Introducing a new puppy to your household is exciting, but at times, it’s also stressful. There’s a lot to worry about—getting the house in order, shopping for the right supplies, and planning your puppy’s first day home. By mapping out a plan-of-action, you’ll be able to get everything ready for your new puppy with the least amount of stress possible. These tips for preparing for a new puppy can help you start off on the right foot so that, on the big day, you’ll be ready to welcome your puppy home with open arms and a big smile.
Get the Basic Supplies
Puppies need a lot of supplies to flourish. Some items are essential, while others might be optional. Let’s look at some equipment you’ll need to get before bringing your puppy home.
Unless you’re going to be supervising it 24/7, you’ll want to get a dog crate. A crate will provide a secure place for your puppy to rest and sleep and act as a safe place if you need to leave it alone for a few hours. The crate should be big enough for your puppy to stand and turn around. And if you’re planning to limit your puppy’s access to parts of the house, baby gates are one of the best ways to do so.
Your puppy needs a collar and leash. It’ll love to go on walks outdoors, but to keep it safe, you’ll need to be in control of where it goes and when. Obviously, you’ll need bowls for their water and food, along with the food itself. Treats will help you train and bond with your puppy, but you should give them out sparingly.
Puppies need washing and grooming, too. The type of grooming products you buy should reflect your dog’s breed. A long-haired breed will need different supplies than a short-haired one. Pick up shampoo and conditioner, cotton balls or gauze for ear cleaning, nail clippers, and dog toothpaste.
Don’t forget the cleaning supplies. Puppies make messes, and you’ll need a way to clean them up. Finally, there’s the fun stuff—puppies love playing with toys. Hard rubber toys, rope toys, and flavored synthetic bones are great for unsupervised play. As you get to know your puppy, you’ll learn more about the types of toys they like.
Like a curious, rambunctious toddler, your puppy is likely to get itself into trouble. To keep it safe, you’ll need to puppy-proof your home. While you’re doing that, there are a few essential areas you’ll want to spend extra attention on:
- Unplug electrical cords, move them out of reach, or string them through cord concealers. Cords are chewing hazards and can cause electric shock or burns to the mouth.
- If you have baseboard heaters, make sure you puppy-proof them. If your puppy gets too close, it could burn itself, and pet hair or excessive liquid can damage your heater.
- Hide cleaning supplies, medications, and other materials that are toxic to your puppy.
- Keep sharp and breakable objects out of your puppy’s reach.
- Avoid feeding it from the table. Most human food isn’t good for puppies. Pay special attention to sugarless gum, chocolate, raisins, and other foods that are poisonous to dogs.
Come Up With Some House Rules
Another tip for preparing for a new puppy is to set some house rules. Most puppies are eager to learn, but if the rules you’re using are inconsistent, it can be hard for your pup to understand what it can and can’t do. Your household should sit down and come up with some basic rules for the puppy. Is it allowed to sit on furniture? Is light nipping permissible? How do we praise it, and how do we scold it? By setting clear and consistent rules, you’ll make training easier on both your puppy and yourself.