Getting a new puppy can be exciting and stressful. The best way to keep everyone healthy and happy is to get organized and prepared before bringing your new puppy home. Here is our 2023 new puppy checklist, complete with all the essential supplies you'll need for your new puppy.
Are you wondering if your house is properly puppy-proofed? How can you prepare for a puppy? Do you have all the grooming supplies, toys, and walking accessories that can't your new puppy needs?
Does everyone in your home understand the rules and routines of welcoming a new dog? Don't worry; you are not alone.
This guide will help you create a safe and comforting environment for the new puppy and help you find the right products and tools to care for your new friend.
How to Bring Home a New Puppy
Before you even think about bringing your new puppy home, you need to take a look at your house and your routine and think about what your puppy is going to need on day one. This will allow you to assess the environment, make lifestyle changes, buy puppy products, and lay down ground rules before your puppy arrives. Everything you need for a puppy.
Remember that your puppy's whole world is changing, and the transition will be easier if you are fully prepared for your new addition. Check out what to do when getting a new puppy and how to prepare your life for this new addition:
1. Prepare Children
If you have children, try to acquaint them with dogs and new 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. Bookstores often have informative books that go through everything from potty training to teaching tricks.
Let your children help pick out the new feeding, walking, and grooming supplies from your new puppy checklist and explain what each is for and how to use them.
It’s also wise to teach your kids about your new puppy's routine and let them participate. This will ensure that your kids know when your puppy can play and when they need to rest. What to get for a new puppy?
You'll also need to teach them the rules of how to handle the new pup. Whether you are welcoming a brand new pup or rescuing a grown dog, your kids need to know the boundaries of playtime, how to use your new puppy supplies, and when your puppy needs some time alone. This can prevent injury and make your kids less intimidating to their new furry best friend.
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 training areas, show them where they can spend quiet time.
This can be a kennel, dog crate, ex-pen, bed, blanket, or even their own room in the house. Just make sure that it’s a place of their own - free from kids and other pets. This will be a comforting place for them and can help to quell anxiety and destructive behaviours.
3. Get Supplies
Get all the necessary supplies before you bring your new puppy home. Try to get enough of the puppy's current diet to allow you to keep them on that diet for at least the first month. Once they have settled you can decide if you want to change their diet or not.
The first 7-14 days are the most critical, so try to have enough supplies to provide consistent activities and routine for your new doggo. Download our new puppy checklist below to make sure that you have everything you need to get started.
4. 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 until they are brave or practiced enough to use them. Puppy gates are an excellent tool for sectioning off parts of the house that your every puppy should be exploring.
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. Not all toys are dog toys, so make sure your kids keep their plush toys out of reach too.
Puppies typically explore with their mouths, so if something fits in their mouth then that’s exactly where it will go. You'll need to be sure to keep a close eye on them indoors and out. Even your backyard can have some dangerous mouth-sized things to chew on.
Natural chews are a great alternative to give your puppy chewing on your shoes or furniture. Have a variety of options that you can direct your baby dog to when he feels like getting his chew toys on.
5. Educate Yourself
Pick up a book on your desired puppy breed. Certain breeds have different personality characteristics, temperaments, and exercise and grooming requirements. Pick a breed that you like and that suits your lifestyle.
Check out Dogtime.com for some helpful information about specific breeds.
Talk to the breeder, rescue, or previous pet owners to get a good idea of your pup's 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.
This is also a good time to think about diet. Start checking out the different dog food options to find out which ones might best suit your dog's breed. You can scout out local or online pet stores that carry the products you want and even have some on hand so you can slowly transition once your puppy is settled.
6. Assess Your Situation
If it is a stressful time at your house, do not bring the new puppies 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.
If you have a vacation, out-of-town visitors, renovations, or a move planned, then it's best to wait for the dust to settle before getting a new puppy. A busy home can be scary for a puppy, and it may affect their transition.
When you first time gets your puppies home, it’s a good idea to take a 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.
7. Plan for Travel
Bringing your puppies 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. They may cry, bark, or just sleep the whole way, but following this new puppy checklist will make sure that you are prepared for any possible scenario.
Your new puppy should be safely positioned on your lap (not the driver's lap) or secured in a comfortably sized kennel or crate training to ensure they are not able to wander around the vehicle if they are feeling adventurous.
8. 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 adult 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 (assuming they are local). Many vets practice traditional medicine, but some incorporate integrative or holistic medicine into their practices.
Make sure you find a vet that will be supportive and provide valuable advice.
9. Plan Your Trip Home
Your very first outing with your puppy is going to be the drive home. Having the right tools and planning out potty breaks, depending on how long you need to travel, can help make this first experience less stressful for both of you.
Young puppies are often pretty good at handling new experiences because they don't really know where they are or what's going on anyways, but that doesn't mean that they won't be scared or intimidated.
Plan to have a comfortable and safe spot for them in the car and have water and any gear you may need to keep them safe no matter how far you must travel. Over-planning is better than under-planning.
10. Have a Plan for the First 24 Hours
What should I do the first night with a new puppy? The first 24 hours with your puppy will be both fun and stressful. Routine is very important for a new puppy, and even though it may be hard to stick to one, it's a good idea to plan ahead.
Take some time before you bring home your puppy to plan out how you will introduce your puppy to your house, plan out a potty break schedule, set scheduled meal times, and even decide on a bedtime routine.
Don't expect anything to go perfectly as planned, but starting the routine from day one and using our new puppy checklist to make sure you have the right supplies will help your puppy learn quicker and adapt to his new life easier.
Are You Ready for a New Dog?
Perhaps the most important question you should ask yourself before you bring home your puppy is - Should I get a dog?
Getting a new pet is not something that should be done on a whim or without proper planning. There is a reason there are so many pets in shelters and rescues. Before you commit to a new pet, take some time to really think it through.
Talk with your family member or anyone else you share your home with and make sure this is the right fit for everyone.
If you've thought about how this pet will fit into your life, and you are ready to take on the responsibility of pet ownership physically, emotionally, and financially, then this guide should give you the steps you need to get ready.
Is Your Dog Ready for a New Puppy?
Getting a new puppy is not just about you. Consider how a new puppy will affect your other pets. Other dogs may adapt the best, but that's not always the case. Older, injured, or anxious dogs may have difficulty accepting a clumsy and playful new pooch.
Learn how to introduce a new puppy to your dog before you make a choice to adopt or buy.
Other species may have an even harder time adapting to a new puppy. Cats and birds may be especially frightened if you don't know how to properly introduce them. Puppies need to learn boundaries and could easily injure or frighten a small animal in the process.
How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Dog?
Here are 10 tips to help you slowly introduce your new puppy to your other pets.
- Give Them Both Their Own Space. Provide each pet with separate spaces in the house, like a room, where they can go to feel safe from the other animals. Even if both pets are tense, a space that is secure and separate from the other can help them relax and self-soothe.
- Provide a Neutral Territory. A common area that can be neutral ground is ideal for trial interactions to reduce common territorial behaviours. You can let the pets explore neutral territory separately and in short sessions before they meet, but avoid leaving toys or belongings from either animal in this space. You want both parties to regard this space as neutral.
- Feed Meals Separately. Animals feel most vulnerable during feeding times, as they would in the wild. If there is any tension between the pets, they may fear the other will take the opportunity and either attack or steal their food. You are more likely to see aggression when food is involved.
- Look at Body Language. Body language in pets can help you recognize anxiety and fear. This can help you prevent negative interactions. Dogs that cower or cry may be telling you that they are too afraid to interact. This will help you determine the speed at which you should introduce your pets.
- Reward Good Behaviour. Like any other type of puppy training, pets can be motivated by a tasty6 or fun reward. If your pets are calm and confident during their interactions with each and everyone, then rewarding them with a healthy but tasty snack can help them associate their new best friend with positive feelings.
- Let Them Take the Lead. When your pets feel confident and relaxed, you should monitor but encourage interaction. Puppies tend to be more confident because they are blissfully ignorant of many potential dangers around them, but your older pets may decide to make the first-time move.
- Play Together. Look for activities that both animals can engage in. Finding common ground is a great way to lower tension and help pets feel more comfortable around each other. Walking is a great option when introducing two dogs, but you may have to get creative with other species.
- Don't Micromanage. Your anxieties and worries can affect your pets. Of course, you should stay close and monitor all interactions between both pets, but you need to have a little faith. Overreacting to normal pet behaviour can trigger negative reactions in your pets.
- You Can't Force Love. Some pets will never get along. With other dogs and cats, it's worth putting in some extra time and effort to encourage a relationship with your new pup, but it's not guaranteed that they will ever be besties. Some species just aren't compatible, like ferrets, rodents, birds, and reptiles. If they have to stay separate, then you'll need to make accommodations in your home for both animals.
- Take What You Can Get. There is nothing cuter than when you find your pets snuggled up and taking a nap together, but that dream may never come true. In some cases, simply tolerating everyone and sharing space is the most you can get, and that's OK! As long as they respect each other's space and presence, then that is a win!
Don't get discouraged if your puppy is taking longer to adapt to his new environment than you thought he would. Dogs have unique personalities, traits, and puppy needs, so plan for some trial and error as you help your pup adjust. You may need to try different dog food, toys, and routines to provide the best for your puppy.
Check out our new puppy checklist below to make sure you have the training tool and gear you need to welcome your new pup.
New Puppy Checklist
Once you are sure that you and your family are prepared for a new pooch, you need to make sure that you have all the tools to start your puppy's new life off right. Take a look at our new puppy checklist and find out what to buy for a new puppy.
Download this checklist and use it on the go!
Your puppy's diet is the foundation of its health, so choosing the right diet is the first step in new puppy ownership. The type of diet you choose is up to you, but make sure you know all your options before making a choice:
Check out What Should I Feed My Puppy? To learn what your new puppy needs.
It’s a good idea to pick up some of the puppy food that your puppy is currently eating at their breeder or rescue. Regardless of whether you keep your new puppies on or not, it’s best to minimize changes to their diet and routine until they have had a chance to get comfortable in their new environment.
A new home is stressful enough for a puppy. Staying on the same food can decrease the likelihood of digestive upsets until they are acclimated to their new life.
How to Transition Your Puppy to New Food?
If you are planning on switching their diet, make sure that you leave yourself enough of the old food to properly transition. We recommend waiting about 3-4 weeks before making any big dietary changes unless it's absolutely necessary.
When you are ready to change their food, it’s best to slowly replace the old dog food with the new food over the course of 7-10 days. Start by replacing 1/4 of the old diet with their new one and gradually increase this quantity over the course of a week or so.
Food Storage and Feeding Accessories
Another important item on our new puppy checklist is feeding accessories. The right feeding accessories can help take some of the guesswork and safety concerns out of your puppy's routine. Proper dog food storage will help keep your puppy's food fresher and prevent bacteria contamination.
There are different best practices for different types of puppy food, so let's take a quick look at each and figure out the best ways to keep your pup's food safe:
- Kibble is best stored in its original bag inside an air-tight container. The bags themselves have a coating that helps to protect the food from oxidization and bacteria contamination, but once the bags are opened, there is no way to reseal them 100%.
- By placing the treat bag in an air-tight pet food storage container, you are doubling down on protection and ensuring that the dog food will stay fresher for longer. This method also reduces the chances of bacteria building up in plastic containers, which are usually the most affordable options.
- Wet foods need to be refrigerated once opened, and the type of wet food will change how it can be stored. Cans are convenient and can be stored in the fridge with a reusable can lid cover. These keep oxygen out and moisture in.
- Wet foods that come in pouches or tetra paks should be transferred to a glass food storage container to keep them freshest.
- Storing fresh raw dog food has two sides - frozen and defrosted. Frozen foods can be stored in their original box or treat bag but can be transferred to freezer bags for longer storage. Once the food has been defrosted, it should be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container, like the Messy Mutts Stell Bowls with Silicone Lids, for up to 3 days.
- Similar to raw food, prepared freeze-dried and dehydrated foods can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container for a few days, but unprepared or ready-to-eat formulas are best stored in their original packaging and then in either a pet food storage container or freezer bags for maximum freshness.
In addition to storage, there are many useful tools that can help make mealtime easier. Food scoops and mats help keep mealtime cleaner. For measuring food more accurately, you can use a pet food scale like this one from Big Country Raw.
Dog Food Dishes
There are many types of dog dishes to choose from: plastic, ceramic, stainless steel, weighted, elevated, or automatic.
Plastic water bowls are cost-effective, but they do have a few drawbacks compared to other materials. For a puppy that loves to chew, a plastic bowl may look like a fun chew toy. They are fairly light, so it’s easy for your pup to pick up, push around, and destroy if they feel so inclined.
As the plastic wears, bacteria can hide in the scratches and grooves of the material. While this bacteria is unlikely to cause digestive issues, it can lead to puppy acne or small pimples that develop around their muzzle.
Puppy acne will go away if the source of the bacteria is removed, but we recommend sticking to glass, ceramic, or metal to avoid puppy acne and bacteria build-up altogether.
Here are a few o our top picks:
- Be One Breed Bamboo Diner Set
- Fringe Petshop Adobe Stoneware Pet Bowl
- Messy Mutts Silicone Feeder with Stainless Steel Bowls
If your puppy is a guzzler when it comes to food, try out a slow-feed bowl. This will help them regulate the speed at which they eat and prevent gulping large mouthfuls of food at a time.
Learn more about the dangers of speed eating and how to slow down your pup in My Dog Eats Too Fast!
Dog Water Dishes and Fountains
It's best to avoid plastic for water dishes, as well. Just like dog food bowls, bacteria will build up in the dents and scratches of the plastic. Even if you are regularly cleaning the dog bowl and replacing the water, a plastic bowl will need to be replaced more often than metal, ceramic, or glass.
Dog water dishes are the old standby, but water fountains have certain benefits as well. Water fountains are an excellent choice to keep your puppy's water cool and easy to clean. Dog water fountains only need to be topped off daily or every other day and changed completely at least once a week.
If you choose to use a dog water dish or bowl, make sure your puppy always has access to clean water. This may mean changing your puppy's water multiple times per day.
Treats can make training easier and faster for your puppy. Try to find a variety of healthy treats that your puppy goes crazy for to help keep their attention during training sessions. High-value rewards should be meat-based, smelly, or soft and chewy - though food-motivated pups might not care what kind of treat it is as long as they can eat it!
Look for dog treats with healthy, whole-food ingredients. Make sure the puppy treats are small enough and low-calorie so that you can feed many throughout the day as you train. When it comes to training sessions, the smaller, the better.
Soft treats can be ripped or cut into smaller pieces. Dog treats for training sessions should be smaller than a piece of kibble. Check out 10 Healthy Training Treats for Puppies for some tasty ideas.
In addition to training treats, some softer natural chews, like Beef Tendons or fish skins, are great for giving your puppy something tasty to chew on for a while.
Before they are fully vaccinated, your puppy's interaction with the outside world should be somewhat limited, but getting them used to good walking habits can start right away. There are two things you need right away to start teaching your puppy good walking manners:
Both items are a staple of any new puppy checklist. Practice in the house or backyard so that by the time they are ready to explore the world, they are accustomed to the equipment.
Depending on your puppy's breed, they may grow a lot over the next 18 months, or they may barely double in size. Either way, try to find walking accessories that fit appropriately now but also give your puppy some room to grow. This will reduce the frequency at which you will need to replace the equipment that they have outgrown.
A harness is a great choice for teaching your dog to not pull on the training leash when they walk. Collars can add stress to their fragile necks, so a harness will be safer and will give you better control of your dog.
Check out our Best Dog Harness article to help you find the right style for your pup.
That said, a collar is still a vital accessory. It holds their ID tags, licenses, and vaccination tags and is an easy way to grab hold of your pet in an emergency. Look for collars that can be worn all day in the Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Dog Collar.
Don't get caught without poop bags. Even if you are just going for a quick walk and walking from the car to the pet store, you never know when your puppy will have the urge to go. This is one product that is smart to buy in bulk!
Poop bags come in a variety of styles, so you can choose the type that works best for you. Most poop bags are a standard size, but you can find larger poop bags if you happen to be raising a small bear.
All of us eco-conscious puppy owners love recyclable or even biodegradable poop bags. Why not pick up your dog's biodegradable poop with a biodegradable poop bag. You're welcome, mother earth!
For those with a sensitive nose, you might want to look into a scented poop bag, like Earth Rated Lavender Poop Bags. It doesn't completely mask the smell of a warm, fresh turd, but it definitely softens the blow. Just pick a scent that you don't use in your house or perfume because it will be ruined for you after this.
Everything is a training opportunity with a new puppy, which is why our new puppy checklist recommends tools and accessories for successful training. If you are treat training, we recommend a good treat bag or treat pouch so that you can carry rewards with you anywhere you go with your puppy.
Clicker training is another option that can be used either in combination with treat training or instead of. Clickers can attach to your training leash or wrap around your wrist, so it's always within range.
If you are practicing your training in a large open space, a dog whistle might come in handy for getting your pup's attention quickly. You can even get a silent whistle so that it's less abrasive to other people.
Even if they never leave your side, you should always make sure that your puppy is properly tagged. An ID tag on their collar can make it safer and easier for them to find their way back home if they happen to get out on their own.
If you want to avoid the jingle jangle of the tags clinking together, get a Dog Tag Silencer for your ID tag. It will cut the noise and prevent the tags from rubbing together and fading the engraving over time.
You should be brushing your puppy at least once a week, no matter your dog's breed. Long-haired puppies may need even more frequent brushing. Brushing reduces shedding and matting and stimulates healthy hair growth.
Start with a small soft slicker brush, preferably one with rubber or plastic tips, as it will feel gentler on their sensitive skin.
The earlier you start brushing your puppy, the better. Try having some small reward treats on hand whenever you brush your puppy. Treating can help them view regular, at-home dog grooming routines as a positive experience and make it much easier to maintain as they grow up.
For fluffier pups, especially those with an undercoat, you may want to invest in a good de-shedding brush, like a Furminator Deshedding Tool, that you can use once a week to reduce the dog hair type that will inevitably end up on everything you own.
Tearless Puppy Shampoo and Pet Wipes
Puppies have very sensitive skin, so over-bathing or bathing them too young can reduce the natural oils that they produce to protect their skin. Avoid bathing puppies under 12 weeks of age.
Instead, try to spot clean or use natural puppy wipes to clean your puppy when they get messy. Just because you can’t bathe them doesn’t mean that they need to be stinky. If you do bathe your puppy, look for dog shampoo made from natural and gentle ingredients. Here are a few brands that make puppy-safe shampoos:
Always choose a dog shampoo designed for dogs - human shampoos are made to suit a different skin pH. The wrong shampoo can dry out your dog's skin and coat or even cause an allergic response.
Puppy Toothbrush and Toothpaste
You might think that dental care tools are an odd choice for a new puppy checklist, but starting dental care early sets up better dental habits as your dog ages.
Get your puppy used to proper oral care from a young age. Try to get in the habit of brushing your puppy's teeth every day. Good brushing habits mean lower vet bills over the course of your dog's life. To learn more, check out The Complete Pet Dental Care Guide.
Small finger toothbrushes, like Tropiclean Finger Toothbrush for Dogs, are good for small mouths and can be easier for your puppy to get used to. You can gradually switch to a standard dog toothbrush over time.
Even if your puppy hates the process of toothbrushing, keep trying. No other dental care routine will completely replace regular tooth brushing.
Just like brushing, trimming your puppy's nails from an early age will help them get used to the practice and get over any fear or anxiety. Puppies won't need their nails trimmed as often when they are very young because the nail hasn't grown out past the quick very far, so just clip the very tips off.
Find a pair of dog nail clippers that are both suited for your dog's nails and comfortable for you to work with. The more comfortable you are, the easier this grooming process will go. For very young puppies, cat nail clippers are sometimes easier to work with when you are just getting started.
As they get bigger and the nails grow faster, you can start cutting a little further back, always being cautious of the quick. Check out our Dog Nail Trimming Tips to help you get started.
If you aren't comfortable clipping your dog's nails, you might want to check out a dog nail grinder. They take a little practice, but some dogs are more amenable to the grinder than nail clippers. They also allow you to leave a smoother edge, so those puppy nails aren't a hazard to your floors and skin.
Ear Cleaning Solution
Routine ear cleanings help to prevent itchiness caused by gunk and build-up in the ear. Puppies are messy, they love to get dirty, and some of that dirt will inevitably end up in their ears.
A good dog ear cleaning solution will be gentle and safe for cleaning the outer part of the ear and get in between folds that can collect bacteria. Monthly ear cleanings can reduce itchiness and scratching.
Occasional spot cleaning with Earthbath dog face wipes is also helpful, especially if your pup is suffering from allergies or skin issues that can cause frequent ear itch.
Puppy Chew Toys
Teething puppies need something to chew. Choose tough dog toys meant for chewing that your puppy will not be able to swallow. Select quality dog toys of many different textures to get your puppy used to them.
If you are offering plush, stuffed, or rope toys, be mindful of all of the materials that your pup could potentially ingest. Stuffing, squeakers, and fabric can all cause digestive upsets and could be choking hazards.
At any age and with any type of toy, supervise your pet's chewing to avoid choking and ingestion of inedible materials. For teething pups, check out Best Chew Toys for Teething Puppies.
Never give your dog a baby or cat toy or any toy not designed for dogs. They can be a choking or ingestion hazard or even toxic if eaten.
Not everyone crate trains their puppy, but we added it to the new puppy checklist because it's something that everyone should at least consider when preparing for a new pooch.
Choose a dog crate or kennel that fits your puppy properly - he should be able to stand up in it and turn around comfortably. Your puppy's kennel should be roomy, but an oversized kennel can make house training difficult.
If left with enough space, your puppy will be tempted to relieve themselves in an open part of the kennel or dog crate training classes. Your puppy is less likely to potty train in the kennel if they have to sit or lay in it.
Only want to buy one kennel throughout your puppy's life? Many crates, like Precision Pro-High-Value Dog Crates, come with wire divider panels, so your crate training can grow with your puppy.
Learn more about the benefits of crate training in our Fool-Proof Guide to Crate Training Your Puppy.
Dog beds are for more than just comfort. Great dog beds for puppies are stain-repellent, durable, tear-resistant, and washable. Look for these features in a quality dog bed for your puppy.
You may even be able to find beds labelled as chew puppy-proof or chew toys guaranteed. These are a good investment for puppies with destructive tendencies, but it doesn't mean your puppy won't try.
He may even succeed. No dog bed is indestructible, so if your puppy likes to destroy his beds, save your money and stick to cheap and easily replaceable beds until he grows out of this habit.
Beds with removable covers are great too. The covers can be washed, and you will avoid having to wash a big bulky dog bed that will end up being misshapen after a tumble in the washing machine.
Bigger dogs may benefit from something more durable, like the Baxter & Bella Lounger Bed. This water-resistant lounger-style dog bed is suitable for indoors or out.
Natural Pet Cleaners
Cleaners are essential puppy items. Your puppy will have accidents, and that's ok! Cleaning them completely and effectively decreases the chance your puppy will return to the same spot.
Look for natural pet stain and odour removers with active enzymes that eat away pet parent messes, such as Nature's Miracle. Chemical cleaners simply cover up pet messes, often incompletely.
Puppy Training Pads
Training potty pads are perfect for underdeveloped puppy bladders. Often scented with pheromones to attract your puppy, puppy training pads can be a great aid no matter how you plan to house-train your dog.
Start with the puppy potty pads in an area close to where your puppy normally spends most of its time. Using an exercise pen is a good way to give them room to play and still keep them contained. The pen will be large enough to fit a training pad and still have plenty of space for your pup to frolic.
Make Yourself a Schedule
Getting a new puppy can range from scary to overwhelmingly exciting, and it's easy to forget things along the way. Even if you follow this new puppy checklist to a T, there are going to be surprises and things you didn't plan for.
A good pro tip when preparing for a puppy is to make yourself a loose schedule. This will help keep you on track when you get sidetracked by an unexpected issue or experience with your new baby pooch.
Include the steps for getting your home ready, how you'll handle the first time few days, what training routines you are using, and even having an activity schedule to make sure your new puppy is getting the attention, love, and exercise they need.
Some things you'll fly by the seat of your pants, and that's ok, but having a routine that you and your family can follow will make sure your new puppy's transition to his new home is as seamless and fun as possible.
And most importantly - post pics of your new puppies and tag us @homesalivepets so that we can gush over your cute ball of fluff with you!
Best of luck with your new puppy!
We'd love to hear all about your new puppy experience. Is there anything we missed on our new puppy checklist? Share your story and tips in the comments below!