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 is to get organized and prepared before you bring your new puppy home. This guide will help you create a safe and comforting environment for the new puppy and your whole family.
Preparing 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 potty training to teaching tricks.
Let your children help pick out the supplies you will need for the puppy and explain what each is for and how to use them. It’s also wise to teach your kids about your new puppies routine and let them participate. This will ensure that your kids know when your puppy can play, and when they need to rest.
2. Make Space for your Puppy
As exciting and wonderful as it is to have a new puppy in the house, young pups need a lot of rest, so make sure that they have a space that is just their own. Once you've shown them their new home, starting with the appropriate potty areas, show them where they can spend quiet time.
This can be a kennel, crate, ex-pen, or even their own room. Just make sure that it’s a place of their own, free from kids and other pets.
2. Get Supplies
Get all necessary supplies before you bring your new puppy home. Check out our New Puppy Checklist to make sure that you have everything that your new puppy will need.
Try to get enough of the puppies current diet to allow you to keep them on that diet for at least the first two weeks. Once they have settled you can decide if you want to change their diet or not.
3. Puppy-Proof Your Home
Puppies are endlessly adventurous, so they are going to want to explore their new environment. To keep them safe, you may need to block off certain areas of your home, like staircases.
Plants and decorations could be hazardous if ingested, so move them to higher places and out of reach of curious noses. Even cords can be risky. Try to cover or tape down loose cords to prevent your pup from chewing on them or getting caught in them. Puppies typically explore with their mouths, so if something fits in their mouth then that’s exactly where it will go.
4. 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.
Talk to the breeder, rescue, or previous owner to get an idea of your pups current routines, habits, and favourite games. The more you know about your pup, the better you will be able to make him comfortable and safe in his new home.
5. 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.
When you first get your puppy home, it’s ideal to have a good chunk of time off work to spend with them while they adjust. This will help you bond but also instill some positive routines in their first week.
6. Plan for Travel
Bringing your puppy home is beyond exciting, and it’s easy to forget some essential supplies that you will need for the journey back home. Here are some of the supplies that you should pre-pack:
Your puppy will probably be overwhelmed by this move, so they make cry, bark, or just sleep the whole way, but having all of these supplies will make sure that you are prepared for any possible scenario.
7. Find a Vet
Within a week of bringing home your new pup, you’ll want to schedule a vet appointment. The vet will examine the dog and make sure that he is growing, eating, and digesting food properly.
Ask around, read reviews, and even talk to the previous owner or breeder to get advice on which vet they would recommend. Many vets practice traditional medicine, but some are incorporating integrative or holistic medicine into their practices. Make sure that your vet will be supportive and provide valuable advice.
With these steps, you are ready to bring home your new puppy. Take it slow and give your puppy time to adjust to their new surroundings. They will likely be overwhelmed, but within a few days they will start to adapt. Before you know it, that cute little puppy will be running laps around your house, entertaining your kids, and cuddling with you on the couch.
Share some of your tips and tricks for preparing for a new puppy in the comments below!
Posted by Krystn Janisse
Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She loves all animals but is currently channelling some crazy cat lady vibes with her five lovable, but rebellious cats.