Preparing for your new puppy is an exciting time! In order to make the transition of bringing your puppy home as smooth as possible, there are a few things you can purchase and do beforehand to make sure you can focus on snuggling your new pup right away.
Items to purchase:
- Food - ask your puppy’s breeder or rescue what they are feeding, or ask them to provide you with a few meals of food, so you can transition your puppy slowly to whatever food you will feed.
- Crate - pick one specific for the size of your puppy, big enough for them to stand and lie down and turn around but not so big there is room to eliminate.
- Toys for Teething - puppies will lose their baby teeth around 4-6 months of age. Having toys that are specific for puppies to make their gums and teeth feel better will make this time easier. Kongs and similar toys that can be stuffed and frozen are nice and soothing.
- Leash - a 6-foot leash made of nylon, cotton, or leather is better for training than a retractable leash.
- Collar or harness - pick one appropriate for the size of your puppy, and avoid collars that choke, pinch, etc as your puppy’s regular collar. A regular collar should be a “flat” collar that buckles and can hold an ID tag and stay on the dog safely. Harnesses are great alternatives, especially to avoid putting pressure on your puppy’s sensitive neck.
- Bowls - food and water bowls should be chosen based on how they will be used. Plastic isn’t the best choice if your puppy will be left alone with them - a metal bowl will be harder to chew.
- Training treats and pouch - small soft treats (pea sized or smaller) and a treat pouch to carry them easily will make your training easier!
- Poop bags and holder - be a responsible dog owner by cleaning up after your puppy.
- Grooming supplies - brushes will be specific to your puppy’s type of coat, but a pair of nail clippers and toothbrush/toothpaste can be used for all puppies.
Ways to prepare:
- Puppy proof your home - hide cords, limit access to things you don’t want a puppy to chew, and make sure there are no dangerous plants or items within reach of your puppy.
- Set up your puppy’s new area - make a cozy space with food, crate, bedding, and toys to set your puppy up for success.
- Choose a veterinarian - talk with local vets to determine where you will be taking your puppy. Even if your puppy doesn’t immediately need a vet visit, it’s important to have the information on hand in case of any emergency.
- Make a family plan - if necessary, discuss the schedule and plan for the new puppy with all members of the family. Which bedroom will the puppy sleep in? Who is responsible for cleaning up accidents? Who will watch the puppy when loose in the home? Who will feed the puppy? Plan this ahead of time to avoid conflict or confusion after the puppy is home.