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So, you’re thinking about getting a puppy! Adopting a new companion is an incredibly exciting time. But before you bring your new puppy home, there are some things you need to do to make sure you’re prepared. From puppy-proofing your home to stocking up on supplies, this new puppy checklist has everything you need to know to get ready for your new arrival.
Table of Contents
Before you bring your new puppy home, make sure your house and yard are safe for them. Puppies are curious creatures and will put their mouths on just about anything. To avoid any accidents or ingestion of harmful chemicals or objects, do a thorough sweep of your home and remove anything that could be dangerous for a puppy.
Puppy dangers include things like:
- Trash can lids
- Cleaning supplies
- Small objects that they could choke on (kid toys, cat toys, nuts, snails, etc)
Once you’ve removed all the hazards, make sure all doors and windows are secure so that your pup can’t wander off and get lost. If you have any gaps in fences or gates, be sure to fix them before bringing your new pet home. Preparing your home ahead of time to house a rambunctious puppy can prevent dangerous accidents and unnecessary stress!
In addition to making sure your home is safe for a puppy, you also need to have all the necessary supplies on hand before they arrive. Of course, you’ll need food and water bowls, but there are other items you’ll need as well. If you find yourself asking, “what does my new puppy need?,” keep reading.
Crate or Kennel
This will be your new pup’s safe space when they first arrive, when you leave the house, and during times when they need to take a little break from running around. Choosing a dog crate or kennel that your pup can grow into will save you money down the line, but be sure it’s secured appropriately to avoid any possible issues. It will take time for your puppy to learn how to use the kennel, so remember – a little patience will go a long way with your new puppy!
Collar or Harness and Leash
It’s important to purchase a comfortable, well-fitting collar or harness for your new puppy so that you can enjoy spending time together on your walks. Walking can be a great bonding experience for you and your puppy when done right, so be sure to choose a leash that gives them plenty of room to roam and play while not allowing them to stray too far from your side. Now is a great time to purchase an identification tag for their collar, as well, so you can be reunited should the puppy ever get loose.
It’s important to provide your new puppy with plenty of toys for enrichment. Plus, chew toys are great for teething puppies to focus on instead of your shoes or furniture! Playtime with your puppy can be a great bonding experience while simultaneously providing exercise and training opportunities.
Blankets and Bedding
Puppies LOVE to snuggle up in soft blankets, bedding, and a cozy dog bed. In addition to providing warmth and relaxation, a fluffy microfiber blanket can be a comfort item for anxious puppies. Similar to a child with a security blanket, your puppy may feel safe when she cuddles with soft bedding!
Food and Treats
When selecting your new puppy’s kibble, it’s important to choose a quality food specifically formulated for puppies. Puppy food typically has a higher fat and protein content than that of regular dog food. This is necessary to help them grow and to keep up with their endless amounts of playful energy! If you’re not sure which food is right for your puppy, consult with your veterinarian or trusted pet supply clerk.
Let’s face it… accidents happen! Especially when it comes to new puppies who haven’t quite figured out the whole potty-training thing. When shopping for cleaning supplies, it’s important to purchase items that are pet-friendly and safe if accidentally chewed up or ingested. Enzyme cleaners are a non-toxic and biodegradable must-have in your cleaning arsenal, as they break down biological substances like urine and feces. To reduce potty training accidents (and the hassle of constant cleanup), place disposable pee pads (or, better yet, an eco-friendly bark potty pad that replaces up to sixty pee pads) liberally around your home, discarding used pads.
Vaccines and Microchipping
Getting your puppy on a routine vaccination schedule is oh-so-important to ensure a lifetime of happiness and health. When it comes to puppy vaccines, timing is everything, so be sure to establish a relationship with a good veterinarian early on. They can help you create the perfect vaccine schedule for your own puppy and can also microchip her just in case she gets lost!
Keeping up with your puppy’s coat, nails, and ears will be a life-long endeavor. It is essential to start grooming your puppy early on so that she learns to trust you and will not put up a fight when it’s time to trim her nails, brush her fur, bathe her, or clean out her ears.
Remember, patience is key with puppies. If she allows you to do these things, reward generously with treats and vocal praise. If your dog throws a tantrum? Simply set your grooming supplies down, walk away, and try again later.
Before your puppy arrives, it’s important to sit down with everyone in the family (including kids) and establish some ground rules. Talk about who will be responsible for feeding, walking, training, and exercising the puppy. Now is also a good time to set rules about where the puppy will be allowed to go in the house:
- Is she going to be allowed in the bedrooms or only in shared living spaces?
- Where will the puppy sleep?
By setting these expectations ahead of time, everyone in the family will know what’s expected of them once the puppy arrives.
New Puppy Checklist Summary
Adopting a new puppy is an amazing experience! By following this new puppy checklist and preparing ahead of time, you can ensure that both you and your new furry friend are happy and comfortable in your home. Next, learn how to start training your new puppy.