How to Prepare for a Puppy

by Kevin P. McGrath

Few things are more exciting than adopting a new puppy. Puppies are adorable and full of energy, but they can also be a handful. Taking the right steps to prepare will help alleviate stress and will set the stage for a well-behaved dog.

5 Ways to Prepare for a Puppy:

  1. Puppy proof your home. Puppies are still learning to behave and are curious by nature. They will get into anything and everything that they can reach. Things stored low to the ground should be moved to a place where they will not be reached by your new puppy. Take special care to remove anything that could be harmful or poisonous to the puppy. Cleaning supplies and some plants could do serious harm to your dog if consumed. Take special care to remove these items before your puppy starts to explore your home.

  2. Buy the basics. Your puppy will need to be fed and given fresh water on a daily basis. Do your research for the best kind of dog food for your puppy. There are many dog foods specifically designed for certain breeds and ages. Puppy-specific dog food will help give your puppy the right building blocks to grow up healthy. Other necessary pet supplies include ID tags, a leash, and a collar. Be sure to also give your dog a comfortable place to sleep with a new dog bed, or a kennel if you plan on kennel training. Often, young puppies will prefer the security and confined space that a kennel can provide.

  3. Prepare for chewing. Your new puppy will still be growing and this includes his teeth. A young dog will seek out things to chew on to help with growing pains. Prepare yourself with toys, treats, or puppy-teething aids, so your shoes and clothes can stay intact. Without quick correction and alternative options, your puppy will chew on anything he can get his paws on. This will include furniture, walls, and flooring. To fully protect valuable household furniture, try using training or anti-chewing spray. These sprays contain smells and flavors that will deter your puppy from chewing or scratching anything you have sprayed.

  4. Meet the family. You should be introducing your new puppy to family and friends. Puppies need proper socialization. This means spending time with as many different humans and other dogs as possible. This socialization and interaction makes a more balanced and better behaved dog later on. Time spent socializing will also provide great opportunities to train and correct your puppy. Also, be sure to spend time playing with and walking your puppy. All this time spent together will help strengthen the bond and relationship you will have with your dog.

  5. Find a vet near you. A puppy requires lots of vet visits. There are several scheduled shots and immunizations that will need to occur within the first year of the puppy’s life. Find a reliable vet near your home that will be able to administer these shots and be available for any medical emergencies. If you plan to spay or neuter your dog, you'll need to have this done within the first year of life. Your vet will be able to provide you with the appropriate age and procedure for your particular puppy.

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