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Dogs

Bringing Home Your Puppy

Deciding to get a puppy is a big deal. A lot of time goes into making that decision. When you finally do make that commitment an exciting new journey begins.

First, you pick the breed you want to get. Then you find the breeder. And finally, you make a deposit. And now here you are anxiously waiting for the arrival of your new companion. Time slows to a crawl.

Use this time to get everything ready so that upon your puppy’s arrival they have everything they need. You also begin your quest to find the book of knowledge that will guide you through all your questions.

If you have yet to find such a book, this article aims to take you through preparing your home for a new puppy and the essentials needed.

Food

Your puppy will already be on a specific diet. The breeder will provide you with a small quantity of food that the puppy is eating.

Prior to bringing your puppy, look into whether or not to stick to the same food or feed your little one something else. Consider all the factors and what your dog’s specific breeds nutritional requirements are. To be on the safe side ask your vet for recommendations.

If you do end up switching your puppy’s food, you need to do it in increments as to not give the little one stomach problems. Puppies stomachs are notoriously sensitive, and you should monitor your puppy carefully during the transition to see how the reacts to the new food.

Bowls

Once you have the food you need something to put it in and the possibilities are endless! Ceramic, stainless steel, plastic, fountains, food dispensers, wooden stands, metals stands, and the list goes on. Spending time doing extensive research trying to find out which is best is for your dog is a deep dark rabbit hole.

Luckily, the truth is that it’s a matter of preference. The exception being very large dogs that need elevated bowls or dogs that have a special condition that requires an accessibility feature.

This choice should be based on looks, how easy the bowls are to wash on a daily basis, and how durable the bowls are.
In addition, make sure that the bowls are not made from any potentially toxic material such as soft rubber compounds.

Last but not least, pick a location where there isn’t too much direct sunlight. Otherwise, the water will get warm and this inhibits bacterial growth.

Lounge Area

This is the most fun part. Here you get to create a little area for your buddy.

For the lounge area, decide whether or not you want to crate train your puppy. If you do crate train, you have two options; getting a regular looking metal crate or getting a really fancy crate that looks like furniture.

If you decide not to get a crate, consider puppy-proofing your home and getting a playpen. This will be especially useful for the times when you leave the house, at nighttime, or when you are unable to supervise.

The lounge area needs a bed regardless if it’s in a crate or not. Besides, dog beds are adorable. A thing to keep in mind, consider the size of your puppy after a few months.

If you want to add a touch of personality, consider hanging a dog portrait on the wall above. This helps tie in the whole area together and give it a “finished” look.

Toys

Besides the essentials, toys are a very important part of a young puppy’s life. They stimulate and curb bad chewing behaviour. Start with only a few -one plush toy and at most two chew toys. Kong is known to have very durable chew toys. Too many toys clutter your home and besides, puppies usually have just one favourite toy. When it comes to toys, less is more.

Treats

If you are planning on training your puppy, you are going to need a lot of treats. Dogs are food motivated. What that means is that they will perform if they know there is a reward.

Always check the labels to make sure the treats are appropriate for your puppy’s age. Some treats are only for dogs that are over 12 weeks old.

Training

Training your puppy is crucial. There are several schools of thought when it comes to training. As mentioned earlier, a recommended option is positive reinforcement using treats. There are alternatives such as the clicker, however, generally speaking, they are not as effective as positive reinforcement.

Sign up your little friend to puppy classes to help with socialization and training. Socialization is a very important part of a puppy’s life. This will determine a lot of your puppy’s future characteristics.

House Breaking

Puppies will need to go to the bathroom every few hours. If you do not have a backyard, you can get pee pads and a pee pad holder.

You can also splurge and get fake grass looking pee pads. Do keep in mind that your puppy will not need these for too long.

Some people prefer using a pee pad without the holder as well. If you’re getting a holder you will need to wash it frequently and it is easier to mop the floors rather than clean a pee pad holder. This is especially true if you have a very large dog.

Leash

You will be taking your puppy out frequently at first just for potty breaks. Roughly every couple of hours. That being said, the walks will be short. Puppies get tired quickly. The rule of thumb for walks is 5 minutes per month of age up to 2 times a day.

When it comes to the topic of collar vs harness, puppies are better off wearing a harness. Puppies pull and don’t know how to be walked yet. Until that changes, a harness is safer.

As for the leash, it is only a matter of personal preference. The are no rules here.

Grooming

Keeping your puppy clean may be a challenge at first. They are curious and want to explore everything.
Here are the essentials that you are going to need – a brush, dog shampoo, and nail clippers.

If you are looking for a brush recommendation, I would suggest the Furminator. Yes, it’s pricy but it should last a lifetime.

Preparing for the arrival of your puppy is super exciting. I’ll admit that it’s hard to not get carried away. The best moments are yet to come, they are meeting your puppy for the very first time and when your puppy explores your home. Those are memories that you will cherish forever. It is an absolute joy to add a new member to the family. Many years of unconditional love await.