Amazon Roundup|September 2019

Disclaimer: I am participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All opinions/recommendations are my own.

Hi friends! I can’t believe September is over. I know everyone says the same thing, but this year has been flying by. Each month seems to come and go more quickly than the last. I have a lot on my plate this fall with grad school, working full time {commuting part time} and spending time with my family. Amazon is my go-to for just about everything. Who doesn’t love fast shipping and good prices? Here is a roundup of my Amazon purchases that I have been loving this month.

Bluelight Glasses | Brita Pitcher | Body Wash | Patio Umbrella Cover | Bronze Apothecary Jars | Travel Laundry Bag | Solar Garden Lights | Shark Vacuum Filter Replacements |Dog Car Seatbelt

My job, commute and this blog all have me on my phone or computer many more hours of the day than I would like. It has definitely been tough on my eyes. Since I started working after college, I have noticed a downfall in my vision. While blue light blocking glasses don’t really help with vision, they do help my eyes feel less strained and tired. I keep a pair of these glasses in my night stand, home office and desk at work. I really like the most recent pair I got from Amazon.

I am always trying to drink my water. It is so difficult for me! To help ‘up’ my water intake, I recently bought a Brita pitcher. Although we have filtered water in our fridge, it is painfully slow and I don’t really care for ice cold water. I can fill this pitcher up quickly from our kitchen sink instead. It has also come in handy for refilling our coffee machines, the tea kettle and for cooking.

Puracy is one of my favorite brands that I discovered on Amazon. I have bought their hand soaps, cleaning products, bathroom sprays and body wash. I am really loving this coconut/vanilla body wash scent! I have been on a mission to slowly change our cosmetic and cleaning products over to safer options. This month in the Amazon cleaning department, I picked up vacuum filter replacements. Amazon is the only place I can find these.

Sticking with new bathroom staples, I love these little apothecary jars! They came in a set of 3 and are great quality. I have them on my bathroom shelves with Q-tips, cotton balls and cotton rounds.

I actually purchased these travel laundry bags in August for our trip to Baha Mar, but I loved them so much, I am including them here. These helped to keep our suitcases organized during our trip. When we got home, we just threw the bags into our laundry room.

Moving to the outdoors! These two purchases are totally random, but that’s one of the reasons I love Amazon. It literally has almost every item I can think of. We recently finished up our backyard landscaping, so I bought these solar lights to add a little extra touch to our new gardens. My husband says that I put so many out that our yard looks like an airport, but I love them! I also picked up a cover for our patio umbrella. We have a similar Amazon Basics cover for our outdoor chairs too. I think these covers are great quality especially for the price.

Last but not least, something for the pup. I picked up this dog car seatbelt for my parents to keep in their cars for Henry. We have a different version for our cars that clip into the seatbelt holder, but sometimes Henry steps on the button and releases it. This version clips around the head rests. Henry LOVES riding in the car and I feel better knowing that he’s secured to the seat.

Our Goldendoodle | Must Have Puppy Products

Disclaimer: I am participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All opinions/recommendations are my own.

Welcome back! Today, I am talking must-have puppy products. I am sharing five products that we’ve bought for Henry that we can’t live without. If you’re new here, you should also read about Henry’s first day home. Before getting Henry I started a puppy wishlist on Amazon. This helped me prepare and prioritize. It was a lot easier to get carried away with puppy purchases than I thought it would be. To no surprise, I blew my mini puppy budget – whoopsie! At least I now have a bit of an excuse when Amazon orders arrive; “Oh that box? It’s for Henry!”

Crate

Although we have not actually purchased a crate yet (we’ve borrowed two) I think it’s an absolute necessity. Henry loves his crate. Using a crate really helped us house train him. It’s also a safe and cozy area that is 100% his space. We even take the crate to my parent’s house when he stays there for the afternoon. As long as he has his crate, we know Henry will calmly settle into his new surroundings. I have a separate blog post all about our house training experience and tips {read it here}. He started in a 24 inch crate and is currently in a 30 inch crate. We think he will probably need a 36 inch crate for good, so that will probably be the size we purchase {update 12/3/19: We did purchase the 36in crate, but ultimately had to also buy Henry the 42in} . If our moms didn’t have extra crates lying around we probably would have went with a 36 inch crate with a divider from the start. The dividers adjust the puppy’s space as he grows and are a much more affordable option than buying multiple crates.

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Puzzle Toy

Henry currently can’t play outside because he doesn’t have all of his vaccines. Although I know it’s best to keep him inside for now, I totally feel bad for him! The poor guy is growing like a weed. I know he can’t wait to get outside and stretch his long legs. There are times that Henry has a ton of puppy energy. We knew we had to find a way to keep him entertained for his first few months indoors. I found this puzzle on Amazon about a week after brining him home. It’s a great way to keep him occupied even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes. I also feel like I am giving his little brain a good challenge {he’s actually a very fast leaner}. As the weeks pass by, he completes the puzzle more quickly. It was really cute to see him progress. In the beginning, he only used his snoot to push the covers. Eventually he realized he could use his paw to move them too.

Activity Ball

To keep his attention longer than the puzzle we bought him a ball that holds dry food. This ball is hands down Henry’s favorite toy. It’s pretty much our favorite toy too because it keeps him running around and occupied for a while. The ball comes apart in three pieces; top, middle disc and bottom. On the bottom you place dry food {we usually do about 5-10 pieces}. Next, you cover it with the disc, twisting it to adjust the size of the hole. Last, you put the top back on. The disc and the top piece have holes in them. As Henry pushes the ball around food slowly falls from the bottom, through the disc hole and eventually through the top hole. Henry loves food and loves chasing this ball around the house. It’s a great toy for indoor exercise.

Safari Comb

My cousins also have a goldendoodle {her Instagram is @daisydoodleli} and they recommended we purchase the Safari comb from Amazon. Goldendoodles don’t shed or shed very little, so their coats are prone to matting. I think Henry’s fluffy hair is the cutest and want to keep him that way. To help prevent a horrible trip to the groomer that results in a close shave, I bought this comb. It is really great for combing close to the skin where the hair mats. This comb has about 5 teeth with slightly jagged edges. These edges must be why the comb works so well. The Safari comb is great for de-tangling. I try to comb Henry at least 2x per week. It’s not his favorite, but he’s slowly getting use to it. I’m not sure how much his hair will change, but most of his body doesn’t seem to tangle. The area on his lower back by his tail tends to get the most knotty. Each time I comb him the comb picks up a good amount of hair. I usually try to comb him when he’s sleepy, so he doesn’t fight it.

Bitterapple Spray

Overall, Henry is an awesome puppy. He’s been fairly easy to train, has had minimal accidents and picks up on new commands quickly. However, the worst and most difficult characteristic is play bitting. I am pretty sure he thinks everyone is part of his litter! Fortunately, he doesn’t have much interest in chewing our furniture. We are his preferred chew toys. I have watched a lot of training videos on YouTube {Zac George, Ceasar Milan} and with their tips I am slowly seeing some improvement. For the limited house hold objects that he does try to chew, we use the bitter apple spray to deter him. Growing up this stuff didn’t phase my family shih-tzu, but Henry HATES it. I think it’s definitely worth a try if your puppy is in a biting phase.

If you have any puppy product recommendations, please share them in the comments below!

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Our Goldendoodle | House Training Tips

Welcome back! This is my second post since we’ve added Henry to our family. Today I want to share the tips that have helped us successfully train our little guy. I was definitely nervous about house training prior to getting a puppy. Growing-up my family had a shih-tzu who wasn’t the best with house training. My parents now have a havanese and he has been very difficult. When we met Henry’s breeder for the first time she told us not to use “potty pads.” She told us to take him right outside and he would learn. With consistency, patience and praise we have had a lot of success house training Henry.

#1 – Designated Potty Place

The day we brought Henry home we took him to his “potty place,” directly from the car. To our surprise he quickly went to the bathroom then we brought him inside. We have consistently taken him to the same area to go to the bathroom. Henry knows that area is for potty and generally goes pretty quickly. He is always on a leash. Early on, we only gave him a few minutes to do his business. If he laid down or started playing we took him inside and tried again in about 15/20 minutes. As soon as his goes, we give him lots of verbal praise {no treats – we don’t want him to start faking us out for snacks}. When he is finished we take him back inside. We want him to learn that at this point in is life, outside is for potty time only.

#2 – Crate Training

If you have done any research on crate training you probably already know that dogs naturally do not want to sleep and potty in the same place. Crate training your puppy will help him hold his bladder until he is able to go in the correct area. The crate should be a safe and cozy place for your pup. We were fortunate that Henry took a liking to his crate from the day he came home. He will go in and out on his own throughout the day to nap. Henry was about 9lbs when we brought him home and started him in a 24 inch wire crate. We borrowed this crate from someone. Otherwise, we would have bought a large crate with a divider. Around 14 weeks and 13-15 lbs, we switched him to a 30 inch wire crate that we borrowed as well. He is growing length-wise faster than he is in weight. We decided to switch him to a bigger crate because he was starting to seem cramped. Although he still had room turn, he always had to lay scrunched up. To this day he has not had a crate accident or cried through the night. Inside his crate we keep a machine washable crate bed, a thin towel and 1-2 toys. The crate is located in his room (aka the ‘puppy area’) right next to our bedroom. We have kept the crate in the same exact spot since day one {consistency}.

#3 – Puppy Area

As many resources state, it’s usually the owner’s fault a new puppy has an accident not the puppy’s. From experience, we could not agree more! We decided it was important to us that we confine Henry to limited area where he had easy access to his crate and his potty place. In our house, we have an room with a separate door into the backyard. Henry’s potty place is right outside that door. This room was the perfect option for our puppy area.

Henry’s crate is in that room and he has constant view of ‘his door.’ We only take him outside to the bathroom to through this door {consistency}. For about the first two weeks he was home he barely left this room {patience}. When we let him explore he had an accident even though we were watching him like a hawk. This made us realize how small he was in comparison to his new home. By taking him out of his puppy area we set him up for failure. He was too far from ‘his door’ and easily confused in what seemed like a giant house. Until we knew he was able to hold it longer, we kept him in ‘his room’ unless we were holding him.

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#4 – The Schedule

For the first two weeks, we wrote down every time Henry went potty, ate or drank. This was helpful for us and Henry. These notes helped us learn a lot about Henry and forced all of us on to a consistent schedule. Within a few days we were able to see a pattern between eating, drinking and potty. We compared day to day notes to see if he made progress and set expectations for the day. During the first two days home Henry peed 14 times before dinner! Henry generally had to pee 20 minutes after drinking water during his first two weeks. As the days when on he was able to stretch this time. We also realized he pooped around the same time 3-4x per day. This all sounds crazy as I type it, but the schedule gradually made the whole situation less stressful. We knew what to expect and when to expect it.

When we took Henry home, the breeder strongly recommend we limited his water the first few days home. She said he had never had is own water bowl and would likely over drink and make a huge mess. It only took one little bowl of water for us to realize that he was OBSESSED with water. Over the first few days we gradually increased the amount of water he drank. We have continued to increase the amount of water he gets each day while still monitoring his bathroom habits. Too much water at once or too frequently almost always results in an accident. Our vet and some sources I read suggest about 1oz of water per pound of puppy. We started using a mason jar that measures out 10 oz . This helps us ensure he is getting enough water each day. Henry is about 14 weeks old and we still do not leave a water bowl down. He would drink an entire bathtub if we let him!

During the night we took total control of Henry’s schedule. We were very consistent. For his first five nights home we set alarms every 2 hours to wake up and take him outside to potty. Almost every time Henry was asleep, but we wanted to make sure we got to him before he could get upset an have an accident. Sleepily we took turns taking him outside with a flashlight. No chit-chat, no play time. Just potty. After about five days, he was always sound asleep when our alarms went off, so we were confident that he could hold it a solid two hours. We were ready to increase our trips to three hours for about another five days. Then we increase to four hours. Within 2.5-3 weeks, Henry was sleeping through the night from about 9pm to 5am. As I write this blog, Henry is about 14 weeks old. He is very sleepy by 7:30/8pm and relaxes in his room. We take him out for the last time before we go to bed between 9pm and 10pm and I am happy to report that he can sleep until at least 6am these days.

# 5- Door Bells

The day after we brought Henry home we put bells on ‘his door.’ In the theory, the puppy will ring the bells to let you know he has to go out. I knew of some friends who had a lot of success with this method. Each time we took Henry out {we still carry him out} we touched his paw to the bells and said, “potty.” He caught on to this within two or three days! Even though he wasn’t doing it consistently, we were impressed he was doing it all all. About two weeks after having him we removed the bells for two or three days. He started playing with the bells constantly. Henry is a pretty quiet pup {unless he knows food or water is coming} so we were having a hard timing knowing when he needed to go out. He occasionally barks or stares at us, but felt bad that we didn’t really know. When we put the bells up for the second time he played with them a lot less. Now he can run from one side of the house to the other to ring the bells on ‘his door,’ when we needs to go out. If he rings the bells shortly after coming back inside we know he just wants to play.

There you have it. My top of tips for successfully house training your pup!

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