All you wanted for Christmas was a new puppy and you got it! It’s so cute and lovable, but it is also a lot of work and responsibility. Your newly adopted pet, whether just a puppy or an adult dog, will need plenty of training, time to adjust to its new home/family, and dog care items, such as toys, food, a dog crate, a dog bed and dog gates. And don’t forget the furniture protectors for yourself!
To keep from feeling overwhelmed by your new furry family member, prepare as best as you possibly can and understand what you’re getting into by adding a dog to your home. Improvements has some advice to help you make sure you and your home is ready for your new furry family member.
Prepare for Your New Puppy
It’s best to puppy-proof your house prior to bringing home your newly adopted pet. But if you didn’t get the chance before, make it the top priority for your puppy’s safety as well as for the sake of your home. Put away all clutter and push back everything that is at puppy level so the wag of a tail or a curious nose won’t knock it over. Tuck away all electrical wires as well to avoid a shocked puppy if it tries to chew one.
Dogs chew and shed so be sure to protect your furniture from both with furniture covers. Puppies drool and have potty accidents so choosing a waterproof furniture protector may be in your and your furniture’s best interest. Carpet and floor protectors will also come in handy during the new addition’s acclimation to its new routine. You may want to look into an absorbent doormat that will keep muddy pawprints on it rather than throughout the house.
And now that your house is as ready as it can be, it’s time to get the puppy everything it will need.
What a Puppy Needs
Of course, everyone knows that a dog needs the basics of food, treats, water bowl, grooming items, collar with ID and leash. It is also equally important for your new dog to have plenty of toys. Durable chew toys and puzzle toys will keep the puppy or dog occupied and challenge them mentally. They will help engage your new pet and keep it stimulated, especially when you have to leave him/her home alone. Stuffed toys and tug toys are great too, but only allow them when the dog is supervised. You don’t want your dog ingesting stuffing or a squeaker!
One of the most important items you can provide your new furry family member is a dog crate – a safe space to call its own. If you are planning to crate your new dog while you are away from the house, train it to like its “place.” Make it comfortable with bedding. Allow the dog to go into the crate when you are home with the door open. This will help the dog be comfortable when you close the door and leave it in the crate for longer periods of time. Do not use the crate as a place of punishment. You don’t want it to be a chore to get your dog in its crate when you’re running late for work!
If you don’t want to use a crate as a dog’s safe place, then invest in a pet gate to confine it to a certain area. Easily movable dog gates are also great for keeping the dog out of rooms you don’t want it in (i.e. the kitchen, the basement, the laundry room, the kids’ playroom, etc.). Dog gates are also great tools to help train your dogs on boundaries and rules around the house.
Puppy Care and Training
When getting puppy food, do your research to find what works best for your dog and your budget. Find a veterinarian in your area that you trust to take great care of your furry family. Consider meeting with/interviewing veterinarians prior to bringing home your puppy.
Training your new dog is going to be the key to everyone’s happiness. Give the new dog time to decompress and acclimate to its new routine. Expect a few hiccups along the way. It will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and let you focus on the unconditional love you’ll get. And remember a new dog is a lifetime commitment, not just a Christmas gift that gets forgotten about. Although coming home every day to that wagging tail will be a happy reminder!
Do You Have Everything You Need for Your New Pet?
Our checklist will help make sure you are prepared for your new puppy. Do you have everything you need such as dog crates, dog gates, and furniture covers? Check out our pet supplies to see if you are missing anything!