How to prepare for a new puppy

How to prepare for a puppy – 9 must steps to follow

Bringing home a new dog, or especially a puppy, is a big thing and you need to be really prepared for what it can bring.

Knowing how to prepare for a puppy can be challenging if you never had a dog before.

Your preparations have to start a few weeks before it happens. There are many steps to follow if you want to do it properly, so let’s start.

#1 Make a family decision

What usually happens in many homes is that children love to have a dog. Kids are small and they don’t understand all the implications of bringing a puppy home.

We as adults, have to make the right decision and think about how a new dog will affect the daily routines of our family.

Things you would need to consider are:

  • who is the primary caretaker – in other words, who trains and feeds that dog (mostly)
  • where the dog will sleep – will it be a crate or fenced section in a room or outside
  • will your dog be allowed on the bed or couch?
  • who will be collecting poop during walks or in the garden

As you see there is a lot of things to consider, and it is important to make a conscious family decision.

How to prepare for a puppy
How to prepare for a puppy?

What usually happens in many homes is that children love to have a dog. Kids are small and they don’t understand all the implications of bringing a puppy home.

We as adults, have to make the right decision and think about how a new dog will affect the daily routines of our family.

Things you would need to consider are:

  • who is the primary caretaker – in other words, who trains and feeds that dog (mostly)
  • where the dog will sleep – will it be a crate or fenced section in a room or outside
  • will your dog be allowed on the bed or couch?
  • who will be collecting poop during walks or in the garden

As you see there is a lot of things to consider, and it is important to make a conscious family decision.

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#2 Buy necessary items

A big part of knowing how to prepare for a puppy is what to buy to make your dog comfortable on its first day home.

You are bringing a puppy home so there are a few other things for a puppy to buy. 

Let’s list them all here.

  • Crate – dogs and especially puppies like to have their own space as they feel comfortable inside. Whereas it might look weird, it is a good idea to let the puppy inside the crate for the night and lock it. This way you know, your puppy will not be wandering around the house during the night and you don’t have to clean if any accidents happen. Normally dogs get used to the crate quickly as they find it as a safe spot. Make sure you keep it open during the day.
We prepared Capri a nice bed were she felt comfortable
We prepared Capri a nice bed were she felt comfortable
  • Collar – this is obvious, but what is not, is that you can attach an engraved small plate with your mobile number in case your dogs get lost
  • Leash – short and long leash is perfect. We use a short leash only in crowded areas, and a long leash when we go to the park, and our dog, Capri loves it.
  • Leader – it is a special design collar with an adjustable strap that helps you to walk the dog. In other words, you can use a leader to teach your dog to walk next to you and do not pull the leash.
  • Food – we always recommend premium food as the better food your dog eats the less digestive problem it has, thus it will live longer.
  • Bowls – one for food, and a bigger one of water
  • Treats – excellent small pieces of dry food that you can use in training.
  • Bed – we recommend buying at least two beds. One, for inside the house, and the second for the outside (if you have a garden).
  • Toys – this is a must as if your dog is bored, especially the puppy, it will chew on everything if it does not have any toys. This obviously will not stop a puppy to wander around looking for something to buy. Some dog breeds can learn to only chew on their toys.
  • Stain Removal – it is a spray that removes odour when your puppy pees on the carpet
  • Fence or dog gates – a good idea is to allow a dedicated space for your dog inside the house. You can do it by fencing off a corner in one of the rooms.
How to prepare for a puppy
How to prepare for a puppy? – Buy a comfortable bed

#3 Prepare your home

There are a few necessary preparations you have to do before bringing your puppy home.

Allocate dog’s space

Dogs like to have their own space where they feel safe. This can be a corner of the room or a place in the kitchen.

Make sure it is a room where someone is around all the time, so your puppy will not feel isolated.

Clean the floors from any chemicals

Dogs like to chew on things and they often don’t know if a piece they chew is good for them. 

Thus, you have to remove all chemicals, rat poison bags, or medicine from the reach of your dog.

Also, some plant are poisonous so make sure they are removed as well.

Make sure the floors are walkable

This sound weird but this is what happened in our case so it is worth mentioning.

Some floors are very slippery like polished tiles or wooden floors. In our house, we have exactly that, and when we brought Capri home, she was scared to walk on the floor upstairs.

Capri is a border collie mix with a whippet, so she has long legs. We noticed that she was so uncomfortable so we had to buy some carpets and even little mats for the stairs.

Now, she is happy.

We had to put anti slip mats on stairs so Capri is not sliding
We had to put anti slip mats on stairs so Capri is not sliding

This sound weird but this is what happened in our case so it is worth mentioning.

Some floors are very slippery like polished tiles or wooden floors. In our house, we have exactly that, and when we brought Capri home, she was scared to walk on the floor upstairs.

Capri is a border collie mix with a whippet, so she has long legs. We noticed that she was so uncomfortable so we had to buy some carpets and even little mats for the stairs.

Now, she is happy.

#3 Plan your trip home

It is recommended, you bring someone with you when picking up your new puppy. When you drive home, there are two options. 

You can either place the puppy inside a crate and secure it. Alternatively, it can stay at the back but with someone, but still, the puppy has to be securely attached to the seat lock.

If you have a long driving distance, make sure you plan for frequent stops as you don’t want any accidents in your car.

#4 Stay home first week

It is important to not leave a new puppy home in its first days. Your dog will adjust faster if you are home and taking good care of it. 

Make the environment as comfortable as possible and don’t scream at the dog even if an accident happen.

#5 Introduce puppy to a crate

This should not be difficult, but some dogs need time to adjust. Never force your dog inside as this will only have a negative effect and as a result, the dog will never want to go inside.

What we did with Capri was, we dropped some treats inside, so she walked inside herself. This trick also helped when she was going to bed.

During the day keep the crate open.

#6 Start your training

The sooner you start the easier it will be to control your dog. First, you can start teaching good manners like toilet training and some basic commands.

Read how to teach your dog to Sit

Read how to teach your dog to Stay

Teach your dog to Sit with Capri
Teach your dog to Sit with Capri

#7 Setup a routine

Applying routine to your dog’s life is one of the most important things. This includes a schedule for meals, walks, toilet breaks and exercise.

Your dog, the especially puppy, will wait for these things to come every day and it will not be confused.

Not all dogs are the same, so you have to observe your dog behaviour and adjust the schedule to it.

#8 Register the dog and get licence

Whereas registering a dog is compulsory in most countries, getting a dog licence is not.

Thus, register your dog under your name as soon as possible. If you are required to get a dog licence do it as well.

In addition, it is a good idea to microchip your dog, so in case you lose it, the microchip will halp to find your puppy.

#9 Find a good vet

This is a final and very important step. Your new puppy is your new family now, and you want all the best things to happen. 

Keeping regular checks on schedule is crucial to maintain your dog health. When you visit the vet first time make sure you do it as casual as possible. Your dog will sniff there is something wrong immediately.

Also, finding a vet that is liked by you and your dog can be not easy either.

In our case, our first vet visit was not successful as only at the second vet place we found a vet lady that Capri liked a lot.

How to prepare for a puppy – summary

As you see, there is a lot to consider. Knowing how to prepare for a puppy can really help you ease the process of bringing it home.

What is important to remember, is that a dog is not a toy. It is an animal that has its needs and desires and when we decided to bring it home we have to take good care of it.

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Brain Training for Dogs

Brain Training for Dogs was developed by CPDT-KA certified dog trainer Adrianne Farricelli. CPDT-KA stands for Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed.

Adrienne lives in Arizona with her husband and two amazing Rottweilers and she is passionate about dogs. She was featured in USA Today and Every Dog magazine and also contributed to eHow and All Experts.

Her Brain Training for Dogs program helped thousands of struggling dog owners all over the world.

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