Preparing to bring your new puppy home

Bringing a new puppy into your home is a big commitment. The following checklist is designed to help new puppy owners prepare for bringing their new puppy home. You will need to purchase these basic items:


  • Puppy food – high protein varieties
  • Water and food bowls
  • Collar and a leash
  • A bed (indoor or outdoor)

Other items you may want to consider are:


  • Puppy-safe chews and toys
  • Carpet/upholstery cleaner

Puppy Proof the house: Puppies are bursting with curiosity and chewing is one way they explore objects. Unfortunately, your puppy will not come equipped with the ability to distinguish between their chew toy and your expensive shoes. Therefore, removing items you do not want your puppy to leave a mark on is an important step of puppy proofing your home. Some tips for puppy proofing are:


  • Remove unnecessary items from the floor of your home throughout puppyhood (shoes, clothing and children’s toys are good examples).
  • Cover, remove or put away electrical cords that are within your puppy’s reach.
  • Keep all household cleaners, insect poisons and other chemicals safely stored.
  • Pay close attention to potential hazards in the outdoor area of your home. Be sure that your yard is secure. You don’t want your pup to be able to get out and you don’t want other dogs to be able to get into your yard.

Stock up on chew toys: The more chew toys your puppy has access to, the less likely the puppy will be to chew on your valuable possessions. Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs, and especially young puppies. Praise your puppy when they chew on toys that are theirs and your puppy will soon learn what is fair game and what is off limits.


Purchase an appropriate sized crate: If you plan to crate train your dog, puppyhood is the best time to do so. Crate training allows your dog to adjust to being in a crate so that they will exhibit good behavior in situations such as being boarded, flying on a plane and going to the vet, when being in a kennel may be unavoidable. It is important to instill a positive association with the crate and never use it for punishment. Many dogs learn to love their crates and use them willingly for naps or sleeping at night.


Establish rules to live by: Your puppy will understand the rules of the household much quicker if they are consistent from the start. Decide on the rules by which your puppy must abide before bringing the puppy home. For example, is your puppy allowed on the furniture? Will they sleep in your bed at night? What area will your puppy be confined to during puppyhood? Instilling structure immediately will prevent your puppy from developing bad habits that will become increasingly frustrating as they grow older.


Puppies are wonderfully energetic and curious. Even if you carefully check off each item on this list and feel completely prepared for the arrival of your new puppy, be sure to supervise your puppy when they are roaming free in your home.

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Geoff and Marie-Louise Burton

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