Friday, April 5, 2013

New Puppy Gift Idea: Toy Box

Remember these little nuggets I introduced you to a few weeks ago? Well, Miss Oats wanted to give each of her new friends a "Welcome to the Family" gift, so we did some brainstorming and decided to fill a little toy box for each of them.
We figured by the time we got to meet them, they'd already have all their essentials...dog bowls, beds, collars, etc. We certainly wanted to get them both something useful, and owning our own puppy has taught us that there's never enough toys and treats. Literally. Oats has her own toy box (from Home Goods)...
....and if it looks like there's nothing in there, there probably isn't. Although I put them back in the box every night, every morning she takes them all out and spreads them around the house for us to step on. But she does have plenty of toys, and we know all too well that these bad boys don't last forever. She is just now getting gentler with her toys, but when she was a puppy they lasted about 2 days, so we fully understand the value of new ones.

So Oats and I headed out to look for a couple toy boxes for her new little buddies. Yes she runs errands with me, and assumes her position in my driver's seat while I shop...
We found a whole bunch of adorable ones, and if you're in the market I'd strongly recommend Home Goods because they have the largest and best selection I've found. I did also find a smaller selection at Marshalls and TJ Maxx, and I believe Bed Bath & Beyond also has limited options. These are a few of the ones I liked but didn't buy, and you can see some others in the background.
That one in the back that says "my stuff" in the bone...I'm obsessed with it. I even filled it with toys (as you can see) and carried it around the store for a while. If I didn't already have one for Oats I would have bought that for her in a heartbeat, and sadly it's way too tall for the two munchkins I was buying for. So hopefully a great dane can take it home fill it with toys (sorry for the terrible photo...some lady was cramping my style when I was in this aisle).
So Oats and I settled on these for Lily & Lucy and then made our way to several different stores to fill them with love. You know, made with love and Oats :) We're cheesy.
We went to Petco, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and obviously Home Goods and rounded up some toys and puppy treats. TIP#1: If you're giving this gift to a puppy, check the treat box to make sure it's safe for puppies. Some are only for adult dogs and it's best to check first...young pups can have sensitive stomachs. I actually screwed up and bought the Beneful Baked Delights which are supposed to be for adult dogs...so I wouldn't recommend those. The Milkbones pictured are specifically for puppies, so try to get products like that. Don't worry, we figured that out before they ate them.

TIP#2: Take the tags off before even bringing them to the dog. Puppies are not big fans of humans getting them all excited over a great new toy and then having to wait for us schmucks to sit there are cut the tags off. I cut off everything, even the sewn-on ones with stuffed toys. That way you can immediately give the dog all the toys when you go to meet them.
 
Just cut all that stuff off. This was quite the tease for Oats. Don't feel bad for her...she has enough toys to fill an FAO Schwartz store. In NYC. At Christmas time. Yes...spoiled.

Then we filled the baskets and wrote out little cards on folded white cardstock, and that was that. A cute, fun, useful new puppy gift. They each got two boxes of treats, a nylabone (because they are the most indestructible toys I've found), a soft toy (I like the Skinneeez ones without stuffing), a rope ball and a tennis ball (because every dog needs a few fetch toys).
And there you have our first Made with Love and Oats new puppy gift suggestion. Stay tuned for more gift ideas from me and Oats :)

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