Bringing a puppy home is a wonderfully happy time filled with laughing, cuddles, fun, and that unmistakable puppy smell! However, caring for a puppy entails some responsibility, and it’s essential to prepare your home and family for their arrival.
Puppies, like babies, require a lot of items. To live a healthy and enriched life in their new home, they’ll need food and water bowls, treats, toys, and more.
It’s a great idea to prepare yourself before embarking on this journey. You’ll need to consider everything from training your puppy, feeding, and playtime to health and safety to meet your puppy’s fundamental needs.
With that, below are the essential things you should include in your next shopping list!
Food and Feeding Bowl
Puppies enjoy chewing and playing with anything and everything, including their food and water containers. Metal or ceramic bowls are preferable over plastic since they are more durable. If swallowed, plastic dishes can be dangerous.
You’ll also have to think about what you’ll put in your puppy’s feeding bowl. You can discover more about your puppy’s preferences by talking to the shelter or breeder, in addition to asking your veterinarian what to feed a puppy.
Depending on their age and size, puppies should be fed two to three times per day. Find out what sort of food your puppy has been eating, how often he has eaten it, and whether he has a good appetite, and try to stick to it. Suppose you’re going to switch puppy food, do so over five to seven days.
Changing a dog’s food all of a sudden can result in diarrhea. Slowly include the new meal into his current diet, gradually increasing the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of old.
When you’re outside the house, you should keep your new puppy on a leash for safety reasons. Once your puppy has formed a strong bond with you and has a strong recall, you can let them off-leash in a designated area.
A retractable leash might be an excellent option for you if you have a small dog breed. This kind of leash allows you to let your dog explore a little more while being able to draw them back when someone else approaches.
When your puppy is tied to a retractable leash, be careful not to drop it. If your dog starts to wander away, the retractable leash will create loud noises as it drags on the ground, startling your puppy.
Retractable leashes could work for puppies and tiny dogs, but larger dogs who pull hard can quickly break them. Consider obtaining a regular leash instead if your puppy is anticipated to grow into a larger dog.
Dog Crate and Bedding
A crate is not only excellent for potty training a puppy, but it may also assist in keeping your pet out of trouble when you are not at home. Keep in mind that puppies are like children. Therefore puppy-proofing your home is a must.
Curious puppies will find a way to get into everything they shouldn’t, like trash cans, clothing, electrical cables, pharmaceuticals, requiring continual monitoring. When you can’t keep a close check on your puppy, a crate will give you a break and provide a safe, secure area for him to relax.
When selecting a dog crate, make sure it is the appropriate size for your puppy. It should be spacious enough for your puppy to stand up, stretch, and turn around comfortably, but not so big that they can’t designate a sleeping and toileting area. Dogs don’t usually pee or poop in their crates, but if the kennel is too spacious and they can escape their mess, they may not understand the concept of not going to the bathroom in the crate.
If you’re using a dog crate, ensure it’s adequately furnished to keep your puppy comfortable. Make sure he isn’t ripping or chewing the bedding, as consuming foreign material can make your dog sick or cause an obstruction.
Puppy grooming is an essential part of puppy care. Puppy nails develop quickly, so have dog nail clippers and styptic powder on hand in case accidents happen. You should also have a dog shampoo on hand in case your new puppy gets into anything enjoyable, such as a mud puddle or dog poop.
Human shampoos should not be used on your dog since they can dry up his skin. Because dog skin has a different pH than ours, it’s preferable to use a shampoo designed specifically for them.
A puppy’s best companion is toys, apart from you, of course! It will take a little trial and error to figure out which toys your puppy prefers. Sturdy rubber chew toys and balls that are large enough that your puppy won’t swallow or chew them apart are safe puppy toys.
Any toys with stuffing or substance, such as strings, feathers, or metal bits, should be avoided. The incorrect toys, like your dog’s bedding, can be hazardous if shredded up and consumed.
Chew bones, rawhides, and dental chews should also be avoided. Check the label of the product or toys you intend to give your puppy; some products may be improper or dangerous for puppies under the age of six months, or they may be too harsh for their fragile puppy teeth.
Make sure they’re the right size for your dog and only offer them to him when he’s under your watch. If the pieces become too small, remove them to avoid choking. Otherwise, having a range of toys accessible to occupy your puppy’s time is entertaining.
ID Tag or Microchipping
Your puppy will also require ID tags. Again, pups require constant monitoring, but accidents do occur. If your puppy leaves the house or gets away from you, having ID tags with his name and your phone number will aid in his safe return. This is very useful, especially if you are planning to go on a long trip with your pooch.
Select an identification (ID) tag for your dog’s collar ahead of time. This crucial feature will aid in reunifying you and your dog in the event of an emergency. Most pet retailers will assist you in selecting and designing your ID tag in-store.
All new puppies should be microchipped as well. ID tags and microchips are needed by law in some nations, such as the United Kingdom. A pet microchip with an identification number is injected beneath the skin, between the shoulder blades. That number is then stored in a global database, allowing your dog to be identified if scanned by a veterinarian, shelter, police, or fire department.
Many dogs are microchipped when they are young or by a shelter or adoption agency, so make sure your new puppy is chipped as well. If he isn’t, talk to your vet about the ideal time to do it.
So now that you’re all set to welcome your new family member home, remember to have a good time. Take advantage of all the puppy-hood quirks while they last. Your dog will be fully grown in no time!