Be ready for the big day!
Bringing a new puppy home is a thrilling experience, but if you don’t have everything in place upon arrival, the experience can turn from happy to stressful (for everyone involved). We’ve assembled a new puppy checklist of items that will help your puppy make a successful transition to living in your house.
New Puppy Checklist
1. An appropriate-sized crate
Dogs are den animals, and they love the comfort and security offered by a snug space of their own. Ideally, the crate will have three “walls,” with a front gate your dog can see through. It’s important to find a crate that’s just the right size for your puppy. If the crate has too much room, the puppy is likely to have an “accident” inside of it. But the crate should not be so small that he doesn’t have room to sit up or stretch out. Add some bedding, like old sheets, T-shirts, or towels, so puppy has something soft to sleep on, and be sure to leave him a few chew toys.
2. Training treats
You’ll want to start on some basic training from Day 1 with your puppy. (Side note: you should be on the lookout for a good, local, New Puppy Class). You won’t quite know which flavor or type of training treat that your new pup will respond to … so, it’s bests to start with a variety. The most important things are that they are small, meat based (i.e. good tasting) and not messy. These treats will most likely end up in your pocket, and you won’t want a crumbly mess of dog treats stinking up your clothes 🙂
3. Potty Pads
These are essential for puppies not fully immunized and not yet allowed outside. They may also be a permanent solution for apartment dwellers or others who find outdoor housetraining impractical.
4. Chew Toys
A new puppy will chew anything in his path: your shoes, furniture, vintage record collection. Make sure you have plenty of toys to chew instead, and always offer a toy when you catch him chewing a “non-toy”. We recommend starting with a variety, as different breeds and individual puppies gravitate toward different things. It will take some trial and error to figure out what your dog likes best. Start with a variety of bully sticks, furry toys, and interactive toys.
5. Leash and collar
Even if your puppy is not fully immunized and therefore not ready to go outside, you can introduce him to his leash and collar, and get him accustomed to wearing it. Our favorite “collar” is the no-choke Puppia harness.
6. Puppy food and bowls
This is obvious, as puppies need to eat about three times a day and require a bowl of fresh water nearby most of the time. Purchase high-quality pet food (i.e. non-grocery or big box store) and serve in a stainless steel bowl (steel collects less bacteria than glass or plastic).
7. Enzymatic cleaner
Even the best-trained puppy will have an indoor accident at some point, and it should be cleaned up within seconds, when possible. The difference between enzyme cleansers and your regular household spray is that the enzymes will eliminate odors that only your dog can smell, reducing any reminder that he’s gone potty in any particular part of your house. Also, avoid any cleaning agent that contains ammonia — the chemical smells just like pee to a dog, and dogs love “going” where they’ve “gone” before.