You’ve identified a new pup and fallen in love. The next step is to prepare for the puppy’s arrival beforehand so you can focus on having fun together once they move in. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the arrival of a new puppy in your household:
1. Puppy Proof the Home
If you’ve ever lived with a puppy, you’ll agree that for these furry friends, your home is literally an adventure playground. So, save your belongings and protect your puppy from injuries by puppy-proofing your pad.
Begin by stowing away all chewable objects that your pup can easily swallow. Cover all electrical cables or run them behind furniture where the puppy won’t reach. Block access to any room where pet pee or poop can ruin the carpet.
Before you declare the job done, get down to the floor yourself and look around from a puppy’s perspective, under the sofa and anywhere else you don’t often see when standing upright. It might sound ridiculous, but it’s a great way to ensure nothing is missed out.
2. Register with a Local Vet
Ask around your neighborhood to find a licensed vet you feel comfortable working with. A good vet should be someone who loves animals, owns a modern facility, and has a good reputation in the neighborhood.
It’s also wise to find the location of the nearest pet clinic so you know where to run to in case of an emergency health issue with your pup.
Since you’re most probably bringing in a young puppy, check out with the clinic if they offer puppy shots, deworming, parasite control, as well as desexing. You may also need to start checking out daycare or boarding centers in your locality where you can drop your pet whenever you need to leave home unceremoniously.
3. Get Some Lessons about Puppy Care
A puppy information sheet for new owners can’t be complete without mentioning the need to learn vital lessons about puppy care. Take a deliberate step to understand how a puppy thinks and learns to truly care for them.
Seek reputable online resources, enroll for dog training classes for first time owners, or join “first-time puppy owners” social media forums. The more you know about your furry friend, the happier both of you will be. Within no time, you will be able to understand if your puppy truly loves you, just by watching their behaviors around you.
New Puppy Checklist
Bringing home a new puppy is a thrilling experience, especially for first-time dog owners. But, if you don’t have everything in place before the puppy arrives, you’ll be scrambling at the last minute to get the stuff you need.
The same way you would shop for a newborn baby, a new puppy comes with an elaborate shopping checklist. Instead of a regular crib, you need a modest dog crate plus essentials such as a bed, feeding bowls, food, collar, and leash.
Here’s a new puppy owner checklist of items you may probably already have in your home, and a few that you should definitely get ahead of time:
a: An appropriately Sized Dog Crate
Dogs are naturally den animals, and they love the security and comfort offered by an appropriately sized crate.
Ideally, a dog crate has three walls and a see-through front gate that allows your pooch to monitor what goes around in his environment.
It’s important to get a crate that’s just the right size for your pup. A dog crate for a puppy should not have too much room to prevent your puppy from having an accident inside.
A properly sized crate allows your pup just enough space to stand up, lie down, and turn around. Be sure to include comfortable bedding that isn’t too soft to be a chew target.
A dog crate will also go a long way in helping with potty training.
b: Wire Playpen
A dog playpen with wire panels can be configured to your desired size or shape. You can also use them to block doorways to rooms that you wish to keep off-limits for your pet.
c: Dog Chew Toys
A new puppy will chew anything she lays her teeth on – including your shoes, throw rugs, and furniture. Make sure you provide plenty of chew toys for your puppy to chew instead.
If you catch her chewing anything, immediately provide a pleasant chew toy to teach her that some stuff aren’t meant for chewing.
Vets recommend that you start with a variety, as different dog breeds and individual pups gravitate toward different toys. In the beginning, it will take some trial and error to figure out the best toys your new puppy likes.
Try out hard rubber busy toys that you can stuff with dog treats or fillings such as peanut butter since they can help keep your puppy occupied throughout the day. More importantly, choose dog toys the puppy can’t swallow
d: Leash and Collar
Introduce your puppy to his leash and collar or harness as early as possible, and get him accustomed to wearing it. Begin by letting him wear the collar in the house before going outside for walks.
Don’t drag your puppy with the leash as he acclimates to the sensation; simply allow him to move at his own pace. Vets often recommend no-choke retractable leashes for safety reasons.
e: Bitter Apple Spray
However much you puppy-proof your home, there will always be a few items you can’t just move out of puppy’s reach, like your coach.
You can apply bitter apple sprays such as Grannick’s Bitter Apple Deterrent for Dogs to most household items to protect them from your dog’s curious mouth.
Humans can’t smell it, but bitter apple is quite unappealing to dogs.
f: Puppy Food and Bowls
You should feed your puppy about three times a day and provide a bowl of fresh water nearby. Purchase highly-nutritious dog food recommended by your vet or breeder, and use a stainless steel dog bowl to serve the food – steel often collects fewer bacteria over time as compared to plastic.
g: An Enzyme Cleaner
Puppies are still on a learning path and can get into trouble from time to time. Even the best-trained puppy can have a toileting accident at some point, and you should be able to clean it up quickly and eliminate the odor.
Enzyme cleansers such as the Rocco & Roxie Supply Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator will eliminate odors that only your pooch can smell. As a result, you can eliminate any reminder that he once went for potty in any particular area of your house.
Avoid any cleaning solution that contains ammonia—the chemical smells like pee to dogs, and dogs are naturally skewed to go for potty where they’ve gone before.
Other essential things you need for a new puppy include:
- Dog bed: If possible, get two dog beds to ensure that there’s always a clean bed to use when the other is washed.
- Cleaning supplies: Disinfectants, disposable paper, and household gloves
- Treats: A critical component of training
- Bowls: Ceramic or stainless steel bowls for food and water
- Brush and comb: To help you with regular grooming so the puppy can get used to it.
A new puppy is always a source of excitement for the entire family, but it can also turn into a nightmare for either party. Be sure to make all the necessary preparations to avoid unpleasant experiences that could ruin quality of life for both of you.