate) size kennel for Moose. It fit him well when we brought him home but he very quickly outgrew it. When we saw how fast Moose was growing we went ahead and bought the XL Midwest Crate. While it’s pricey, we knew this would be the last crate we’d buy so well worth the investment. Check out Tiny Moose the day we built his giant room.
Hit #2: Potty Bells These are for house training. Each time you take your dog to the door to put him outside, you ring the bell. That’s it! Moose had the Potty Bells down within 3 days. It was amazing. This is a true no brainer. You just condition your pet from the time you bring them home that anytime they need to use the potty, they (or You to begin with) ring the bell. So easy and so effective.
Now for some not so necessary items..
Miss #1: Plastic Food bowls. Only bowls that could be cleaned and sanitized after every use wouldn’t break Moose out after eating. We decided quickly to invest in several large stainless steel bowls. No need to buy tiny (but cute) bowls that he’d outgrow in no time. Stainless is the way to go.
Miss #2: Harness/Seatbelt for car rides. We found that any type of harness is short lived with a Great Dane pup. There’s just no harness that’s going to accommodate the size of a great dane pup for any length of time. We bought a great harness for car rides but learned that it was pretty much unnecessary since we rarely took rides when Moose was young. It’s not safe to have your pup out too much before they are fully vaccinated. I think we used the harness 2 times before it was outgrown.
Ok well, this has gotten long! I hope this is good information for anyone preparing for a new puppy.
What are your hit and miss items for your dogs?
-Dane Mama Sara