It can be an exciting time for your family to welcome home a new furry bundle of joy. Ensuring your puppy’s success at home is important for the puppy’s development and training. Here are a few items you will want to have available:
- A crate. The crate serves as the puppy’s den or safe place. Having a special, quiet spot for the puppy to go will help them adapt to their new home. Keeping a familiar item in the crate may help ease the puppy of fear or anxiety. Be sure anything you put in the crate remains clean. If the puppy eliminates in the crate, it should be quickly cleaned and sanitized, along with food dishes or toys that were inside.
- A ceramic, stainless steel, or glass set of food and water dishes. Plastic is not recommended. Make sure your puppy has their own dishes and try to keep the dishes in the same place.
- A quality pet food. Foods at bargain or super stores may be cheaper, but they are not always better for your pet. You need to select a quality food and continue to feed your puppy the same food throughout its life. If you notice any issues with food, you may need to change to determine the best one. Your vet can help with this. Never completely switch your puppy’s food, but ensure that you slowly introduce new foods, unless your vet specifies otherwise. Also, pay attention to food recommendations on the pet food bag. Remember that as your puppy grows, they may need different servings or foods. For example, puppies need special nutrition to help them grow and develop. Do not let your puppy “free roam” as this may promote obesity.
- A proper fitting collar and leash. It is important to train your puppy early to ensure success with walking on a leash. Do not let the puppy lead or pull, but try to encourage the puppy to walk next to you. While your puppy will not stray far at first, eventually they will become more courageous and want to explore. A collar and leash ensure your puppy does not go where they shouldn’t or get into anything dangerous. Make sure you can fit your fingers between your puppy’s neck and the collar (about 2 inches). Check this as the puppy grows to make sure the collar fits appropriately.
- Identification tag. Make sure you have a tag made with the puppy’s name and your contact information in case your puppy gets lost. You may also opt to microchip your new puppy. A veterinarian can help you with this service.
- Toys. New puppies love to explore new toys and games. They enjoy chewing and may still be teething. Finding them toys they enjoy helps encourage puppies to chew things you select, preventing mishaps with shoes or other household items. Toys also encourage exercise and family bonding. Ensure the toy is not small enough to fit completely in the puppy’s mouth, or he could choke. Be sure that if your puppy shreds or breaks a toy that pieces are quickly picked up- not eaten or swallowed.
- Training treats. Small, low calorie treats are a great way to encourage your puppy to learn positive behaviors. Remember that puppies have small tummies and treats should never be more than 10% of a puppy’s daily calorie intake. Early on, providing a treat and telling your puppy “good boy/girl” in a calm voice while eliminating outside may encourage faster housebreaking. Once your puppy develops, they can be used to teach your puppy to sit, stay, lay down, shake, or other tricks.
We hope these ideas help you as your family enjoys their new member. You may also want to pick up a dog bed, carpet shampoo, puppy shampoo, puppy training pads, a pooper scooper, or other training materials.