Getting a new puppy can be a very exciting time, and a stressful time if you aren’t prepared ahead of time. There are several things you should do before bringing your new puppy home that will make it a better experience for you and your new puppy.
I am getting a new puppy in a few weeks, and it got me thinking what I needed to do to get ready. That is what led me to writing this new article. I haven’t had a new puppy for 12 years, since I recently lost my last dog.
I am going to provide you with a checklist for a new puppy and give you suggestions how to prepare for a new puppy to help make it an easier transition for what your new life is going to be for the next several months. It is all worth it though, it just takes some time to get to that point.
Checklist For A New Puppy
- Leash and collar with ID tags
- Water and food bowls
- Grooming items
Leash And Collar
One of the most important items to have ready when you get your new puppy is a proper fitting collar and a leash. You will need these 2 items immediately when bringing home your dog. Make sure that the collar isn’t too large for your little pup, or they will be able to get their head out of the collar.
Your collar should fit snugly, but have enough room to be able to get 2 fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.
It is also a good idea to get ID tags made that include your dog’s name and your phone number. A new puppy that wanders away from you won’t know how to find his way back yet. You can even order a customized nylon dog collar with this information printed right on the collar if you want to avoid tags that can get caught on things or lost.
I suggest that you pick up a long rope with a clip on the end to use for training. It is a great tool to use for teaching your dog to come. You can let your dog wonder and play and than periodically use the “come” command with a gentle tug of the rope. Once they come, reward them and then let them go play around again.
To save money, you can make this rope yourself. Stop at a hardware store and purchase some bulk rope along with a clip you can attach at the end of the rope. You don’t need anything fancy.
Bowls And Food
Your dog’s water and food bowls become very important to your dog. Get bowl sizes that are appropriate for a puppy, and as they get bigger, you will need to replace with larger bowls. I recommend getting sturdy bowls that are easy to clean. I have always found that the stainless steel bowls work best.
Your dog’s bowls should be cleaned frequently, since bacteria will grow on them if they aren’t properly cleaned.
Choosing the right dog food for your dog is one of the most important decisions you will be making for your new pup’s health. Talk with your breeder or whoever you are getting your puppy from to find out what they are feeding your puppy.
You will want to get the same dog food that they are eating, and if you decide to change their food, you will want to do it slowly so your puppy doesn’t have problems with their digestion. I recommend that if you are switching their dog food, that you start will 75% old dog food and 25% new dog food for a few days. Then go to 50% and 50% for the next few days, and continue this way until you have them completely switched to their new dog food.
Not only will your new puppy love treats, you will quickly learn that treats are your best friend when it comes to training your puppy. You should be carrying some with you at all times so your can reward your puppy when they are doing good behavior. It is the best way to get them to repeat the good behavior the next time that you ask for it.
I recommend getting very small treats. You will be going through a lot of treats, and you aren’t looking for the treats to replace their regular meals. The treats that I have usually used are Charlee Bear. They come in several different flavors, are grain-free, and the perfect sized crunchy treat for rewarding good behavior.
Toys And Chews
Your puppy will love to chew, and having the right toys and chews will help prevent them from chewing on you, your furniture or anything else that they may find.
It is good to have a mix of toys and chews, including soft plush toys, hard rubber toys and rawhide chews.
Hard rubber toys, flavored synthetic bones and rope toys are great for unsupervised play. Kong toys can keep your pup busy, by putting peanut butter or other treats inside and keep your puppy busy as they try to get the treats out.
You can provide soft-stuffed toys and tennis balls when you can keep an eye on them. You may be surprised how quickly that they can tear apart a toy, so keep an eye on them when they are playing with these.
Balls always make great toys for all ages and sizes of dogs. I have found mini tennis balls fit good in a small mouth, and many to them come with squeakers, for more entertainment.
Rawhide chews provide comfort for teething, but always keep an eye on your puppy when they have a rawhide to prevent choking. Puppies tend to get them too far down their throat. Don’t leave them alone with a rawhide.
If you have never used a crate for a dog before, you don’t know what a lifesaver it can be for you. I used to have a different view on putting a dog in a crate, but I have learned over the years what a lifesaver they are.
It is a great safe place to put a younger dog when you need to leave them for a short time before you are able to fully trust them on their own in your home. They are also helpful when you just need a break, and you will. It provides your puppy a secure place for your puppy to rest and sleep and can be a place where they find comfort and feel safe.
When choosing the right dog crate, it needs to be large enough for them to stand up, turn around and allows them to lay fully stretched out. Decide how you plan on using your dog crate ahead of time.
If you will be using it in your car as well as your home, you might want to consider a soft-sided crate. If you will continue to use the crate even after your dog has grown up, you should get a larger crate, so you don’t have to purchase more than one. Take a look at what you need to know to buy a dog crate before choosing the right one.
Dog gates are another tool that can make life easier with a new puppy. Allowing your dog throughout you entire house can be a nightmare. It is a lot of work puppy proofing your home, and trying to get everything safe is almost impossible. The first several months are just as challenging, if not more, than a new baby.
A dog gate can keep a puppy in an area where it is easy to clean up potty accidents, keeps them away from cords and makes it easier to keep an eye on them.
There are dog gates that will work for whatever style of home you have, from needing just doorway gates to open concepts with large openings. This dog gate buying guide should be able to help you find the right style for your home.
These items won’t be as expense as some of the other items that are needed, but they are just as important and should be introduced at a young age.
You will need a comb or brush for your dog. I have had Golden Retrievers for over 20 years, and have found that a metal comb with wide teeth works the best with longer fur, but there are many great options. Start brushing or combing at a very young age to get them accustom to the grooming.
Dog shampoo is something I recommend getting right away. Your puppy is going to get dirty quickly and you shouldn’t use human shampoo on your dog. It will dry their skin out quickly.
Toothbrush and dog toothpaste are needed. Dogs need their teeth brushed and it is an important process for keeping your dog healthy. Start brushing your pups teeth when they are young. It will make it much easier to teach them when they are young to allow you brushing their teeth. If you brush your dog’s teeth a few times a week, you will keep your dog more healthy, and save money at the vet from them cleaning your dog’s teeth.
Make sure you only brush your dog’s teeth with dog toothpaste.
Decide if you are going to trim your dog’s nails or if you will be taking your dog to a groomer to get their nails cut. If you are planning on cutting your dog’s nails yourself, you are going to need a nail trimmer and learn the best way to trim dog nails. There are many different styles available.
Choose A Veterinarian
Choose the veterinarian you will be using before you pick up your new puppy. That will give you time to find one that has similar views on shots with you, charges a fair price and somewhere you feel comfortable going.
Puppies will have their first shots completed when you pick them up, but there will be more that they will need shortly after. Already having a vet will be a good resource for you if you have questions and concerns in the first few months as well.
How To Prepare For A New Puppy
Now that you know the list of items that will be needed to get your puppy started, it is also important to look your home over to make sure it is safe for your puppy.
Decide where your puppy will be spending most of its time for the first several months. Make sure that there are no cords around that they could chew on, secure trash cans (a favorite of puppies), remove anything fragile that they could get at, make sure that can’t reach any medications or cleaning products and remove plants. There are many household plants along with outdoor plants that are poisonous for dogs.
Have fun with your new puppy, they are a wonderful addition to your family. I hope this checklist for a new puppy makes the transition easier for you and your pup and helps you know how to prepare for a new puppy.
You will find there are many more items you will need for your new puppy, but the above checklist for a new puppy with get you started on the right path. I don’t suggest purchasing much more than these items until after you have brought you puppy home and learn his personality. Otherwise, you might just be spending your money on a bunch of items you might never use.
Since I am going through this process again, there will be plenty of information coming in regard to new puppies, so come back again for more information. There will be information following all of the challenges that my new puppy named Jax will bring.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave it below and I will get back with you. You can follow justforyourdog.com on Pinterest and FaceBook for all the latest updates.
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