There are many articles out there that focus on the things that new puppies need in their first months at your home. We’ve seen the “Top 5 Things” and “25 Things” on other blogs – mostly they focus on attractive accessories that fit in with the lifestyle you have. Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with buying a designer food bowl as it will serve the purpose for which it was intended.
Expensive chew toys and therapeutic beds might certainly interest your new puppy, but they will be far more interested in your dirty socks than a woven pull toy. Many a dog owner tries to get their pup to snuggle into their new super, cushy memory foam bed with the dog paw cover when all they really want is to find a quiet corner with an old towel that smells like home.
If you are a first-time dog owner and are getting a puppy, here are a few things that you should have before you bring puppy home.
- Lots of old towels. Puppies will have accidents, will track dirty feet on your kitchen floor, and occasionally get into things they shouldn’t. Other than for clean up, a pile of these towels will give them a place to dig and bury themselves and generally have a great time in a safe environment.
- If you are going to be crate training your dog, make sure you have food and water bowls that fasten securely to the inside of the crate. These can be plastic bowls or pails hung by hooks. When confined to their crates, a bowl left on the crate floor will get toppled easily and you will be cleaning up that mess as well.
- Feed the puppy the same food as the breeder did (or where you got the puppy from). If you intend to switch foods, do it slowly and mix the old and new foods together, gradually lessening the amount of old food in the mixture. An abrupt switch in food will cause diarrhea in a puppy or dog. That’s one of the reasons that we recommend having Diarrice in every dog owner’s pantry. You never know when your new puppy will get into something they shouldn’t, and that “something” will usually cause diarrhea.
- Your puppy will be used to a noisy environment, whether you got your puppy from a breeder, a pet shop or a shelter. Bringing puppy home changes that environment from a noisy chaotic one to a quieter home environment – especially at bedtime. Some people use white noise machines to create soothing sounds the first nights the puppy comes home. Others save a dryer load for bedtime to create a repetitive sound. A window air conditioner in the next room or fan will also serve to provide a hum that can lull puppy to sleep. Until the puppy gets used to their new home, they will be lonely and perhaps a bit afraid so you want to do everything you can to try and provide a calm, hospitable sleeping environment for them.
When you bring a puppy home it is the beginning of a loving and trusting relationship that will last all their lives. Your puppy will give you unconditional love and all you have to do is make sure they are fed, there is plenty of water, an opportunity for play and train them to respect your home. The rewards to you will be endless.