You adopted a puppy!! Let's get ready
So, you decided to adopt a puppy!! That is amazing. We are so very excited for you! Puppies are just about the CUTEST little things ever… but they do require some special considerations and care. Let’s take a moment to talk about it and get you ready to bring that furbabe home!!
Get your supplies beforehand The first thing you’ll want to do, to be ready to bring your puppy home, is get your supplies together. Things like food and water bowls, food & treats, toys, leash and collar or harness, cage or crate, bedding, grooming supplies, puppy pads and carpet cleaner, etc. are top of the list. Puppy-proof your home and yard Now we have to make sure the space your puppy will explore and play in is safe! You will want to look around your home to identify and remove anything dangerous (or valuable, haha). Things such as cables and cords, cleaning products, plants that could be damaged or ingested (some are poisonous), or other things the pup might chew on that they shouldn’t-- like your favorite pair of shoes-- should be handled prior to puppy’s arrival. *It may be helpful to crawl around “at their level” to gain perspective of what your puppy could get hold of. The same goes for your yard! If you have a fence make sure it is fully fenced in with no gaps for the puppy to fit through. Some owners may choose to use a tie-out line or walk their puppies on a leash for potty breaks-- whatever method you choose please always watch the pup to ensure its safety. It would be smart to make sure there is nothing sharp in the grass or any dangerous plants out here too. Set up care team Before bringing a new puppy home, make sure you have your care team assembled. You will need to establish a veterinarian and book important appointments. You will want to consider if you want an obedience trainer. Will you need a groomer, doggie daycare, or dog walker? If so, make a plan and make those calls, too! :) Potty time Puppies are little and so are their bladders! Expect frequent potty trips, and plan to clean messes sometimes. It is generally recommended to take trips outside with your puppy every two hours in the beginning. This will allow your puppy to get accustomed to the routine and provide many opportunities for success. Also, most puppies won’t be able to sleep through the night without at least one bathroom break so try to mentally prepare yourself to spend at least a few weeks getting up in the night to take the puppy out. *It can be useful to keep the puppy’s sleeping spot near you at night so you can hear when they wake and need to go. Bedtime Speaking of bedtime, another consideration is where will puppy sleep? Will you crate-train? Or set up a specific gated off area? It’s important to know that the puppy will be safe and not get into mischief after lights-out! :) NOTE: Many puppies cry the first night. Everything is new and they might be afraid to be alone. This is normal and will calm down. Again, keeping the puppy near you at bedtime can help! Meeting the family When you begin to introduce your new puppy to the other members of the family or extended circle, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first thing to consider is that every puppy is different and we can’t always know how they will react. Be ready to let the puppy show you how confident or shy they are. Make sure they have a safe place to get to if they are afraid. Oppositely some puppies will LOVE you and every single thing they see, smell, taste… you name it. So, sometimes we have to set the stage for best results. For example, if you have younger kiddos at home, please make sure they are informed and careful about how to approach the new puppy and not try to carry it around. To introduce a puppy to any other animals at home, allow the resident animals to slowly acclimate to avoid stress and aggression. Especially if they are older/grumpier. It’s not recommended to introduce a new puppy to dogs outside the home until fully vaccinated. House Rules It helps to be prepared and consistent with house rules so that your new puppy can learn early and not be confused. Everyone in the house should agree on signs/commands so it is standard and be aware of rules to avoid confusion. Decide if puppy will be allowed on furniture, will puppy eat when you do/be allowed at the table, what commands do you want him or her to know? Beginning house rules from day one sets the tone for a routine AND presents ample opportunity for rewards, praise and bonding too!! :)
And finally, the last thing you need to prepare for when adopting a puppy... is TONS of laughter, infinite puppy licks and kisses, the waggiest of tails, and an overflowing heart filled with love. Puppies are seriously the best. We cannot wait for you to experience that joy!