Don’t Get A Puppy…Until You’ve Done These Things!
It’s easy to rush out and bring a pup home when puppy fever strikes. Then you get home and within a few hours panic sets in as you realize you were not really prepared – your home is a mess, you are missing supplies – you begin to wonder if you can handle owning a dog. To avoid this, spend a bit of time preparing for your new best friend before you bring him home. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and more confident in your role as a new dog owner.
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Here are the things you should have on hand before you bring puppy home. This will make your job easier and your puppy more comfortable.
First, a trip to the…Baby store?
We know you are getting a puppy, not a baby! But, there are some vital items to be found at baby stores that can really help you keep your puppy safe and out of trouble. Look for child locks for cabinets and baby gates. While they do make dog gates, baby gates are often cheaper and work in the exact same way. These two items can be a literal life safer.
(If you are getting a long haired breed, you may also want to pick up a bottle of baby powder. It’s handy for detangling mats gently.)
Now To The Pet Store!
It’s easy to be overwhelmed at the pet store – you have more options now than ever before, even when it comes to something as seemingly simple as a leash. Here are the things you should think about purchasing before you bring your puppy home.
Food & water bowls – metal or ceramic are the best choices. Plastics absorb odor and bacteria. Make sure you get a size that fits your puppy, even if it means you will need a bigger one as she grows. Some may be too deep for really tiny puppies to reach.
Crate – if you plan on crate training (and it really is a great thing to do!), start as soon as possible. The younger your puppy is, the easier it is to get them accustomed to it.
Pee pads – if you plan on using pee pads to potty train your pup, make sure you get plenty of these before you bring him home. Most puppy owners find that the trays they sell to put them in do not work – they just become a chew toy. Instead, you can keep them in place with painter’s tape.
Leash & collar – if you know how big your puppy is, then pick out a collar for her so you are all ready to take her out to potty (especially important for apartment life where you may not have a yard). Type of collar and leash is really up to you – leather lasts longer but is more expensive and you know your puppy is just going to grow out of it. Martingale collars are great for breeds with “bullet” heads like Shelties and Greyhounds because they can’t slip out of them. For the lead, 6-feet gives them enough room to explore and go potty, while keep them close so they can’t get into trouble.
Toys – be sure to buy a few toys for your puppy to play and chew on. You should buy several kinds (different sounds, materials, etc.), in case your puppy ends up not like a certain type. Buy more durable
toys to leave with your puppy when you are not watching him. Save the stuffed animals and those that are easily destroyed for playtime with you. Don’t give your puppy all the new toys at once – instead rotate them every week or two so your puppy stays interested in them. Toy rotation saves you money because you don’t have to keep buying new toys when your dog gets bored.
Bath necessities – Don’t forget to buy shampoo and conditioner for your puppy. He may be clean now, but they get dirty fast! Plus, puppyhood is the best time to get your dog used to getting baths. Make sure you pick an all-natural shampoo/conditioner that is safe to use on puppies.
Nail trimmers – This is another thing that is easier if it’s trained early.
Then there are some things that are optional, depending on your living environment and where you plan to have your puppy. X-pens are great if you want to give your puppy a small area in a larger room that is not easily divided with baby gates. If you have a long-haired breed, buy a soft brush so you can start getting her used to grooming at a young age.
Don’t Forget The Most Important Thing…Food!
Usually the breeder will send you home with a small of whatever they were feeding the puppy so that you can transition to a different food without upsetting her stomach. Since many breeders feed low-quality foods, you will want to switch to a higher quality food like Stay Loyal. Stay Loyal’s Chicken, Lamb, & Fish formula is formulated for dogs at all life stages. If you are getting a large breed, choose our specially formulated Large Breed Puppy food that will help them grow at the appropriate rate. Higher quality food will make a big difference in some key factors of a new dog owner’s life:
1. You won’t have to feed as much food!
2. Less poop (and what you have will be less smelly)! Our food doesn’t have all the fillers low-quality food does. Fillers are ingredients that do nothing for your dog, and are just there to make the food more palatable or make him feel full. All those ingredients get passed right through, meaning more poop. Our food means less waste for you to pick up and less chance of accidents in the house while you are potty training. Strong smells, loose stool, and diarrhea are often caused by these fillers – not something you want if your puppy does have an accident in the house.
Choosing a puppy is the fun part – deciding breed, gender, color – it truly feels like Christmas. Getting the things above ahead of time allows you to relax and truly enjoy the day you pick up your new best friend. Then, all you will have to worry about is what to name him! Once your puppy is home, training should start. To help, follow this link and get our FREE puppy training tips that will make sure you and your puppy get off on the right paw.