1. What is the best puppy food?
2. Did you crate train and if so, what size crate did you buy?
We are trying to prepare as much as possible before Kirby arrives. My husband and I grew up with dogs but never raised a puppy. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. This is all so very exciting. We look forward to hearing from you.
First, major congrats on the new puppy. This is definitely an exciting time and applaud how responsible you are to do research online before even bringing your new puppy home!
To answer your questions:
1) What is the best puppy food? Well, people who read my blog know that I am head over heels in love with Eagle Pack Holistic dry dog food. They have a very well balanced and high quality Eagle Pack Holistic Select® Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula that I would definitely recommend for the first 6 months to a year. If you find that your puppy has chicken allergies (which can happen in Labrador Retrievers), then I would recommend what we use: Eagle Pack Holistic Select® Anchovy, Sardine & Salmon Meal Formula. Make sure though that you gradually switch the puppy from the food your breeder used to any new food you decide to go with. For more information, check out our article on Feeding Guidelines for Labrador Retrievers.
2) Did you crate train and if so, what size crate did you buy? When I was younger, I used to think crate training was barbaric. However, I have to admit that I now *love* crate training and will vouch that this is the reason our Labs were housebroken so fast and are so well trained/behaved. Our recommended crate is the Midwest Life Stages dog crate. We have the Life Stages – Single Door 42″ as this is the perfect size to grow with your large breed Lab. Our main reason for choosing this crate: folds easily for moving, has a divider panel that allows the crate to grow with the pup, has a plastic pan on the bottom for easy clean up (especially during housebreaking), chew resistant metal (Labs can easily chew plastic crates) and loads of openness for airflow and to be part of what is going on around them. To help, check out these articles on Crate Training Your Labrador and Housebreaking Your Pup.
Best of luck and be sure to send us pictures of the new pup!