So you have done your research and you are ready to bring a puppy into your home. Before bringing in this new friend into your home, there are a few things you will need and to be sure your puppy comes home to a safe and comfortable environment. Before we start talking about the puppy, I want to mention something you might buy for yourself. Many puppy owners look for the best security cameras in order to watch what their pups doing whilst they’re out, so you may consider buying one of your own!
Prepare your home
Puppies are curious about everything. It’s always best to keep your new friend in a specific area of your home where he can’t get into too much trouble. I would suggest the kitchen, laundry room or any other room where there isn’t too many items. This will keep your puppy safe and it won’t overwhelm him. Give the puppy a few days in this area before introducing him to another room.
- Make sure this area is clean and all items are safely put away out of reach. This includes cables, plants, shoes, garbage, harmful chemicals, table cloths, curtains, loose rugs etc.. Crawl around on your hands and knees and see if you can find something that could be potentially dangerous for your puppy. Baby gates are good to use to block off certain areas of a room.
- Also be sure that your yard is safe for the puppy and there is no way to escape. Remove anything that he can chew on, garden hose, plastic toys, tools etc..
Crate training your puppy or not
There are a lot of debates about crate training. If you decide to crate train, make sure you purchase a crate big enough for your puppy when it’s fully grown. Most crates will come with a divider panel which allows you to adjust the length of the living area as your puppy grows.
Some puppies will get the hang of going outside right away, but others will have accidents in the house if you’re not quick enough. It is a good idea to have puppy training pads on hand. Newspaper is ok to use, but it’s not absorbent and you will end up with a mess underneath that you will have to wash up. Puppy training pads are great as they are absorbent and won’t leave a mess behind.
When potty training, it’s a good idea to bring your puppy outside every 30 minutes. Once you get the feel of how long your puppy can hold it in for, slowly increase the time in between by 5 minutes.
I’m sure you are aware that dog’s poop. Most dogs will poop once or twice a day, puppies may be doing it more frequently. Be sure to stock up on poop bags.
Most puppies will whine the first few nights in it’s new home. Bring a small blanket with you when you pick up your puppy and ask if you can rub it on momma dog. Once home, put the blanket on his bed or in his designated area. Your puppy will pick up on momma’s scent and will make him feel safe.
You will want to get a nice comfortable bed for your puppy. Make sure that it’s machine washable and water resistant as puppies will have accidents and you don’t want to have to bring out a big chunky dog bed outside and have to hose it down. It’s aways a good idea to keep a second dog bed or a second cover handy.
Collar, leash and tags
Make sure you have a properly fitting collar on your puppy. Bring him into the pet store so you can choose a collar that will fit him nicely and not loosely. This doesn’t have to be a super expensive collar as your puppy will grow very fast and you will have to buy a new collar again.
You will need a 6 foot leash. I don’t recommend a retractable leash as these are very dangerous for both the dog and you.
You will definitely want some identification tags on your puppy. Something with his name and your information on it (phone number or address). If ever your puppy gets away from you, and someone finds him, they will be able to easily contact you instead of bringing him to the SPCA or similar.
Food & Treats
Whether you are raw feeding or kibble feeding, you need to be giving your puppy enough nutrients for him to grow. If you are raw feeding, be sure to do your research, talk with your vet and reach out to others who also raw feed. If you are kibble feeding, you need high quality food that is specially formulated for a puppy. I recommend Nutrience Healthy Puppy food. This puppy food is one of the best and it has no bad stuff! Although, if that doesn’t take your fancy, it would be worth looking at BestPetReviews to find out which other dog food brands are recommended/highly popular.
Most pet food that you find at a regular grocery store are not high quality and are filled with bad stuff and fillers like corn, which is hard on a dog’s digestive system.
Treats are great for rewarding good behaviour and training. When purchasing treats, make sure they are size appropriate and avoid brands that can be found at a grocery store. For treats, I also suggest Nutrience. They make a wide variety of treats that your puppy will be sure to love.
Food and water bowls
Choose heavy ceramic or stainless steel bowls – These are perfect for puppies as they cannot be chewed or carried around. They are dishwasher safe and there is less chance of harmful bacteria growing in the bowl. Be sure to always give your puppy plenty of fresh water and change it throughout the day.
Toys & Chews
You will definitely need lots of toys for your puppy. Puppies need lots of toys to keep them occupied and away from trouble. Puppies also chew a lot, so keep in mind that you will need some safe to chew on toys. When choosing a toy, make sure that it’s large enough that your puppy cannot swallow. Always keep an eye on your puppy while he is chewing.
I love dog subscription boxes as they always send out different products each month and this is a perfect way to get a good supply of treats and toys for your pup.
One subscription box company I suggest is Paws & Play.
The Paws & Play’s team advice to prepare your home for a puppy is to have a variety of toys readily available for your puppy to chew on! Teething is annoying for puppies (and owners) and chewing helps to relieve some of that discomfort. Having fun toys of different textures ready to distract your new family member with is key to saving some of your household items and furniture. Make the right behavior easy to have by keeping the floors clean of anything you don’t want puppified including shoes, books, children’s toys and electronic cords. Toys also work great for positive reinforcement, teaching new tricks and games and keeping your furry friend mentally and physically engaged. A tired puppy equals a happy puppy! Paws & Play offers a variety of subscription and gift packs to try premium products at a highly discounted price as well as single purchase items such as toys, cookies, lifestyle products and more perfect for puppies, dogs and cats of all ages and sizes.
Depending on the breed of your puppy, it will most likely shed, a lot. Purchase a good brush – We like using The Furminator. Get your puppy used to getting groomed as soon as possible.
You will also need a good dog shampoo.
Nail clippers and a baggie full of baking soda, baby powder or flour is good to have on hand if you accidentally get the “quick” while cutting your dog’s nails. Here are some tips to cut your dog’s nails. You’ll soon become a pro at this.
An animal first aid kit
You never know what can happen, which is why a pet first aid kit is always handy. You can get one at the pet store or make one yourself. Things that should be in the first aid kit are; Gauze rolls and pads of different sizes, elastic bandage, exam gloves, tweezers, scissors, cold pack, Saline solution, antiseptic wipes, medical tape and a card with your pet’s information, veterinary information and any other information you may think is necessary. I also keep Benadryl tabs on hand in case my dog gets bit or eats a bee. Some dogs have no reaction to bee stings, while others swell up. Keeping this on hand can possibly give your dog extra time to make it to the vet.
Choose a veterinarian that’s right for you. Give your puppy a couple of days to get to know you and then bring him to the vet for a checkup. Speak with your vet about de-worming, vaccinations, microchipping and neutering.
If your puppy has not been to the vet yet for a checkup and vaccinations, it is not recommended to bring your dog out to meet other dogs. There are some very serious bugs that your little friend can catch that can be very bad for him.
And last but not least.. Love. Give that puppy as much love and attention as possible.
If you want more tips on how to care for a puppy, visit: http://www.nutrience.ca/care-guides
Do you have any other tips for how to prepare for a puppy? Leave your tips in the comments below.