So, you’ve decided on a new puppy, huh? They’re just so darn cute and sweet, how can anyone resist? But before you bring that new ball of fluff home, there are a few things that need to be considered.
Puppies are just like human babies in the sense that they need a lot of stuff. Babies of both the human and canine-type can be quite a bit of work and having the appropriate “gear” can make the job go somewhat smoother. Making sure that certain things are in place before the big day that fuzzy comes home can make a world of difference.
Let’s Prepare for Puppy
First we need to find an area of the house that is appropriate for the new puppy’s crate, water and food bowls, and toys. This should be somewhat out of the way but at the same time not separated from the rest of the family. They are pack animals, and therefore need to be included in the pack.
Next, we need to puppy-proof the home or at least the area he will be spending his time. Ensure any loose wires are secured, remove toxic plants, and secure cabinets. It is also a good idea to think ahead of what your schedule will be when the new puppy arrives and who else in the household will possibly help take care of him and what their roles and responsibilities will be with the new puppy. If the puppy will be spending several hours per day alone or in his crate, then a doggie daycare or dog sitter may be an option. Leaving the puppy alone for hours on end can and most likely will, cause him to develop social and/or behavioral issues.
The house is ready so now let’s go shopping!
1.Non-tippable food and water bowls, preferably stainless steel since they do not stain or hold odors, are needed of course. If puppy gobbles his food down as soon as he gets it then a slow-feeding bowl may be in order.
2. A crate is also required if you plan on house training your puppy. Most puppies will not do their business where they sleep so it is advisable to crate-train. The crate also gives the puppy a safe haven when the world seems just too big and scary where he can go and retreat. Bedding that is the same size as the crate is also needed so he has a soft, cozy place to call his own.
3. A quality collar and leash are required in order to bring the puppy home and for all those many walks you will be going on. These should be made of either leather or nylon. A standard collar is fine for most dogs except for breeds such as the Greyhound or Whippet. These breeds often have necks that are larger than their heads and in that case a Martingale collar may be better. For dogs and puppies that tend to pull while walking, there are many types of harnesses that may be useful that can help deter this behavior.
4. Toys are also an essential item. Some may think of these as frivolous but a healthy puppy needs stimulation and that typically comes in the form of toys. Keep in mind that toys that have squeakers or noise-makers in them may also become a choking hazard if the puppy chews on the toy. Indestructible toys are recommended for all that puppy chewing and that will hopefully help keep him from marking up the furniture.
5. Puppy food should be purchased before you bring him home. It may be a good idea to check what food he is currently eating (if possible). If you want to change his current food, then gradually changing is recommended to avoid stomach and intestinal upset. Ensure that a good quality puppy food is given as he needs the proper nutrition right now more than any other time in his life.
6. Grooming items such as puppy shampoo (never use human shampoo), brush, comb, nail clippers, toothbrush and toothpaste. No matter the coat length or type, all puppies will need some type of grooming now and again so be prepared, and don’t forget to take care of those pearly whites!
7. Flea, tick, and parasite control is of utmost importance to help keep that adorable pup healthy and happy!
1. A bed in addition to the bed that is in his crate. Like human babies, puppies need a lot of naps. They will need on average 18 – 20 hours of sleep per a 24-hour period, so let’s make sure that little ball of fuzz has plenty of comfy spots to rest.
2. Enzyme cleaner for those inevitable house-training accidents. The quicker you address any messes, the easier they will be to remove.
3. Training pads can be helpful with house-training to keep messes under wraps.
4. Chewing-deterrant sprays such as bitter apple spray can be a lifesaver to keep your puppy from chewing on furniture legs because puppies like to chew constantly!
5. A puppy guide may also prove a valuable asset especially if this is your first puppy. Just like human babies, you will need all the advice you can get!
If you don’t already have a licensed veterinarian, having one in place for vaccinations, check-ups and emergencies before the actual need arises is a good idea. The last thing you will want to do is scramble in the event of an emergency!
I hope these lists are helpful and always check with your veterinarian with any concerns or questions about anything I listed above. I wish you lots of puppy kisses, love and as always..plenty of belly rubs!