Getting ready to add a puppy to the family? We know how exciting that can be! But, in all that excitement, don’t forget to make sure that your home is as ready as possible for the tiny tornado that is about to join it.
To help make the process as smooth as possible, WINPRO has put together a new puppy checklist, so that you can see everything that you’ll need to bring your puppy home safely in one, easy place. From the obvious to the often forgotten, don’t be caught unaware. That way, you can focus all of your attention on head scratches and belly rubs.
Any new puppy checklist has to start with the essentials.
First and foremost, your new puppy will need a well-fitting collar with tags. Don’t spend too much on getting a fancy collar; your dog is going to grow out of it more quickly than you think. There are plenty of different options out there but, at first, you can usually get by just fine with a simple nylon flat collar.
Remember, puppies don’t come to you knowing how to walk on a leash… you’ll have to teach them. Try to avoid retractable leashes. As for tags, some dog lovers recommend putting your name (and your pet’s) on their tag, along with your phone number, as this makes it easier for anyone who finds him or her to get them home safely without giving them extra information if they don’t have good intentions.
You’ll also need an appropriately sized crate with a comfortable bed. Whether or not you decide to crate train (we recommend it), giving your pet a safe place to retreat to when they’re feeling overwhelmed or scared can help them feel secure and confident in their new home.
If you anticipate your dog getting bigger, you can buy a larger crate with dividers that you can move back as they grow. Any bed that you purchase for the crate should be difficult to destroy, while still being comfortable for your puppy’s growing bones.
Obviously, food and water bowls are also essential to any new puppy checklist. Ask your veterinarian about your new puppy’s nutritional requirements, and if they have any suggestions on the best brands to feed them. You may want to soak dry food in warm water for a few minutes for younger pups, as well, to help them eat easier with their puppy teeth.
Puppy Proof Your House
Just like having a toddler in the house, bringing home a new puppy should always involve making sure that any obvious dangers are removed (at least, as much as possible).
A few things to specifically focus on are:
- Electrical cords and outlets
- Poisonous plants (peace lilies, aloe vera, and philodendron, among others)
- Stairs and doorways to off limit rooms (baby gates are a great idea)
- Cleaning supplies like bleach
Never underestimate a puppy’s ability to find and chew on things. Looking around your home from a puppy’s viewpoint is extremely helpful, and may be the thing keeping your puppy from injury (or worse).
At first, it may be useful to keep your puppy in one room to help them get used to your home before letting them out into the rest of the house. That way, you can get a feel for what they seem to want to mess with, too.
Find A Vet
Before bringing your new puppy home, make sure that you have chosen a veterinarian to take care of them. Adding this to the top of your new puppy checklist can give you plenty of time to do your research, so that you feel comfortable with who you’ve chosen.
Your vet will be essential to keeping your pet healthy for life, through giving them their regular vaccines, checking their blood work, spaying or neutering them, etc. They will also be the one to handle any emergencies that may happen, so feeling confident that they know what they’re doing and that you know where they’re located (so you can get there in a hurry) is key.
If you’re a first time dog owner, check online for reviews as well as checking with any friends or family members who already own dogs.
Socialize Your Dog
Socializing your new puppy is non-negotiable. Puppies who aren’t socialized become adult dogs that can be aggressive to both other dogs and people, which is a risk you don’t want to take (especially if you have a larger dog).
Luckily, socializing is easy to do. Try visiting your friends that have dogs, so they can be introduced to other dogs they may be spending time with in a safe environment. Visiting a dog park (during less crowded times) is another great option too.
Take him or her around to visit family, especially those with small children and/or cats to get them used to both. Bring your new puppy with you into any stores that allow them, too. All of these things get them used to things they wouldn’t normally encounter around your home, which helps them adjust more easily to new and different things.
Set House Rules
Before bringing your puppy home, here are a few questions you should ask yourself about the rules you’re planning on setting for the house. This can help further guide your new puppy checklist, so you know exactly how to cater your space.
For instance, do you plan on allowing your dog to get on the furniture? Will your dog be sleeping in your bed with you? This can help you find the best dog bed for your new puppy, and also decide where you want to put it.
When will you be feeding your dog? Sticking to a regular schedule is essential for successfully training your new puppy.
You’ll also want to look into training resources prior to bringing him or her home. Puppy training classes are an especially great idea for first time dog owners, who can easily get overwhelmed with all the new information and responsibilities being thrown at them.
Focus On Health
In addition to choosing the right food for your new family member, focusing on their overall health and wellness (before something happens) is a great way to keep them happy and healthy for as long as possible.
It can be helpful to set up an exercise schedule right from the beginning, so that you can get into the habit of walking and exercising with your dog. So much of the behavioral issues that puppies show can be the result of just not being able to run out all that excess puppy energy, so regular exercise is good for both their body and their mind. Plus, it’s great for you, too!
You may also want to look into supplements to help support your puppy’s health. If you’re adopting a breed known for allergies, check out WINPRO’s Allergy supplements, which can help reduce inflammation, promote a healthy coat and skin, and help ease the negative effects of environmental toxins.
If you want a great supplement for overall health in your puppy, WINPRO’s Gut Health supplement will ensure your pup has balanced bacteria in his or her gut which can help avoid a lot of health problems down the road.
Having a solid new puppy checklist can make your life so much easier when bringing home your new, furry family member.
WINPRO Pet is here for you, every step of the way, so that you can feel confident that you’re prepared to adopt a new puppy and take care of them appropriately. This should be a time of excitement, after all, so don’t get bogged down in the stress. Focus on the important things, and enjoy the puppy cuddles!