Congratulations, you’re getting a new dog! It’s time to prepare for bringing your new puppy home.
Your first job as a new pet parent is to prep your home and your family for the furry bundle of joy who’s about to come barreling into your life. After all, you do want to get this relationship off on the right paw!
Here are 10 tips to help you prepare.
1. Stock Up On Supplies
Your new puppy won’t need much—the Burberry overcoat and crystal tiara are optional—but essentials include food and water bowls, safe chew toys, grooming tools, a collar and leash, an identification tag and a crate with bedding (towels will do if you don’t want to spend money on a fancy crate pad). When it comes to food, try to buy the same brand your puppy was already eating. If you want to change foods, make the switch gradually, mixing old food with new, over a period of a few weeks.
2. Divvy Up Responsibilities
To avoid conflict when your puppy has to go out at 7:00 a.m., arrange with members of your household about who is going to be responsible for what. Who will walk your puppy at various times of times of day? Who will feed the pup? Who will take the dog to the vet? And if it’s you who ends up walking her in the middle of the night, try an do it with a smile.
3. Establish House Rules
Before bringing your puppy home, decide things such as: Is he or she allowed on the furniture? Will we ever feed “people” food? What behaviors are encouraged, and what’s forbidden? Consistency is the key to puppy training.
4. Be Consistent in Training
Puppies get confused when one human says “down” and another says “off” when, for example, they jump on visitors. Then there’s “down” versus “lie down,” and “paw” versus “shake”. This is perplexing for them! Be consistent with the terms you plan to associate with various commands.
5. Dog-proof Your Pup’s Environment
Tuck electrical cords out of the way, install safety latches in lower kitchen cabinets, etc. Make sure items that are dangerous —like children’s toys and chemicals—are off floor level. Some people find it helps to get down on the floor for a dog’s-eye view of every room to see what might tempt a curious canine.
6. Learn Some Handy House training Tips
If your new puppy is not yet house-trained, determine where his indoor “potty spot” will be. Figure out your plan to house-train him or her, and coordinate with the entire household.
7. Consider a Crate
Crates often give dogs a sense of security by offering them a place that is all their own. Providing your new pooch with her own safe and secure spot will help her adjust more quickly.
8. Make it Legal
Find out about your community’s dog licensing rules and apply for a license. This information can usually be found by visiting your state’s department of agriculture website. You can also ask your local shelter for information about the rules.
9. Make a Vet Appointment
If you don’t already have one, find a good veterinarian—and bring your new canine to a caring veterinarian for a wellness exam within one week after adoption. Make this first appointment even before you bring home your new pup.
10. Combat Sibling Rivalry
This one’s for folks who already have a dog in the home. Before you introduce the new dog into the household, pick up anything your other dogs might guard, such as food bowls, bones, toys and beds. Even if your dog has never exhibited possessive tendencies, it is best to exercise caution. This may be an intense experience