Adopting a puppy will go smoothly if you anticipate and prepare for the coming of that small bundle of joy and energy into your house. However your puppy finds his way into your heart and home, there are a few helpful guidelines that can make the transition easier on all of you.
A puppy, like a human baby, requires more than his weight in equipment from the beginning.
Let’s look at the New Puppy Checklist of things you will need to own as soon as you chose your puppy:
- Travel Crate or Soft-Sided Carrier. This will help you bring your puppy home and take him to the vet or visits to friends safely. The crate goes in the back seat or cargo area, preferably seat-belted in.
- Leash and Collar Or Harness. Expect to replace these as he grows, but it’s best to get a new puppy used to wearing his tags and walking on a leash. Apply for the ID tags as soon as you know your dog’s name.
- Food and Water Bowls. These should be sturdy and easy to clean as well as size appropriate.
- Food. It’s a good idea to begin with the food your puppy’s previous caregiver used and then modify your choice as advised by your vet. See Puppy Feeding Schedule and Guide.
- Bed. Every doggy needs a soft, washable snuggly place to call his own.
- Crate. If you plan to crate train, the crate should precede the puppy into the house.
- Piddle Pads and Newspapers. New puppies leak and, whether you are planning to train to pads or not, you will need some absorbent products for the first few weeks.
- Toys. A variety of safe toys to chew and snuggle with make a puppy feel at home.
How To Prepare Your Home For A Puppy
Inviting a puppy into your life provides a great opportunity for housecleaning on a major scale. Since puppies will chew and swallow anything, make sure the floor is very clean of debris. Elevate and secure electrical cords. Time to give up candles, a glass menagerie and candy jars on the coffee table for a while. Cigarette butts, chocolate, grapes and ant traps are toxic and dangerous for puppies, so get any random objects out of your puppy’s reach.
You can puppy-proof rooms your puppy shouldn’t enter with baby gates. Do not use the old accordion-style gates; they are as dangerous for puppies as they are for toddlers. Gates that open easily, secure tightly, and can be seen through will protect your puppy from dangerous areas and will save your special rooms from puppy accidents.
Remember, puppies WILL get into things. So you will need to behave differently than you did before. Do not leave grocery bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks or any easy-to-open containers on the floor. Block off stairs until you know puppy can go up and down without taking a tumble. Basically, think human toddler times 4.
Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting and special day that you can never forget. It could be the day puppy left his littermates and mom, or the day his wandering from foster home to foster home comes to an end, the start of the best part of his life, but also a frightening day of new faces and smells. Make his drive home as peaceful and quiet as possible to help him relax. Before getting in the car, make sure he goes to the toilet. You might place him in his crib, but a tiny, quiet puppy can be held by a family member or friend in a blanket. Make sure you converse with him the whole way home.
For him, entering your home should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Enable him to play and sleep according to his own rhythms by limiting his greeters to immediate family. Make certain he eats and drinks, and take him out enough so he can relieve himself. It’s not a bad idea to have his crate in your room at night so he knows you’re there and isn’t afraid. Companions are provided by a few plush toys in his room.
There are several puppy dog breeds to choose from. Learn all you can about each one so you can determine which breed’s inherent characteristics are best for your family. Do not be influenced by dogs in movies or cartoons. (Dalmatians aren’t like that at all.) Make a judgment based on the information you’ve gathered. Of course, you could see a mixed breed puppy in a shelter cage looking up at you, hopeful. And you could just fall hard for those puppy dog eyes and take him home believing that this is the puppy for you, big or tiny, noisy or quiet, sporty or couchy.