I got a puppy, now what?
You’ve been searching for your 4-legged soul mate and finally found the lucky puppy who will be coming home with you. The level of excitement in the family is at an all-time high! But then reality hits, and excitement turns into panic. Breathe… we are here to advise you with the early days and to help create the optimal environment for you and your new pup.
Before your bundle of joy arrives at their forever home: how to puppy proof your house
Puppy proofing is your first step in ensuring a safe environment for your doggo and protecting your possessions against the one puppy army that is on its way. Puppies LOVE to chew, therefore hiding items out of paws’ reach will be your best option.
We’ve collected a few items that seem to attract puppies’ interest & chompers:
- TV remotes
- Kids’ toys
- Electrical Cords
- Furniture legs – especially the antique kind
- Pot plat stands
- And pretty much anything that can fit in their cute little mouths
Now it’s far from doom and gloom, and proper preparation can save you from throwing away bite-ridden charging cables.
Simple solutions include deterrent sprays and limiting the pup’s access to some rooms, as well as a stern but not harsh “NO!” to stop them when caught in the act. These tricks can alleviate the issues and start your journey to owning the good boy or girl you’ve been yearning for. Remember to reward good behaviour like a small treat when they chew on their actual toy.
With your new family member comes a few new additions to your shopping list, especially in the early days. Here’s what to purchase before you get a puppy:
- A crate large enough for the pup to stand up and turn around in for the next several months.
- Food and water bowls. Check out these cute ones.
- Puppy food
- Collar and leash
- Dog car seat and travel bed system.
- Washable bed (or two)
- Chew toys
- Baby gates to block off rooms
- Stain- and odor-removing cleaners
- Contact info for a vet
- Pet insurance. Check out DotSure or ask your current insurance provider for available options
- Toilet training pads
- A lot of patience! (When we find an online retailer that sells patience by the boat load, we’ll let you know. For now, a glass of wine or a cup of tea and looking at their cute little faces will have to do.)
Your new family member arrived, now what? What to expect in the first week of owning a puppy:
Patients, love, and care are on top of the list, but cuddles can only get you so far. The first few days can be the most exciting and tiring at the same time. Being prepared will leave you more time for taking pics for your pup’s TikTok account and less time picking up unpleasant items.
Keep the looky-loos at bay for now
As much as you want to say yes to your best friend’s puppy shower, keep the number of fresh faces and excitement at a calm level. In the first few weeks of your puppy’s arrival, getting them acquainted with their sounds and familiar with the family is more important than having friends over for the first meeting. We know it will be hard to keep them away but sharing photos and video calls will have to do for now.
Creating and introducing your puppy to their own space
Creating a secure and cosy space will help ease them into the home and serve as their safe space when things get a bit much in the first few weeks. A crate is a worthwhile investment or create a dedicated corner in a room where they are comfortable to sleep in. Filling their space with toys, blankets, and anything cosy will help them use and enjoy their new little puppy paradise.
While unpleasant smells and ruined socks are inevitable, we have a few tips to keep this to a minimum and to get potty training over and done with.
- Vigilance is key.
Keeping one eye open and focused on your pup will help keep unplanned potty accidents to a minimum.
- Do you have to go?
Frequent bathroom trips will help you figure out their routine and will get them acclimated to their new loo.
- Who’s a good puppy?
Rewarding good potty behaviour with treats and cuddles will help them understand the rules of the house and will help save your carpet in the long run. Here are a few tips for potty training to save on your IG.
Sleep is for the weak!
The first few nights will be tough, but you can make it easier on the both of you with a few basics… and coffee.
- Where are they sleeping?
The first few nights will be active for sure. Having them at arm's reach will help comfort them and keep them feeling safe in the middle of the night.
- Pre-sleep schedule
Establishing a bathroom routine before bedtime will help them sleep tight and keeps the potty urges at bay throughout the night.
- Their slice of sleepy-time heaven
Once they’ve taken to their day bed and have grown to love it, take it with you in the bedroom, this will help them catch a few extra Zzzs and will help you get some rest for the next day with your buddy.
Playtime is best time
Your puppy loves to play, like really, really likes to play but it’s important to keep playtime both pleasurable and productive.
Here are a few classic games that have kept dogs occupied for ages:
- Puppy pinball
Create a circle with family members or friends (sit in a circle) around your pup and take time calling their name. Once they come to you reward them, this will help them not only burn off energy but will also help them learn their name and understand what “come here” means.
- Hide and seek
Hiding behind the counter or curtains and calling their name helps them learn your voice and rewards them for responding to their name.
- Tug of war.
Playing keep away and tug of war helps burn off energy and helps establish the “leave” command in a fun and playful way.
Now for the serious stuff
Keeping your puppy safe and healthy is the top priority. The first vet visit is sure to be an eventful one and should be done as soon as possible. Having your pet vaccinated, dewormed and flea-proofed will help keep them smiling for years to come.
Regular visits will keep you informed and will help spot potential issues early and to help you gain the knowledge you need to be the best puppy parent you can be.
At the end of the day, you can only prepare so much. Bringing a new member into the family is a different experience for everyone, as long as you do it with love and care. In time, you will be rewarded with a dog that loves you and your home as much as you love them.
Good luck! And remember to tag us on your new puppy pics, please! ◖°ᴥ°◗ We can’t get to see them!