Bringing a new puppy home for the first time is exciting. But, for many new pet owners, it is also overwhelming.
You are probably wondering what you will need to make your home a welcoming place where your new furry friend can live a happy and healthy life. To help you properly welcome your new pup into your family, we have provided this guide that will tell you everything you need to make your home puppy-friendly!
Read through our checklist, and remember, you can always reach out to one of our qualified Hello Ralphie virtual vets if you have any questions or would just like to make sure you have everything you will need.
Prepare Yourself Mentally for a New Puppy
While puppies are fun, playful, and incredibly cute, they can be a significant amount of work, especially if you are a first-time dog owner. One of the biggest mistakes new pet owners make is assuming that taking a new puppy or kitten home will be fun and games. If you go into pet ownership accepting that there will be difficult and frustrating moments, you will be setting yourself up for success.
The most important things you will need to raise your new puppy are unconditional love and plenty of patience. Once you can offer those two things, you can begin shopping for the essential items you will need to help you raise your new pup!
Essential Puppy Supplies Checklist:
The essential items you will need for your new pup may seem a little bit self-explanatory, but it is worth going over the following list to make sure you do not forget anything:
- Adjustable collar with a name tag that contains your address and contact information
- A small, puppy-friendly leash
- Healthy, vet-recommended puppy food (Booking a virtual vet appointment is one of the easiest ways to know which food is appropriate for your particular puppy)
- Poop bags
- Water and food bowls
Creating a Welcoming Home for Your Pup Checklist:
If you want to make sure your new puppy is happy, the following items will help you make sure your home has everything it needs to feel safe and welcome:
- Appropriately sized, safe puppy-friendly chew toys. (Teething puppies will chew everything in sight if they do not have their dog-friendly chew toys. Do yourself a favor and invest in some durable chew toys designed for puppies. Before you give your new puppy a chew toy, check with one of our online vets to make sure it is not a choking hazard and does not contain any harmful chemicals that could hurt your dog.)
- Chase toys that are safe for puppies. (Puppies are bundles of energy, so you will want some plush toys your puppy can chase and carry. A puppy that is allowed to play will be much happier than one that is left unstimulated.)
- A soft and comfortable dog bed. (Choose a well-made dog bed that is durable enough to survive the inevitable chewing that comes when a puppy begins to teeth.)
- A crate. (A crate is an incredibly important tool for training, and it will also provide a safe place where your puppy can go to be alone.)
- Healthy, vet-recommended dog treats that are appropriate for a puppy. (Again, one of our online vets can recommend some puppy-friendly treats you can use to rewards your new furry friend during training.)
- Dog-friendly shampoo you can use to give your puppy baths (You can also use some brands of baby shampoo on puppies, but be sure to check with a veterinarian to make sure that particular type of shampoo is safe to use.)
- Carpet cleaning spray. (Accidents happen, especially with puppies. Rather than get frustrated, accept the fact that you will have to clean up after your puppy during house training.)
- A puppy-friendly brush for your puppy’s fur.
- Puppy-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. (Taking care of your dog’s teeth is important, even when they are just a puppy. If you have questions about brushing dog teeth, one of our Hello Ralphie virtual vets can go over everything you need to know.)
- A baby gate if you have stairs or rooms you want to keep the puppy away from. (Puppies are curious creatures, if your home has stairs, you will want to put up a barrier to keep your little pup safe. The last thing you want is for your puppy to get injured after falling down a set of stairs.)
Things You Can Do for Your New Puppy
In addition to purchasing the necessary supplies, there are some important steps you can take as a dog owner to make sure your puppy is well cared for:
The first step is making sure your puppy has all of the necessary vaccinations to keep it safe from illness and disease. Speak with one of our online vets if you have any questions about which vaccines your puppy needs or what that vaccination schedule should look like.
Make Time for Walks:
As mentioned above, puppies are very curious and have plenty of energy, so you must give your puppy the chance to get enough exercise. Exploring the neighborhood will also keep your dog mentally stimulated, which helps prevent depression and anxiety.
The more dedicated you are to an appropriate and regular walk schedule, the happier your puppy will be. Just be sure not to overdo it while your dog is still a puppy, as its joints and bones are still growing and developing.
Speak with a Veterinarian:
Booking an informational vet appointment can be one of the most important things you do as a new puppy owner. A vet will go over everything you need to know about raising your new pup healthily and safely. They can provide information about microchips, healthy food, and everything else you would need to know.
Book an online vet appointment today with one of our qualified virtual vets, and we will be able to go over everything you will need for your new puppy. Best of all, you can do your appointment from the comfort of your own home!