A new puppy is a great and exciting addition to any family, just as long as you’re prepared. Think of a puppy like a new baby; you wouldn’t bring home a new baby without having everything they need. But don’t worry, we’ve got all you need to be ready!
PART I: Puppy-Proofing the House
Most people focus on buying things like crates, toys, and food (which are indeed very essential) to prepare for a new pup, but they tend to forget that their house might not be a safe environment for a puppy (yet!). Here are some ways to puppy-proof the house!
- Stowe any valuables: Puppies are very curious and they love to chew - especially on items they shouldn’t be chewing! This could include home decor (like potted plants or fancy lamps), your favorite pair of designer shoes or even furnishings. There’s really no telling what will attract them so if you love it, hide it!
- Be careful of hanging fabrics: Curtains and tablecloths are beautiful, but a puppy might think they are a fun thing to play tug-of-war with. If you’re not able to remove them, make sure that your curtains are secured or that your tablecloth won’t bring down the gorgeous table-top you’ve worked hard to look perfect.
- Check your house for any hiding spots: When was the last time you searched through your house? Are there any secret nooks or crannies your pup might hide in? If there are, familiarize yourself with them because more often than not, your pup will find them when they explore.
- Make sure any cords or wires are secured: Loose cords or wires are a big potential hazard for puppies. The last thing you would want is a chewed through electrical cord, resulting in a shocked puppy and disconnected phone (or WiFi!) lines.
- Check the backyard: If puppy is lucky enough to have a backyard to roam free in, you’ll want to be extra sure that the backyard is a safe environment. Make sure that the yard is properly fenced in because an exploring pup could easily slip through a little crack out of the backyard. Put away any random toys that could become a choking hazard or anything that you don’t want to be chewed. If you have a pool or other potential dangers, make sure they are properly secured and inaccessible for your pup.
PART II: The New Puppy Checklist
Now that your house is prepped and ready for your new addition, it's time to make it a welcoming environment. Creating a space of their own with the essentials will help them feel safe and secure in their new forever home. Here's a handy checklist for everything you need!
- Crate and Crate Mattress: A crate is very important for your new puppy, as it's their personal space for relaxation and sleep. As your pup grows, you'll need a bigger crate to make sure they stay comfortable. A crate bed is essential for any pup to get some good sleep in their crate.
- Bedding and Blankets: Your pup won't always be in their crate, so having a comfy bed or cozy blanket around the house will give them a nice place to relax while hanging out with the family.
- Collar and Leash: A collar and leash is a must for any new pup, as well as proper identification. Be sure to have an ID tag on your dog's collar just in case!
- Food and Treats: This is a given, but be sure to have the proper food and treats ready for your pup's arrival.
- Dining: Your pup needs their own space to enjoy their meals just like you do! Create a dining space exclusively for your pup with adorable bowls and a matching placemat!
- Toys: Toys are fun for all, especially for your new pup! Toys are a great way to keep your dog preoccupied, but can also encourage exercise if you play with them. Some dogs also like to cuddle with their favorite toy, too!
- Grooming Supplies: We all feel better when we're nice and clean, and it's no different for your pup! Having grooming supplies on hand is ideal, especially for those muddy bath days!
- Housetraining Pads: Training and caring for your puppy gets easier and less messy once your dog is potty trained. Training pads work indoors as well as outdoors on patios to provide a consistent environment for a pup to train with.
- Car Seat and/or Carrier: Trips to the vet for vaccines and play dates mean trips in the car for little Fido. Carriers are an easy way to tote your pup around (and some are airline-approved!), while car seats ensure safety in the car during any trip.