It’s an amazing time in your life to bring home a new pet! Just as parents of the humankind spend much time, effort, and money in preparing for their new bundle of joy, Pet Parents need to make very similar, yet distinct preparations to welcome home their new fur baby. We’ve put together a quick checklist of items you may already have on hand, and a few that you should definitely make sure you get ahead of time.
1. Crate: Dogs by nature den animals, and this means that they absolutely love to snuggle up in the security they receive in their very own place. The ideal crate will allow for the dog to see through with a top, three sides, and a gate.
It’s important to find a crate that’s just the right size for your puppy. Make sure that the crate is not too large, as the puppy will be more likely to have an accident in a larger crate. The perfect size of the crate will have enough space to stand up, turn around and lie down. Make sure to include a comfy bed (that is easy to clean) for you puppy to doze on. A word to the wise, be prepared that a soft plush bed could become a target when the puppy needs to sharpen their new and incoming choppers.
2. Wire playpen. Dog pens with wire panels can be configured to any size or shape you might need. They can also be used to block doorways to rooms you’d like to keep off-limits. This is a must to have when bringing home and training a new puppy.
3. Chew Toys. A new puppy will chew anything and everything in their path— furniture, rugs, socks and especially those new shoes you just purchased. Make sure your new companion has plenty of toys to gnaw on instead, and always offer a toy when you catch them chewing on something they should not.
Our recommendation is to begin with providing a variety, as different breeds and individual puppies gravitate toward different toys. This is not an exact science, and it may take a bit of trial and error to find that perfect fit. Don’t be alarmed when just as a child, your puppy grows attached to their favorite toy. Start with a variety hard rubber busy toys that can be stuffed with dog treats or fillings like peanut butter. These can help keep your puppy occupied.
4. Leash and collar. This is not something that dogs are born to love, but by the proper introduction to a leash and collar or harness, your puppy will learn to not only be good with it, but will become part of who they are. As part of the introduction, make sure that you are not only placing the collar on to take the dog outside, but that they are used to wearing it at all times, or at least most of the time within the house as well. Make sure to not drag your puppy as they get used to this; allow them to move at their own pace.
5. Puppy food and bowls. Just as the puppy will have it’s place to sleep within their crate, they need a designated place that they can expect to find their food and water. Puppies need to eat about three times a day and should have water always available. Purchase high-quality pet food recommended by Dr. Pete and serve it in a stainless steel dog bowl.
7. An enzyme cleaner. Even the best-trained puppy will have an accident at some point, and it should be cleaned up within seconds, when possible. The difference between enzyme cleansers regular household spray is that the enzymes will eliminate odors that only your dog can smell, reducing any reminder that they have gone potty in any particular part of your house. Avoid any cleaning agent that contains ammonia—the chemical smells just like pee to a dog, and since dogs love going where they’ve gone before, this will only lead to your beloved pup repeating the accident.