Congratulations on getting a new puppy! Introducing a new puppy to your home is very exciting. But before you bring them home, make sure you follow the new puppy checklist.
Stock up on essentials
We know, it’s easy to splurge on your new puppy. Here’s a list of essential supplies you will need before you bring them home:
- collar and leash
- ID tag
- car harness
- food and water bowls
- Long lasting chews and treats
- chew toys, comfort toys and play toys
- grooming supplies (brush and combs, ear cleaning solution, nail clippers, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush and dog toothpaste, towels)
- dog poop bags
Establish ground rules
Another item on the new puppy checklist is to plan for your new puppy’s care in advance. Make sure everyone in the household knows their responsibilities.
Who will feed them? Who will walk them? Who’s going to clean-up after them? Will your puppy be allowed on your bed? On the couch? Where will your new puppy sleep? All these things should be worked out before your new puppy comes home.
Puppy-proof the house
Your new puppy will explore their new environment and get into things. They will also chew things. Walk through each room of the house and check that it’s safe for them.
Make sure you regularly “sweep” the house once you have brought them home for hazards, toys or food laying around.
Set up their crate and living space
One of the most important items on the new puppy checklist is to set-up your new puppy’s crate and living space.
Dogs like small, confined spaces when they are feeling insecure. And we cannot stress enough the importance of crate training your puppy.
Their crate should be big enough for your puppy to stand up, stretch, turn around and lie down. Crates can be plastic, wire (which are collapsible) or collapsible fabric crates. We don’t recommend leaving your puppy in a fabric crate for too long because they may try to scratch their way out of it.
A puppy’s crate should be their “safe space” or “security blanket”. Outfit their crate with a soft bed or blankets. We recommend draping a blanket or towel over the crate to create a cosy, warm den in the cooler months.
Make sure you have plenty of goodies and toys for their crate too. Being in their crate should be a positive, fun experience for your puppy.
Also set up a temporary gated-off area within the house like an exercise pen or playpen. Exercise pens are a set of wire panels that lock together to keep your puppy in a confined area. Or you can use baby gates to create zones for your puppy within the house.
For your puppy’s area, choose a part of the house where there’s plenty of activity so your puppy won’t feel isolated. Make sure this area has easy-to-clean surfaces too.
Crate training and having a playpen for your puppy will teach them the boundaries of the house and keep them safe. Traveling in the car, visiting the vet or keeping your puppy settled after an injury or surgery, is so much easier if your puppy is crate trained.
We’ve written another blog about the secrets to crate training your dog, which you can read by clicking here.
Some rescue organisations and breeders provide puppies that are microchipped. Be sure the registration has moved to you, and that all the information is updated especially your phone number and address. If your puppy isn’t microchipped, talk to your puppy’s vet about getting them one.
Book a vet appointment
Your new puppy should see their vet within the first few days of coming home. If this is your first puppy and you don’t have a regular vet, then do some research and ask friends or family for a referral.
Your vet will be able to advise you about vaccinations, flea treatment and worming. Generally, puppy vaccinations start at 6-8 weeks of age. Boosters are given at 4 to 6-week intervals until your puppy is about 18 to 20 weeks of age.
Find a good puppy playgroup and puppy training school
The final item on the new puppy checklist is to register your new puppy for some basic puppy training courses. Basic puppy training courses are important for raising well-mannered, socialised and good-tempered dogs. It is also a great opportunity to spend quality time with your puppy and bond with them. Make sure you find a dog training school that uses positive reinforcement training techniques.
What you do NOT need for your puppy
Please do not include shock collars, citronella collars, prong collars, choker chains, sporn harnesses or spray bottles on the list of things you need for your new puppy. You never need these things. They are cruel and unnecessary.
Again, congratulations on your new puppy! Following the new puppy checklist and taking care of these things before bringing your puppy home will ensure your household is fully puppy-prepared.
At Fur Get Me Not, we offer small group training classes for puppies and puppy playgroups to help you and your new puppy adjust to a new life together and to build a strong bond. Register your puppy for a puppy playgroup by clicking here.