Getting a puppy for the first time is one of the most memorable experiences for any animal lover. Puppies are adorable, tiny, playful, and the most exciting thing is that you can carry them around everywhere. Consequently, puppies are hard to resist. This explains why most dog owners end up getting a puppy before they understand how to prepare or be ready for one.
That’s why it is important to know that being a pet owner for the first time comes with its share of challenges. There are a lot of factors to consider and decisions to make before you think of introducing a new puppy in your home. Here we look at everything that you need when getting a puppy for the first time, to ensure you and your pet have a wonderful experience.
How to Prepare Before Getting a Puppy for the First Time
1. Make Sure Your Family is Ready for a Puppy
Having a pet is a huge commitment that will impact the lives of all those around your home. Therefore, it is advisable to have a family “pow-wow” to ensure that everybody is comfortable and ready to have the new furry member in the household. Within this meeting, you can agree on who will be the primary caregiver to ensure that the new puppy is well-taken care of.
Moreover, you can also decide on the house rules so that you can hammer out in time to avoid confusing the pup. These include determining whether your puppy will sleep on the couch or bed, as well as if some rooms are off-limits for your dog.
2. Prepare Your House
If you are getting a new puppy, getting your home ready requires a little preparation since they have the knack of getting involved in things that they shouldn’t. Therefore, you will have to do some preparation in your home regardless of your pet’s age.
These may include creating a temporary gated area to keep your dog from getting into particular regions. This is very important as it would help protect your belongings from damage since pups can be champion chewers. Besides, it would keep them from eating things that might cause them to fall sick. Creating a gated-off living space for your dog ensures your pup remains in a safe area. This will be useful even when you are not around, and can prevent housetraining accidents. You can do this by investing in a wireless dog or puppy fence.
Room for Activity
However, it is also a good idea to set a room in your household that would be the center of the activity for your pup. Usually, the kitchen area makes the best choice, but you should remember to remove anything that might get soiled or chewed by your pup. And always keep the area clean.
When it comes to your dog area, what you put there varies depending on the age of your pet as well as how you intend to do house training. Finally, it also important to ensure that you keep anything that could pose a danger to your dog out of reach. These include certain plants, chemicals, and dog-medicines.
3. Acquire the right supplies
The other important thing that you need to do before getting a puppy for the first time is to stock up on the right supplies. Some of the basics that you would need include:
- Water and food bowls
- Dog toys, such as chew toys
- Leash and collar
- Puppy training pads
- Dog foods as well as some treats
- Odor and stain removing cleaners
- Safety gates
4. Find a Veterinarian
It is recommended that your pup visits the right veterinarian for the first time after a few days of coming into your home. The new pup should have a physical examination even if you do not intend to have him or her vaccinated at that given time. This will ensure that your pet is in good health and has no medical complications or issues.
A Good Vet
Finding a good veterinarian before you get your pup is one of the things you need for you to have peace of mind. A veterinarian will ensure that your pup is in good health. Besides, he or she will also advise you on the foods to avoid feeding your little furry friend. Some foods, especially some fruits may not be good for canines. It is good to get a vet with an excellent reputation and in a convenient location. In addition, it is also essential to find a vet at affordable prices for you.
The easiest way to find the right vet is by researching and asking around, especially from other pet owners, family members, and friends with dogs. If you have time, you can also look at online reviewers and even visit the veterinary center and get to have the feel of the clinic.
It is recommended to have all the medical paperwork provided by the adoption group or breeder on your pup’s first visit. This helps the vet to come up with the right vaccination schedule for your new pet. Remember that puppies should get their first vaccination between 6 to 8 weeks of age.
5. Puppy-Proof Your Home
As mentioned earlier, it is important to prepare your home before getting a puppy for the first time. One of the essential things to do is to make sure that you puppy-proof every part of your home. Puppies are known for their destructive behavior. This could be dangerous to your furry friend and frustrating for you. This involves identifying all the things that could potentially hurt your little dog. Some of the things you need to do include:
- Locking cabinet doors, especially those with medications, food or toxic substances as well as any other dangerous household items.
- Hiding all electrical cords, as much as possible
- Keeping shoes, laundry, and other chewable items out of the puppy’s reach
- Ensuring your houseplants are up high to prevent your dog from chewing the leaves.
- Acquiring a trash bin with a locking lid, which should also be kept behind closed doors.
These measures will keep your little dog safe and at the same time, protect your property from damage. However, the most effective way to keep your pup safe is directly supervising him or her. You can also keep him or her in a crate when you are not around.
6. Plan for your Pup’s Home Care
Ideally, you need to learn how to raise and take care of your puppy correctly. Puppies require special care and some form of training to ensure that they grow well and, most importantly, remain healthy. The following are some of the things that you need to do for your pup’s home care:
- Start house training once the puppy comes home
- Find a healthy diet, specifically meant for puppies
- Train your dog to be sociable by taking it to different places. However, you should ensure that your dog mingles only with vaccinated and healthy dogs
- Introduce your dog to obedience training early
- Ensure you stick to puppy vaccines and vet visits schedule
- Plan for routine exercises
- Create time for play and bonding
7. Find the Right Dog Training School
This is optional, but it is also one of the things that you need when getting a puppy as it can make it easier for you to live with your little pet. Dog schools have obedience classes that enable you to bond with your pup and learn how to communicate with them. Moreover, such schools are ideal for little puppies as it helps them to learn how to be comfortable around people and more importantly, around other canines. When looking for a dog training school, do thorough research and search because any person can claim to be a dog trainer.
Bottom Line When Getting a Puppy for the First Time
Getting a puppy for the first time is a wonderful experience, but the first weeks of having him or her in your home will be a moment of adjustment for both you and the pup. Now that you are aware of everything that you need when getting a puppy for the first time, the transition will be more comfortable. Take note of everything in this article and enjoy your new furry family member.