Congratulations on your new furry bundle of joy!
But wait! Before you bring home your new puppy, you should prepare ahead of time to make the happy event even more enjoyable.
So what do you need in order to prepare for the introduction of your new puppy into your home?
1. Crate: There are several good reasons to crate train a puppy, housetraining for one as well as providing for a place for puppy to feel safe. Choose a crate that is sturdy, has plenty of ventilation, allows for the dog to stand and turn around freely (as an adult) and has a locking mechanism. Dogs are escape artist and can sometimes wiggle out or unlock the crate on their own.
2. Bed: Have a designated place for your puppy to sleep. A good bed provides insulation, support and a place for puppy to call his own. Find a bed that is cuddly and soft and most importantly, one that you can wash. Since puppies like to chew you may want to start off with some old blankets until the chewing phase is over. Place it near your bed. Since dogs are pack animals, they generally want to sleep near their parents.
3. Food bowls: Select both a food and water bowl that will be sturdy and won’t tip over. In my opinion, I’d recommend pyrex or stainless steel. Plastic bowls can crack and harbor unhealthy bacteria as well as emit nasty chemicals. Ceramic is another good alternative however some glazes may contain lead. Stainless steel bowls made in other countries can test positive for high levels of lead too, so buy those made in the USA.
4. Food: Decide on a feeding area for puppy to eat. You’ll want to find out what type of diet your puppy is currently on and buy the same food. Switching a puppy’s diet will cause upset tummies. Offer 3-4 small meals a day until 5-6 months.
5. Collars/Leash: You’ll need a collar that fits properly. As the puppy grows adjust the length and/or purchase a new collar. Starting with a 4′ leash is a nice length to allow potty activity and a bit of exploring. You’ll eventually you’ll want to choose a 6′ leash for walking and training. Whatever your choice, please do not purchase a rectractable leash. I can’t emphasize enough how much I deplore these devices. They pose a hazard to your dog, to you, to other pets and passer-byers and teaches your dog to pull. I know of owners who have received razor burns or worse yet, had a finger severed. This type of leash does nothing positive for your dog.
6. Toys: Puppies who have toys to play with are less bored. Purchase toys that entertain, like treat balls, stuffed animals, rope toys and a Kong. Use caution with plastic toys and buy toys sized appropriately for your puppy’s size. When puppy teeth begin to emerge, try this idea to sooth painful gums: soak a small washcloth, ring it out and place it in the freezer. Give to puppy to chew on.
Toy that Bounces: https://goo.gl/1uhhrt
Rope Ball: https://goo.gl/lKFdfL
Treat Toy: https://goo.gl/L6mXca
Kong Stuffing Recipes: http://goo.gl/BDRj7P
7. Puppy Gates: A definite must if you want to keep puppy out of certain areas that may be unsafe or where you don’t want puppy to have access to. Most people choose to keep their puppy in a laundry room or in the kitchen because accidents will happen.
8. Potty Pads: Even if you plan on crate training, potty pads can also be used around the house. Placing them in front of sliders or doors makes for easy cleanup in case of an accident. I don’t recommend placing them in the crate when alone, you may come home to a shredded pad.
9. Grooming Tools: Start early to get your puppy use to being brushed or combed. As well, handle each foot whenever you pet or play with them. It’ll come in handy at nail clipping time.
10. Locate Necessary Service Providers:
Veterinarians – Ask about common puppy ailments and new puppy shots.
Trainers – Discuss your ideas on training and corrective actions.
Groomers – Ask what exactly happens during a grooming session.
Pet Sitter / Dog Walker – Ask how they can help you with reinforcing training while you’re away or at work and dog walking…puppies need frequent breaks.
11. Puppy Safety: Finally, do a sweep of your home. Remove toxic plants and breakable items. Secure electric cords that puppy may chew on. Call us at Totally Tails Pet Care to help with new puppy visits or puppy training.