How To Prepare for a New Puppy
Bringing home a new puppy is a life-changing and incredibly special moment! If you have just purchased or adopted a new puppy, you may be so overwhelmed with joy that you forget to prepare. Puppyhood is so fun and incredibly rewarding, but it’s also hard work for the owner.
To set yourself up for success, there are some items you should prepare for ahead of time. By preparing for your puppy ahead of time, you will be better equipped to care for it and be able to spend more time enjoying your new puppy than running around getting things for it.
Keep reading to learn what preparations you should make when welcoming a new puppy to your family!
Buy the Supplies
One of the most important things to do ahead of bringing a puppy home is to go on a shopping spree! You don’t want to bring your puppy home just to find that you are missing important items. That results in you running around to pet shops when all you want to do is be at home with your puppy!
The best way to avoid this is to make a checklist ahead of time and go purchase everything you need. If you need some pointers on making a new puppy shopping list, check out the below suggestions for things to buy.
Items to Buy for Your New Puppy
High-quality food and treats. Your puppy will need food the first day it arrives home. It’s important to have food ready. Picking a healthy and complete puppy chow is necessary for a healthy puppyhood. If you need suggestions on good puppy food, you can ask your vet or breeder what they suggest.
Food and water bowl. You would think it’s obvious – but this one is easy to forget!
Leash, tag, collar, and harness. Picking out a leash and collar can be a lot of fun. Today, most pet stores have a variety of styles and patterns to choose from. Just make sure you have got the sizing right!
Puppy pads and poo bags. If you plan on using puppy pads to help with potty training, make sure to pick up a pack before the puppy arrives home. This will protect your floors while the new puppy adjusts.
A crate. Crate training is super important for puppies. Pick a crate that is the right size for your puppy and be sure to set it up with some soft toys or blankets. Dogs need a den!
Toys. It’s easy to go overboard with toys. For puppies, try to get three or four toys with different materials and features. Squeaky versus quiet, plastic versus fabric, etc… You’ll notice your puppy gravitates toward one type more than another which can guide your toy buying choices in the future.
Training aids. Training aids like clickers, a pouch for carrying treats and training leads are important to add to your inventory before welcoming a new puppy.
Dog shampoo and brush. Depending on where your new puppy is coming from, they may arrive needing a bath! It’s a good idea to have a brush and a dog shampoo ready.
Puppy Proof Your Home
When you get a new puppy, your life is changing (for the better). You must change some aspects of your lifestyle to ensure your puppy is happy and healthy!
One thing that you need to do is a puppy-proof your home. Decide where the puppy will sleep. Crate training, especially at night, is highly recommended. Be sure to pick a location for the crate that is quiet and peaceful, but where you can still easily hear your puppy.
Be sure not to put the crate next to any wires, electronics, or other small items the puppy may be able to chew on through the openings in their crate.
Identify where your puppy will eat. Be sure there are no items around the food bowl that they could accidentally ingest. Try to put your puppy’s food bowl in a place that is easy for you to access, but also out of the way. Dogs generally like to eat in a spot where they feel secure.
If you have certain sections of your home you do not want your puppy in, block them off. You can purchase puppy gates for this purpose. Or you can use the simple technique of keeping the doors to the “off-limits” rooms closed. You will just have to take great care into remembering to close these doors consistently.
You should check your home for any items that could be dangerous or poisonous for a puppy. Some things to look for are:
Plants. Some plants are fine for dogs, but some are poisonous if ingested. Make sure you research the plants you have out. The best bet is always to move plants to an off-limits room or out of reach for your puppy (hanging planters are great for this reason).
Cleaning products. You may have gotten used to leaving cleaning products on open shelves, next to your toilet, etc… After you have a puppy, it’s important that you put away all cleaning products behind securely closed doors. Utilize cabinets and drawers to tuck everything away.
Cables and wires. Scan your home for all the wires you can see. This includes behind the TV, next to your computer(s), etc… Wires that are sticking out or are easily accessible to a puppy should be taped down or secured. Rooms that have multiple wires may be best as an “off-limits” space while the dog is young.
Find a Vet and Trainer
It’s extremely important to find a vet before bringing your puppy home. Depending on where you live, some veterinarian offices can have months-long wait times for an appointment. You will want to take your puppy to its first vet appointment within the first week it is home with you.
Your puppy will likely need some standard immunizations. Even if your puppy has all its shots, you will still want to bring it to the vet so they can evaluate the puppy’s health and make sure it doesn’t have any common puppy ailments, like intestinal parasites or kennel cough. If it does, you will be able to get your puppy treated easily.
For this reason, you should make a veterinarian appointment as soon as you know you are purchasing the dog. This way you can be sure to get an appointment slot ahead of time.
You should also have a training plan in place. You can sign your puppy up ahead of time for group training classes. Some companies even offer virtual training classes now. Or you may opt to hire a one-on-one trainer. Whichever you choose, be sure to do this ahead of time!
Bringing home a new puppy is a very exciting moment! Your puppy will give you love and companionship for years to come. That’s why you want to prepare ahead of time and set your puppy up for success. By buying the right items, puppy-proofing your home, and getting your puppy’s appointments all lined up ahead of time – you can be sure your first days with your puppy will be fun!
New Puppy – Bringing Home a New Puppy – How To Prepare for a New Puppy (webmd.com)
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