February 4, 2021

New Dog Essentials & Our 'Pandemic Puppy' Story

Are you preparing to welcome a new dog into your home? Regardless of your new furry family member's age, there are a variety of items that you will need to make sure they feel at home, and make the transition easy on the both of you. Check out our New Dog Essentials below, plus our 'pandemic puppy' story.

The pandemic puppy. A phrase I have heard many times over the past 10ish months - in the media, in my neighbourhood and even associated with my own pup.

The current pandemic has prompted a booming demand for pets from Canadians feeling isolated after months of social distancing. Just take a walk around your neighbourhood and you will probably notice many new pups. 

But can you blame people?

There's no denying the power of puppy cuddles. Pandemic or no pandemic. Studies indicate that owning a companion animal, such as a dog or a cat, has benefits for good mental health. Interactions with animals may help with depression and anxiety, particularly under stress-prone conditions. And in a pandemic where the feeling of isolation, fatigue and overall mental health are at an all time low, we're all looking for something to help us take our minds off what is going on in the world around us. 

If you're interested in the stats - Canadians spent more than $5.7 billion on their pets in 2020, an increase of about $300 million compared to 2019 (source)! And that figure is projected to grow by more than $100 million in 2021. The same article says that more than a third of all Canadian households now have a dog, which is also up from last year.

Our Pandemic Puppy Story

We had been talking about welcoming a furry friend into our family for some time now. And what time is better than during the middle of a global pandemic?

In early 2020, we joined a local dog rescue foster list in hopes of providing a home to a dog in need. But, after just a few short weeks, we quickly realized that the majority of dogs looking for fosters and forever homes were not suitable for families with kids. Young kids at that. So very quickly, that conversation shifting to puppy talk. 

The next step was to research dog breeds online. Growing up with chihuahuas, I knew our new family member needed to be a bit bigger (to handle the chaos of our kids), but not too big because space is an issue. We both loved Australian Shepherds, but they were just a bit too big. Enter the Mini American Shepherd (or Mini Aussie), a 30-40lb. version of its bigger cousin. Turns out, they're a fairly new breed - a result of a breeding program that began in the 1960s to produce a scaled-down version of the Australian Shepherd. 

Finding a reputable breeder was very important to us, so that meant next turning to the list of Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) accountable breeders. If you're on the hunt for a new furry family member and are researching breeders, I recommend checking out the CKC Puppy ListThe Puppy List is an easy-to-use searchable database that includes contact information for CKC Member Breeders. You can search by breed type (for example, sporting, hounds, working, terrier, toys, etc.) or by the specific breed. 

We found a breeder down in the Niagara-area and immediately started discussions. At this time, it was April 2020. All indications pointed towards bringing puppy home early fall. But just a few months later in June, we received the email we had been waiting for - "Are you still interested in a puppy? We have 3 available." For whatever reason, their list opened up and we were on the top. It was a quick YES, and 8 short weeks later brother Bear was the newest member of our clan. (Do you follow him on Instagram? If not, check out what he's been up to here.)

Once you decide to get a new dog, it's time to start preparing your home. And since some of us don't have the luxury of going shopping at the nearest pet store (thank you, pandemic), we turn to online shopping.

Prior to bringing Bear home, we bought the majority of items through Amazon. The quick and easy Prime next-day delivery ensured we had everything we needed prior to his arrival, and that we received any last minute needs or things we forgot very quickly. 

Are you preparing to welcome a new dog into your home? Regardless of your new furry family member's age, there are a variety of items that you will need to make sure they feel at home, and make the transition easy on the both of you. Check out our New Dog Essentials below. 

New Dog Essentials

New Dog Essentials

Tell me - Do you have a dog, or other furry family member, at home? What are some of your top dog essentials?

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New Dog Essentials

New Dog Essentials

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