Before bringing your new puppy home, you should plan ahead so it is a smooth transition for your newest family member. Your new puppy will have an easier time adjusting to his new home if you are prepared. Puppy preparation is more than just buying a bag of puppy food. You can make sure your puppy’s homecoming is paw-fect with these Top 11 Things to Do For Your New Puppy.
11. Prepare Your Children
Your new puppy’s homecoming day is an exciting time. If you have children, especially young ones, then they may get overly excited at the sight of their new pup. They might squeal, shout, hold the puppy too tight, or even fight over him. This can be overwhelming and upsetting for a scared little puppy. Have several conversations with your children in the days leading up to the puppy’s arrival. Talk about acceptable behavior around the puppy—talking calmly and quietly, no sudden movements, and not smothering the puppy with hugs. Remind them that running, yelling, and roughhousing could upset the little pup. With plenty of forewarning, your children should understand that the puppy is just a little baby and needs a chaos-free homecoming.
10. Buy a Puppy Collar, Leash, and Harness
Before the big day comes, try to purchase a collar, harness, and leash for your new puppy. It is important that your new puppy gets used to wearing a collar, especially when he goes outside. You will hang the puppy’s dog tag—containing important contact information—from the collar. If the clever and curious little puppy sneaks out of the yard or away from you at the dog park, he will carry the information he needs to be reunited with you. A harness is much harder to slip out of so you should walk your new puppy using a harness, at least until he learns to walk nicely on the leash and doesn’t pull against it. Both the collar and the harness should fit snugly, but not tight. A good rule of thumb is that, if you can fit two fingers between the collar and your puppy’s skin, then the fit is good. Puppies have delicate, tender skin. Look for a puppy collar and harness that are made of soft, flexible material, like nylon or leather. You can use any type of leash as long as the clasp is strong and secure, so it won’t break if the pup pulls away from you.
9. Have Grooming Supplies on Hand
Depending on the breed of puppy you get, you may be doing daily grooming on your dog. Your new puppy will get used to daily brushings if your start him on the routine early on. Look for a dog brush with soft bristles that won’t hurt your new puppy’s delicate baby skin, yet is strong enough to detangle long hair, pull out burrs, and loosen shedding fur. As for a shampoo, look for a mild formula that is designed for puppies. Although you probably won’t need to bathe your new puppy right away, it is good have the supplies you need at the ready just in case the pup rolls in mud—or worse!—during his homecoming.
8. Puppy Fashions
Puppy T-shirts, sweaters, and jackets are not a puppy necessity, but who can resist those cute little puppy fashions? If you plan to have your new puppy wear clothing on a regular basis, then it might be a good idea to buy a few items right away. You can get your pup used to wearing shirts from an early age.
7. Get a Supply of Puppy Pads
Puppies piddle…a lot! You will want to start house training your new puppy from day one—and protect your floors—so you should stock up on puppy pads. You don’t want to interrupt your new puppy’s welcome home to run to the local pet supply store. In fact, you should have a puppy pad all set up and ready to go because your puppy may have to “go” as soon as he gets to his new forever home.
6. Puppy Proofing For The Safety of Your Puppy
Your house is full of things that could be hazardous to your puppy. Prior to your puppy’s arrival, do your best to eliminate as many of these dangers as you can. Install child-proof latches on cabinet doors, especially on cupboards in which cleaning supplies are stored. Tuck electrical cords out of reach or thread them through PVC pipe so your pup won’t chew on them. Put houseplants on high shelves. Thoroughly vacuum and sweep to remove tiny objects, like twist ties or rubber bands, that your puppy will easily spot. One good tip is to get down to your puppy’s level and crawl through your house on your hands and knees. You will see your home from a whole new perspective and will be able to identify potential dangers that are in your pup’s range of sight.
5. Puppy Proofing for the Safety of Your Belongings
It is frustrating to find that your new puppy had chewed on your favorite pair of shoes or destroyed your earbuds. Puppy proofing your home also means moving all your valuables to safe places, well out of reach for your new puppy. Puppies like to chew on strange things, like cell phone chargers, eyeglasses, underwear, and your daughter’s homework. Be sure to keep these and other valuable items where your puppy can’t get to them.
4. Get Some Puppy Toys, Just For the Fun of It
Pick up a few puppy toys to have waiting for your puppy’s welcome home. As tempting as it may be, there is no need to overwhelm your pup with an overabundance of toys. Instead, look for a few different types of toys, such as a chew toy, a fetch toy, and a tug o’ war toy. Be sure to get good, quality puppy toys that aren’t easily destroyed.
3. Make Your Puppy’s Bed
Even though you may hate the idea of a cage or crate for your new puppy, most dog experts believe that your dog will actually enjoy having a place of his own. The enclosed feel of the crate is comforting to little pups. Soon, they associate their crate with safety. You will find that your new pup will go to his crate when he is tired or overwhelmed. It is like his own little palace of peace. Set up your new puppy’s crate before you bring him home from the breeder’s kennel so it is ready for him to use immediately. Line it with a puppy pad, as well as plenty of soft, washable bedding, like blankets or towels. You can even put a doggie bed inside the crate. A new puppy will appreciate a bed with sides on it as this adds to the sense of security and you will appreciate a washable dog bed, or at least one with a zip-off, washable cover.
2. Prepare Your Other Pets
Truly preparing your other pets for the arrival of a new puppy is difficult. You can have a conversation with your older dog or your cat about getting a new family member, but he may not comprehend what you are saying. You can, however, take steps to socialize your current pets so they learn how to behave around other animals. Take your older dog to a dog park or visit friends with a puppy. Carefully supervise all the animals’ interactions to be sure they remain positive. At home, keep your other pets out of the new puppy’s crate. You don’t want them to think the space is meant for them, and you certainly don’t want them to become territorial about it when the new puppy arrives. They need to learn to respect the crate as the puppy’s personal space. On the big day when you bring your new puppy home, introduce him to your current pets in a calm, stress-free way. Supervise their time together for the first few weeks until you can trust them together. Lastly, give your older dog or cat plenty of love and attention so they don’t feel left out and unwanted. Soon, your new puppy will be good friends with your older pets.
1. Buy Puppy Food and Treats
Before you rush out and buy puppy food for your new pup, talk to the breeder to find out what he or she has been feeding the puppies. At least at first, you will want to keep your puppy’s food the same as what he is used to eating. Puppies can have sensitive digestive systems and abruptly switching foods can upset his little tummy, which may already be nervous because of all the changes hitting him at once. Start out feeding your new puppy the same food he is used to, then after a few days, mix this food with the new food your want to feed him. Gradually increase the amount of new food in the mixture until he is used to his new food. You should also buy some puppy treats. After all, treats are a good consistent incentive and instant reward for training young pups. Look for treats that are especially formulated for puppies. Most importantly, don’t overload your new pup with treats. Treats are like candy…they’re tasty, but full of empty calories.
Welcoming a new puppy into your life is more involved than it may seem at first. The more you can prepare for your puppy’s homecoming, the smoother the transition will be for everyone involved, especially the puppy. Preparing your home, your family members, and your current pets for the new puppy’s arrival is a good first step. Having all the puppy supplies on hand and set up is another. Your puppy’s welcome to his new forever home is a time of transition and you can help make it an easy adjustment by following these Top 11 Things to Do For Your New Puppy.