1. Purchase the necessities
Make sure you have the basics before brining home a new puppy.
- Food/Treats: Ask what food they are currently on and try to keep them on the same diet as the shelter, breeder or previous owner. If you would like to change foods, do it gradually. Introduce the new food little by little by mixing with the old until you have completely changed over. This process should take 7-10 days. Have some training treats to reward good behavior.
- Bowls: You will need a food and water bowl.
- Collar/Leash: Your dog should have a collar on at all times except when in a crate. (The buckle can catch on the crate and cause injury.) Do the “2 finger test” to find the right size: you should be able fit two fingers between the collar and the dog's neck. Be sure to have a leash for dog walks, a 4 or 6 foot leash works best.
- ID Tag: Your dog should have an ID tag on their collar with your name and phone number at all times.
- Crate/Bed: Crate training makes the housebreaking process easier and provides a safe area to confine your puppy when you can't watch them. When a puppy is properly introduced to the crate, they will see it as a cozy and safe home. You can add a dog mat or bed to the crate so they have a comfortable place to sleep. The ideal crate is large enough to allow the puppy to stand up, change positions and lie back down.
- Toys: Toys are very important. You don’t want Fido chewing on your favorite pair of shoes! Get some toys that you and your dog can play with together, such as balls, tug ropes or plush toys. You also want some educational/interactive toys to keep them busy. Never leave your dog unattended with any toy that has small, detachable parts.
2. Routine is key
Decide who is responsible for feeding, keeping a fresh water bowl, daily walks and exercise, clean-up and grooming. Make a weekly/monthly calendar that is posted for the family to see.
3. Dog-Proof Your Home
The #1 mistake new pet owners make is giving a new puppy run of your home! It is essential that you section off an area of your home where your puppy can stay (when they are not in their crate). Consider sectioning off your kitchen area since that is typically flooring (not carpeting) making it easy to clean up any accidents. Move all breakable items to a higher shelf. Make electrical cords inaccessible and block access to any house or garden plants that may be toxic to dogs.
4. Find a Veterinarian
Survey friends and family for a good vet in your area. One of the first things a new pet owner should do is set up an appointment to have your dog examined by the vet within a few days of their arrival. Remember to bring any health records with you and set up a vaccination and check-up schedule during your visit.
5. Visit Puppy Kisses
Go to Puppy Kisses puppy shop for all your new puppy needs: https://www.puppykisses.com/new-puppy-supplies/