Getting a New Puppy? Heres How to Prepare Yourself

For many of us, getting a new puppy is one of the most exciting things that can happen to us. It’s right up there with buying a new home, getting engaged, and even becoming a parent. A puppy is, after all, a new member of the family. A companion that will hopefully be with you for many years, through the good and the bad. A puppy grows into a loyal friend who will be by your side no matter what, providing comfort, love, and even entertainment.

That’s why a puppy deserves the best possible life its new owners can give it. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and joy that bringing a puppy into your home is similar to bringing a human baby home. We focus on how much fun it will be, the visits to the park, the photo ops, the toys, and lounging on the couch.

We forget that puppies, like babies, require a lot of planning and preparation. While a baby is obviously on a different level, you’d be surprised at how the preparation for your fur baby is similar to a human’s. You are fully responsible for the health and safety of another living thing, and that requires a lot of commitment on your part.

You’ll need to find the proper medical care, puppy-proof the house, and have safety measures installed like fences and doggy doors. If you work long hours, you may even need to find a doggy daycare for your puppy to attend. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can prepare yourself as a new pet owner.

1. Find a Vet

Typically, your first official act as a new pet owner will be a trip to the vet to ensure your new family member is healthy. It’s vital to find a vet who meets your needs and that you’re comfortable with. The search should begin before you even get your puppy. If you don’t already have one, start by asking friends and family.

Look at online reviews and check locally. Some things to consider include location (how far you want to drive), office hours, payment options, and range of services. You may wish your options to include a vet hospital that has a full range of services like in-house diagnostics and dental services. This way, you’re not running all over town to find a pet dentist or to get blood tests if needed.

Also, look at if they have emergency and urgent care in case an accident occurs. Don’t ask for a tour before deciding on a vet. Most animal clinics are happy to show you around and meet the staff. While there, pay attention to how the staff interacts with clients and check for cleanliness, the state of the equipment, and the general condition of the facility. Your choice is important because you’re entrusting the health and care of your pet to this facility. Once you have chosen, your new puppy should have its first visit between six and eight weeks of age.

2. Upgrade Your Garage

You may think a garage has nothing to do with getting a new puppy, but a nice garage can be invaluable when you have a dog. There may be times when the pup needs to be separated from the house’s central area. It may be for the company, a repair person, or a cleaning service. You certainly don’t want to stick them in a cold, damp space where they can get into poisons or things that can cause injury.

Then there’s the issue of bathing. While a groomer is always an option, many dogs require more baths than a budget allows, so bathing between visits is necessary. Some dogs are too big for the indoor tub, and the weather doesn’t always cooperate with outdoor baths.

That being said, you can easily upgrade your garage to be a puppy paradise. Start by clearing out and cleaning. Consider installing some insulated flooring or rubber matting. Get anything hazardous off the floor by installing shelves and hanging racks.

Consult with a plumber and ventilation specialist about having a slop sink and heat put into the space. This way, your pup can spend time in the garage and stay toasty. You can also give them a bath in the sink or floor; open the garage door and let the water flow out.

3. Be Mindful of Other Animals in the Area

As a pet owner, you must be mindful of other pets in your neighborhood. Keeping your puppy leashed and exercising care around other dogs can help keep everyone safe and avoid arguments with neighbors. But something else to consider whenever your puppy is outside (even in your yard) is wild animals.

Depending on the area in which you live, animals like hawks, coyotes, and even a bobcat can be a threat to puppies and small dogs. With the loss of their natural habitats becoming more prevalent, these once-secluded creatures are popping up in residential areas. It would be best if you never left your puppy outside by itself.

4. Install an Alarm System

Installing an alarm system can help protect your puppy just as it protects the rest of your family from intruders. This is especially helpful if the puppy is home alone. Security systems are often wired to contact the fire department to save your puppy in an emergency.

Many people find having cameras installed helpful when getting a new puppy. A local electrician can install a puppy cam to monitor your puppy’s daily activities. Sometimes, you may want to check in and see what they’re doing. If you have hired a pet sitter or dog walker, security cameras can give you peace of mind, knowing you can check in and see all is going well.

5. Source A Doggy Day Care

When deciding to get a puppy, you’ll also need to determine who will care for the puppy if everyone is out of the house all day. Several options include a family member or a pet sitter that will come to your home. However, more and more people are opting for doggy daycare. Dog daycare is similar to child and adult day care for humans in that your pup will have all their needs taken care of throughout the day.

Doggy daycare is an excellent alternative for pups with exceptionally high energy, special medical needs, and those who love socializing. The daycare will provide a regular feeding schedule, watering, and bathroom opportunities. Look for facilities that are fully licensed and insured. This is vital in case your pet is injured or is responsible for injury to an employee or other dog.

The facility should look and smell clean, and have an indoor and outdoor space for play and exercise. It should have adequate space for dogs to rest and relax. Tour a few places and ask plenty of questions before deciding on a place.

6. Purchase a Space Bedding for Your Pup

Your new puppy will spend much of its waking hours playing and running around. Ensuring they get proper rest is vital to their health and proper growth. Getting them the right bed is one of the most important purchases you’ll make for them.

A puppy bed should be spacious enough for them to stretch out and change positions comfortably. A round or oval shape with sides is recommended so that they can curl up and feel safe when needed. Be sure the bed has enough padding to keep it warm and off the floor’s hard surface.

Consider beds that are waterproof and easy to wash, as puppies are sure to have accidents. Adding a bed liner will help reduce the spread of messes and make them easier to clean. If your puppy is shy or skittish, consider a cozy igloo-style bed to help them feel secure.

7. Upgrade Your Plumbing

We’re not talking about a complete overhaul of your plumbing system here, but a few simple changes can help keep your new pet safe and save you costly repairs in the long run. If you plan on bathing your puppy in your tub, install pressure balancing valves on your faucets and shower valves. This will help regulate the temperature and prevent quick fluctuations if someone else uses the water.

Next, you’ll want to install good-quality drainstoppers and filters to prevent fur from clogging up your pipes. Consider covering exposed pipes because lesson number one as a new pet owner is – that puppies will chew anything. Concealing pipes is a lot cheaper than hiring a plumber.

Finally, puppies love to drink from the toilets. This mischief can be dangerous, mainly when using chemicals in your toilet. It’s hard to remember to put the lid down every time we use it, so installing a lid that goes down automatically can ensure your puppy will stay safe and dry!

8. Install Tiling in Your Home

Let’s talk a bit about your floors and your puppy. As a new pet owner, you may not know the wear and tear that your lovely carpeting or wood floors can endure. There will, of course, be the inevitable potty training accidents. Still, you’ll also need to consider scratching, chewing, and having a wet, muddy dog enter the house during bad weather.

Let’s not forget the fur, the slobber, and chewed-up toys and bones. All these things can make for extra cleaning for you. Sometimes, the damage is so severe it can’t even be repaired. The best way to avoid all this is to install tiles in areas where your puppy will be the most, especially the mud room and kitchen.

The tile is super easy to clean, won’t retain odors, and is impossible to tear up, unlike vinyl and linoleum. You can put down the area and throw rugs on top of the tile for aesthetics and warmth, and they’re easier to clean. Local tile stores can help you pick an affordable pet-friendly option.

9. Install a New Fence

A fence is a must-have when bringing a puppy into your home. The pup needs to go out not only to conduct “business” but to play, exercise, and get fresh air. A fence is required to keep your pup safe, within the confines of your property, but also to keep other threats out.

Even if you currently have a fence, it’s a good idea to contact a few local fence companies for repair estimates. You’ll want to ensure no holes, loose posts, or any way for the pup to dig their way out. If you’re installing a new fence, consider one that will be high enough, so the puppy won’t be able to jump over it (now or in the future). Also, think about the material you’ll use. You want vinyl or plastic that will reduce the chance of injury wood and metal can bring.

10. Find the Right Diet For Them

Puppies need a diet that is specific to their unique needs. Choosing the right food is crucial to their growth and overall well-being. Always consult with your vet about what to feed your puppy, as some need a diet that’s breed or size-specific.

However, most puppies need a healthy balance of protein, fat, carbs, calcium, copper, and vitamins and minerals. The food should also be easy to digest as a puppy’s digestive system is still developing, and they need something gentler than regular dog food. There are many good quality puppy foods, which can be confusing for a new pet owner.

Your vet or a pet care professional can suggest some of the best for your puppy. If you want to go the extra mile and find out where the ingredients in your pet’s food are sourced. Many companies provide information on what farms sell eggs and other ingredients used in their food.

Welcoming a new puppy is a lot of work, especially for a new pet owner. But with some careful planning, you can give your pup the home and life they deserve for years to come. We hope these tips were helpful.