How To Prepare For A Puppy
There’s a joke that says to prepare for a child, “Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette end, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps...You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.”
Replace the word “child” with “puppy,” and you are just beginning to realize what having a puppy is like.
But, just like with little humans, every complication of having a puppy is worth it when you hold their little snuggly, furry bodies in your arms.
Puppy Preparation 101
All jokes aside, though, having a puppy is serious business. If you go into it thinking everything is going to be easy, the reality is going to be hard on you and your pup.
There’s a lot of training involved, and the more you learn how to prepare for a puppy ahead of time, the easier the transition will be on everyone.
Once you get the right supplies and set up your home to be (somewhat) puppy-proof, the fun begins! Then, you can bring in your new four-legged family member and start learning how to blend each other into your new lives.
A Pre-Puppy Checklist
Having a puppy is rewarding, but it’s totally different than bringing in a more mature dog. Whether you’re a first-time dog parent or you’ve already had older dogs but never a puppy, it’s a different world.
You need more than food and water to care for your new addition. This preparing for a puppy checklist will get you started!
When you get your new puppy home, you’re not going to want to leave right away because you forgot something. For one thing, you want to watch as your new family member gets used to their surroundings and does all the cute puppy stuff. But for another, it’s stressful on Fido for you to disappear right away.
To make sure you have everything you need for a few days, stock up on these basic supplies:
- Puppy food (research the best food for your pup’s breed)
- Food and water bowls and a mat for under them
- A leash and harness
- Puppy training pads
- Poop bags
- Grooming supplies, including a brush and comb, puppy shampoo, nail clippers, and a toothbrush
- Treats (puppy dental treats are a good idea for their teething needs)
- Lots of toys to chew on
- A crate, baby gate, or playpen to set boundaries
- A dog bed
If you plan on taking your pup outside, puppy shoes will protect their sensitive paws from bug bites, hard ground, and extreme temperatures. But since your little one is going to grow, use a company that has adjustable shoes, like Walkee Paws.
You’ll have to buy another set when their feet are fully grown, but adjustable shoes will keep you from having to buy a lot of new shoes as their paws get bigger. Walkee Paws have thin rubber soles and a loose ankle fit making them much more comfy for Fido compared to regular dog boots. Plus all 4 leggings connect to each other so you will never lose a dog boot again and they are adjustable to be able to grow in height with your pup
Bringing a puppy home means doing some rearranging in your rooms first. Unless you want to deal with the destruction a playful puppy can reap on your furniture and belongings, you need to puppy-proof each room. Not only can your pup create a mess, but they can get hurt if you leave wires and such around.
To make your home safe for your pup, follow these steps:
- Rearrange your furniture so your puppy has lots of space to run around. A cooped-up pup without a way to let out its energy becomes a destructive one.
- Put anything potentially breakable way out of reach. Don’t forget that your puppy will be able to jump on furniture, so just because it’s up high doesn’t mean it’s safe.
- Have a fenced-in yard or gated area for your pup to go outside.
- Keep all pools out of reach of your pup.
- Gate any stairs until your pup knows how to get up and down them easily.
- Wrap up all cords, including those on window blinds. Make sure your pup can’t chew on them. This can be very dangerous.
- Get rid of any house or garden plants that are toxic to dogs. Not sure which are safe and which have to go? Check this list with your home’s plants.
- Hide all small items that you don’t want to become a chew toy.
- Invest in a trash can with a snapping lid or one that won’t come off.
- Place medications, chemicals, and foods in cabinets out of reach of your pup.
Sounds a lot like getting ready for a baby, doesn’t it? Puppies definitely have much in common with their human infant counterparts!
Chances are, you won’t have to deal with any health issues for a while. However, accidents happen, and it’s important to be prepared. Register your pup with your preferred local vet before you bring Fido home.
Find out the vet’s hours and if they do emergency visits. Be sure you know when your pup is due for vaccines and boosters, and make the first appointment right after you bring them home.
Parvo is a serious problem for dogs, and it can be deadly. Don’t bring Fido around any other animals, to dog parks, or for long walks until the vet clears them.
Research your pup’s breed, too. Some have a lot of genetic health issues that will require vet visits and maintenance. Before you invest in a puppy, make sure you can handle the health care they will need.
Look into dog boarders, sitters, and walkers if your lifestyle means you’re gone a lot. By nature, dogs have to have a lot of attention. When they get lonely, they can become stressed, anxious, and sick. If your job pulls you away longer than the typical 8 - 10 hours a day, consider hiring a dog walker to get Fido some exercise while you aren’t home.
Just Have Fun!
Ultimately, if you’ve never raised kids or a puppy before, there’s no real mental preparation. Every puppy is different.
You can get your home as puppy-proof and full of supplies as you can, but when your new furry family member comes home, what happens next is up to them and you. Expect to go through a lot of frustration while you both learn how to live together.
Along the way, enjoy the process and just have fun! Watching your pup delight in the world around them is worth every chewed slipper you find.