After researching the best breed of dog for your family and finding just the perfect puppy, it is finally time to bring the new member of your family home. In order to make bringing a puppy home as memorable as possible (in a good way), take a few simple steps to prepare for your puppy’s homecoming.
Checklist for Bringing a Puppy Home
- Crate: A crate will serve several purposes to help acclimate your puppy to his new home. It is a place for him to sleep and feel safe (dogs naturally gravitate towards dens.) It is also a good tool to use when house breaking your puppy. The best crates have wire frames with a removable plastic base that allows for easy cleaning. Buy one that will allow him to sit in the crate without hitting his head when he is full size. Many brands of crates come with a divider that can be used to partition the crate into a smaller area while your puppy is small.
- Bed: You can use anything for a bed for your puppy, such as towels or blankets, or they can be purchased at the store. Just make sure that it is washable.
- Food and Water Dishes: The food and water dish should be easy to clean but not easy to tip over.
- Dog Food: While buying in bulk is less expensive, buy several smaller bags of puppy food in the beginning so that you can see what your dog prefers.
- Cleaning supplies for accidents: Hopefully they won’t be frequent, but some accidents are inevitable with a new puppy. Be prepared and have a clean up solution on hand.
- Flea Control: A form of flea control is important for all dogs; however, some will require a prescription from your veterinarian.
- Dog Carrier: Find a dog carrier that is large enough for some movement, but small enough that your little one will feel safe.
- Toys and chewable items.
- Dog collar
How to Puppy-Proof Your Home
Decide on the area in your home that your dog will be allowed in. Puppies should not be given free reign of the entire house until they have been house broken and have some basic obedience training under their belt. Ideally, the area should have an easy to clean floor in case of accidents and have minimal items that would be tempting for him to chew and destroy. Dog gates and doors are available in a variety of sizes. Baby gates and pens can also be repurposed to confine your puppy to his allowed area.
What to Do When Bringing a Puppy Home
After bringing your puppy to his new home, set him down and let him explore the area. Leave the door to his crate open with his bed inside and let him walk in and out on his own. Show him his food dish and toys. Stay with him until he is ready to settle for the night. If he seems restless after his is in his crate, place a blanket over the crate to create a den environment.
A puppy’s first day in your home is an exciting one for both of you. Preparing your home in advance will make it more enjoyable and less stressful for both you and him.