Before You Bring a New Puppy Home

Bringing home a puppy is exciting for both owner and pet, but it can be stressful, too. The best way to keep everyone healthy and happy with a new puppy is to be prepared. This guide will help you create a comforting environment for the new puppy and your whole family. Also included below is a new puppy checklist. 

4 Steps to Prepare for a New Puppy

1. Prepare Children

If you have children, try to acquaint them with dogs and puppies before bringing the new puppy home. If you can, have each member of your family come in and see the puppy before adopting. Get your child excited about dogs by reading them a book about your specific breed. Pet stores often have informative books that go through everything from house training to teaching tricks. Let your children help pick out the supplies you will need for the puppy and explain what each is for.

2. Get Supplies

Get all necessary supplies before you bring your new puppy home. Review our Puppy checklist below. Make sure you bring up your puppy’s current diet and discuss options for the future.

3. Educate Yourself

Pick up a book on your desired puppy’s breed. Certain breeds have different personality characteristics, temperament, and exercise and grooming requirements. Pick a breed that you like and that suits your lifestyle.

4. Assess Your Situation

If it is a stressful time at your house, do not bring the puppy home. Stressful times could include any time when there is more noise, more people, or if you are going to be spending a lot of time away from your house. All of these factors can put additional stress on an already tense animal.

New Puppy Checklist

  • Food - Pick up (or request from your breeder) some of the food your puppy is currently eating. If you want to change your puppy's food, gradually mix with and replace your puppy's current diet over the course of a week.

  • Food and Water Dishes - There are many choices to choose from: plastic, ceramic, steel, weighted, elevated, or automatic.Water fountains are an excellent choice to keep your puppy's water cool and clean. Whatever you choose, make sure your puppy always has access to food and water.

  • Brush - You should be brushing your puppy at least once a week. Select a brush depending on your puppy's coat type. 

  • Collar and Harness - Get a collar with enough room to grow (find the largest collar your puppy will fit properly, without being too loose). Outfit your puppy's collar with a license or identification tag as soon as possible. Harnesses are a safe way to walk your puppy with lots of control for you and little stress on the neck for your puppy. 

  • Shampoo - Choose a tearless puppy shampoo for painless baths and a conditioner for extra moisturizing.

  • Chew Toys - Teething puppies need something to chew. Choose toys your puppy will not be able to swallow. Go for many types of textures to get your puppy used to them. Avoid rawhides until puppies are at least 6 months of age.

  • Kennel - Choose a kennel that fits your puppy properly - he should be able to stand up in it and turn around. Your puppy's kennel should be roomy, but an oversize kennel can make house training difficult. Many kennels come with divider panels, so your kennel can grow with your puppy. 

  • Bed - Dog beds are more than just comfort. Great beds for puppies are stain-repellent, durable, tear resistant, and washable.

  • Treats - Treats make training easier. Choose one special treat just for training to motivate your puppy. Look for treats with healthy, whole food ingredients.

  • Natural Cleaners - Cleaners are essential puppy items. Your puppy will have accidents - cleaning them completely and effectively decreases the chance your puppy will return to the same spot. Look for enzyme cleaners that eat away pet messes, such as Nature's Miracle, rather than chemical cleaners that simply cover them up. 

  • Toothbrush and Paste - Get your puppy used to proper oral care from a young age. Finger toothbrushes are good for small mouths, and can be easier for your puppy to get used to. You can gradually switch to a standard toothbrush over time.

  • Training Pads - Training pads are perfect for underdeveloped puppy bladders. Often scented with pheromones to attract your puppy, they can be a great aid, no matter how you plan to house-train your dog.

  • Book - A good species-specific book can be a valuable resource throughout your pet's life. Look for a book that covers all aspects of your puppy and dog's care.