Any new pet owner will tell you the thrill of bringing a new puppy home is matched only by the excitement involved. However, the joy of owning a new puppy should be accompanied by appropriate preparation on the owner's part.
The process can be arduous if not tackled at the start with proper care and consideration.
So here are the 6 things to do before you bring your new puppy home.
Prepare a safe space
Your puppy needs a place to explore safely and pee without causing damage. If you don't have an outdoor yard (or even if you do), make sure there's room for him to relieve himself on newspapers or puppy pads indoors — away from carpeting and other surfaces that can't be cleaned easily.
Figure out what to feed your puppy
A young puppy's teeth are still developing, so choosing an age-appropriate food that won't wear down his teeth prematurely is important. Look for foods labeled "for puppies." Some food brands are even designed specifically for puppies' sensitive digestive systems; these may be easier on their tummy than regular adult foods.
Set up the house for potty training success
Puppies need to go outside at least every two hours — or even more often in hot weather — so set up an exercise pen or other enclosed area where they can't make a mess until they've learned to do their business outside. Look for a large crate to stand up in, turn around in, and lay down comfortably — but not so big that he'll have enough room to have an accident in one corner and sleep in another.
Get the supplies you'll need
Love and attention are essential for all dogs, but they also require some essential equipment. Depending on where you live, you may need a sweater or jacket, raincoat, or umbrella — especially if you're planning outdoor activities like walks or hikes. And be sure not to forget dog treats. Other items include a leash, crate, toiletries, etc.
Stock up on toys and treats
It is a good idea to have plenty of toys and treats ready when your puppy arrives. Make sure you have something that can keep your little one occupied while you're busy with other things.
Set up a vet appointment
The first step to getting a new puppy is ensuring he's healthy. Your puppy will need to see a vet soon after arriving home. Ensure he's been vaccinated against common canine diseases, such as distemper and parvovirus, before bringing him into the house. Your veterinarian will also administer your puppy's first dewormer treatment, which is vital for good health. If you don't know one already, this is also when you'll want to start looking for a vet who regularly treats dogs in your area.
Ready For a New Puppy?
Even though it is exciting to buy a pet, bring them home and start your first training routine, it's also a huge responsibility and should be taken seriously. The tips above should help you through the most critical aspects of pet ownership. Despite the work, the benefits will make it all worthwhile: love and companionship, as well as plenty more hours of amusement. Do you have any tips to share? Let us know in the comments section!