New Year New Pup - How to prepare for bringing a new dog home
Maybe your partner surprised you with a picture of a newborn puppy for the holidays, and now you’re getting your house ready for when the pup can finally join the family. Or maybe you’ve recently decided to adopt a four-legged family member now that the holiday dust has settled.
Either way, if the new year is bringing the new responsibility of being a pet owner, it’s time to get ready for everything this responsibility entails.
So, what do you need to do to make your dog feel right at home?
While bringing in a new puppy is exciting, it can be stressful for all parties because it’s a lot like introducing a newborn to your household. The best thing you can do is make sure everyone’s on the same page before you bring the pup home.
Talk to your family members about the rules for the puppy—what times it will eat, how often it can have treats, when it needs to go in its crate, etc. Be sure that every family member knows how to contact your preferred vet in case of an emergency.
If you have young children, you can buy or check out books about puppies. They might get excited when learning about the pup’s specific breed, how to train a puppy, or how to teach the dog tricks. You can also get children of any age involved when shopping for the items on your new puppy checklist and review the puppy’s routine with them.
Preparing Your Home
Your puppy needs to have a space of its own. Before bringing your pup home, you need to decide where your dog will go when it wants to sleep, relax, have treats, and more. You can designate this space with a kennel, crate, pen, doggie bed, or blanket. This space should be a comforting place for your puppy, and it should be a place they can go when they’re feeling anxious.
You’ll also need to puppy-proof your home. If there are certain areas of the house you don’t want the pup to go into, you can invest in a couple of baby gates to keep them contained. You’ll want to move low-hanging items out of your puppy’s reach, and you may want to put a protective layer around chair or table legs to deter your dog from chewing on the wood.
Check to see if any houseplants you have are poisonous to dogs, and if they are, move them out of your pup’s reach. And any items with electrical wires should be moved out of reach. You should also start practicing picking up after yourself, so you break the habit of leaving things out for the pup to chew on.
New Puppy Checklist
You probably have all the basics taken care of, but it’s helpful to have a complete checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything. Before you bring your new pup home, be sure to get:
Þ Two bowls (one for food, one for water)
Þ Crate with bedding or dog bed
Þ Toys and chew toys
Þ Puppy food
Þ Shampoo for your dog’s type of coat
Þ Brushes and grooming tools (nail clippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, ear-cleaning tools)
Þ Baby gates
Þ Potty pads
Þ Poop bags
Þ Cleaning materials for accidents
Þ Food storage containers
Þ Food mat
Þ ID tag
Once you have everything you need and your family is ready, you can bring your new family member home!
Training Your New Pup
Once your pup is old enough and has all of its shots, you can begin looking into training options for your dog. Many online resources can help you get started with basic training (such as potty training). Still, you’ll need to decide whether you want to continue advanced obedience training in the house or employ a professional trainer.
You should also look into socializing your pup with other dogs in a controlled environment. Scheduling a time for your pup to attend doggie daycare can help them burn some of that puppy energy while making friends with other dogs.
While getting your pup comfortable at home is the first step, the journey doesn’t end as soon as you bring your dog home.
Welcoming a four-legged member of the family is exciting, and we want to help you keep your puppy on its best behavior. Contact us today, and let’s talk about what we can do for your new pup.