Tips for Bringing Home a Puppy

by Melissa R. on January 25, 2013

A crate helps ensure your pet's safety.

A crate helps ensure your pet's safety.

Having just brought home my first puppy, I’ve compiled a quick list of some things we’ve done to be “prepared”… though I’m not sure ANYTHING can properly prepare a person for a new puppy, especially when it is a first!

Tips for bringing home a new puppy:

  • Decide if you will crate train (highly recommended). We are crate training, and although it is a trial, I know the benefits far outweigh the temporary puppy crying.

  • Decide WHERE you puppy will sleep at night, and when you are away. Our puppy has her own room, due to our cats. We want her, and the cats to be safe when we are away or sleeping. Many people have their puppy sleep in a crate, in their bedroom. Others keep their pup in their bed! It’s all your choice. Just whatever you decide: stick with it.

  • Figure out your routine. Puppies need routines and structure. What time will you get up (puppy, too?), how will you manage getting ready for work with a puppy? Have you figured out how to get home to walk/potty your puppy during the workday? When is bedtime?
  • puppy visit

  • Have all the basic necessities: food, dishes, crate, bed?, blankets, towels, CLEANING SUPPLIES (we have cleaning supplies on hand upstairs & downstairs!), toys, more toys, treats, chew toys, clicker for training, collar, leash/harness, nametag, piddle pads?, peroxide in case they eat something bad.

  • Is there a safe area outside for your puppy? An exercise pen if no fenced yard is available? How will you exercise your pet outside and teach her to go potty?

  • Clean up your home! Get cords out of reach, get used to putting away shoes, jackets, anything hanging… Put plants up high. Move things from the floor. Make lots of room for playing.

  • Find a training class or socialization class for your puppy & yourself. Socializing and training are very important; also help build your bond.

  • Find a veterinarian you trust. Research what vaccination protocol you wish to use and ask your vet what diseases may be prevalent in your area. Make an appointment to get your puppy vet-checked right away!

  • Buy a book or read online about housetraining your puppy. Basically, you need to take them out: after they wake up from sleeping, after they eat or drink, after they play, and when they all of a sudden get distracted from playing with a toy and start sniffing….

  • Get ready for lots of playtime, and wonderful oh-so-sweet puppy naps!

This is just a brief list, but hopefully it will help you on your way to enjoying that new fluffy puppy! Check out this post outlining the first few days of a new puppy my former coworker wrote a couple years ago.

puppy-center-email Sign up for our Puppy Email Series to get custom-emails sent to you based on your puppy’s age. We’ll help you understand what is going on in your puppy’s mind and what to expect in the coming weeks.

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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