A Checklist for Puppiesby Lisa McQuerrey
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting event! The transition can go smoothly for everyone if you create and follow an advanced checklist of things that must be taken care of before the new addition arrives. Having things prepared and in place ahead of time will give you more time to spend bonding with and acclimating your new puppy. This can make homecoming an enjoyable time for the whole family.
Buy all of the puppy supplies you will need in advance of bringing your new pet home. Things to consider purchasing include food and watering dishes, an age- and breed-appropriate food supply, a collar, leash and identification tags. You also should have bedding, a crate or kennel, chew toys and grooming supplies, like brushes or combs. You also may want to purchase a container or restraint system for transporting your dog safely in a vehicle.
Prepare your home for the newcomer by blocking off areas the new puppy can’t go and remove potential hazards, like floor plants, loose wires or dangling cords and mouse traps. Set up your puppy’s bed and/or kennel, and establish a place for his feeding dishes. If you have other dogs in the house and want to make a gradual introduction, you may want to set up a room just for the puppy. Have extra treats on hand for your resident dogs so they don’t feel left out or threatened by the new pup.
Find a vet with whom you feel comfortable. You may decide to take your puppy for a check-up before you bring him home, especially if you have other animals in the household or have any concerns about his health. Puppies need a series of shots during the first year of life, so having an established relationship with a reputable vet will save you time in searching for one when you need it. You may also wish to have the vet microchip your puppy as a further identification record.
If you’ve never house-trained a dog before, you may want to invest in a reference book or conduct online research about training your particular breed of dog. At a minimum, you will need to establish an initial schedule for feeding, walking and play, and for starting simple training. Invest in some puppy pads to help with accidents during the housebreaking phase, and buy a good quality pet stain and odor remover to clean up accidents quickly and effectively.
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