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Bringing a new puppy home for the first time is an exciting and joyous moment, and your new puppy will need a lot of love and affection while she settles into her new home.
However, before the big day arrives, there are some crucial decisions you’ll need to make to prepare for your pup’s arrival. For one, you’ll need to puppy-proof your home.
You’ll also need to decide on a few house rules, schedule that all-important first vet appointment, weigh the cost of pet insurance, and get the right supplies.
Here are a few basics to remember when preparing for your new puppy’s arrival.
Before your new pup arrives, you’ll need a few essential supplies to make her comfortable. You’ll need to buy her a comfy bed to sleep in and a crate if you plan to crate-train her.
You’ll need two bowls – one for food and one for water. A collar, ID tag, and leash or harness are essential for when you take your pup for walks, outings, or to the vet.
Starting lead training with a harness may be easier than attaching the lead to her collar – especially if your pup has never walked on a lead before. A car restraint is also an important safety item if you plan on traveling with your dog in the car frequently. For house training, purchasing puppy training pads will make housebreaking your pup more manageable and less messy.
Puppy-Proofing Your House
Before your puppy comes home, decide where she will sleep at night. Crate training is popular among dog owners because it provides your puppy with a safe, quiet place to sleep. You should also decide where your pup will be fed and ensure the food is stored safely out of reach.
If areas of your home are unsafe for your puppy, you can cordon them off with baby gates. Ensure that your pool has a safety cover and that any cleaning products, fertilizers, pesticides, poisonous plants, cables, and other hazardous items are kept far away from your pup.
Finding a Veterinarian and Trainer
Training your puppy early will give them the best start and help them become well-behaved dogs. Teaching them new things will also provide them with valuable mental stimulation.
To find a reputable vet, check online reviews of the vets in your area and ask friends and family members for their recommendations. Once you’ve found a good vet, take your puppy in for a general checkup, ensure they are microchipped, and check that their vaccinations are up-to-date.
Getting Through the First Night
When the big day arrives, try to set your puppy up for success by making the transition as easy on them as possible. The first night your pup stays away from her mom will be the hardest – your puppy may cry or howl for the first week in her new home.
If you begin crate training on day one, you may be tempted to take your puppy out and console her when she cries. The best thing to do is place the crate close to you so she knows you are nearby.
Bear in mind that puppies cannot hold their bladders for an entire night, so you should take them out to do their business before bed, in the middle of the night, and first thing in the morning.