Bringing home a new puppy for the very first time is an exciting experience. It will make things much easier and less stressful if you’re well prepared. This new puppy checklist will help you to make sure you’ve got everything in place.
New Puppy Checklist
Before you bring your new puppy home, you’ll need to make sure you have some essential supplies in house.
Pee Pads Or Dog Potty
Until your puppy is fully house trained, you’ll want to provide somewhere for them to pee without ruining your carpet or furniture. Pee pads are scented to attract your puppy to relieve themselves on them. Whether this actually works or not is open to debate. But you can train your puppy to pee on them even if they don’t do so naturally.
Dog potties have either real or synthetic grass so it’s more natural for your puppy to use them. They also get you puppy used to going on grass.
It’s vital you feed your puppy healthy and nutritious food. This sets them up for good health for the rest of their life. So don’t feed them cheap food that contains lots of filler. Go for the best quality premium food you can afford.
Food And Water Bowls
You’ll only need small bowls at first, but your puppy will soon outgrow them, especially if they’re a large dog breed. So don’t spend a lot of money on these at first. Having said that, the stainless steel ones are preferable to the plastic ones as your puppy can’t chew them and they’re easier to clean. Ceramic bowls are okay too, but they have the drawback that they’re easier to break if you drop them.
Your puppy will make a few messes at first until they’re house trained. So make sure you’ve got cleaning products to hand that can remove the stains and smells they leave behind.
Collar And ID Tag
You’ll need a nice, soft collar for your puppy. It’s a good idea to attach an ID tag to the collar in case your puppy manages to escape and get lost.
As you’ll be aware, puppies like playing. So you’ll need some toys for them to play with if you value your shoes and slippers! Most dogs love to play tug of war, so those kind of toys are an excellent choice. Most dogs also love playing with balls.
And as your puppy teethes they’re probably also start chewing things. So you’ll want to have some strong, long-lasting chew toys for them to chew on instead of your furniture.
You want these toys to last, so it’s best to go for the higher quality ones rather than cheaper ones that your puppy is likely to quickly destroy.
You’ll want your puppy to look their best (and grooming is also good for their health), so you’ll need at least some basic grooming tools. This includes dog brushes, nail clippers, and dog shampoo.
Your puppy will need somewhere safe and comfortable to sleep. It’s a good idea to make sure whatever you give them is puppy-proof, otherwise they’re likely to chew it and pull it to pieces. So you might want to wait until they’ve finished teething and grown out of their chewing phase before buying them an expensive dog bed. In the meantime, you can use any old bedding and quilts you have to hand.
As well as toys to chew on, you can also get your puppy long lasting chew bones to keep them occupied during their chewing phase.
If you’re going to use positive reinforcement training (which we recommend), then you’ll want to have a supply of treats ready. Make sure you use healthy treats for this.
Caring For Your Puppy
It’s not difficult to provide a new puppy the basic care and attention they need. Just remember they’ll be used to sleeping with their mother and siblings at night, and are likely to be nervous and shy at first until they get used to their new environment. So make sure you give them plenty of love and attention and play time.
Here’s a few of the basic responsibilities that come with bringing home a new puppy:
You must make sure you get the right puppy shots at the correct times. These will protect your puppy from nasty diseases. Your vet will be able to provide you with a vaccination schedule.
Flea And Tick Prevention/Treatment
Parasites such as ticks and fleas can make your puppy sick. Even if they don’t, they can be uncomfortable. Plus they can spread to you too. So preventing your puppy from getting infested is important. And if they do happen to get infested, treating them appropriately is also vital.
You should start house training your puppy straight away. You can also start obedience training provided your puppy is at least 7 weeks old (which they should be before you bring them home).
Puppy Proof Their Environment
You’ll want to make sure your puppy is safe in their new environment. Puppies are curious and like to explore. They also like to chew. So make sure anything breakable is out of their reach. Also make sure all electrical cables are out of reach so they can’t chew them. The same goes for any plants. And make sure they can’t get to any substances that could harm them – this includes cleaning materials and chemicals, but also things such as sweets and chocolate.
A lot of people forget about this, but it’s vital to your puppy growing up to be a strong and confident dog. You want to introduce your puppy to different people and dogs so they get used to them. Get them used to different sights, smells and sounds. A good way to socialize your puppy is to take them to the local park where there will be lots of other people walking their dogs. Of course, you should only do this once your puppy has got all their puppy vaccinations.