Thinking of bringing home a new puppy? Do your research and gather the supplies you’ll need before you bring your four-legged friend home.
Plan for Your New Puppy
Keep these factors in mind when considering puppy adoption.
- Ask Questions: What kinds of dogs do you like? Do they have special needs, and what are their typical behaviors? What’s your budget? How will the dog care duties be divided? Is anyone allergic? How will the family train him?
- Take Measure: Look at the space at home and the size of your yard. Then, select a breed you think will be comfortable in your space. Call your local animal shelter to get knowledgeable breed advice from a staff member. You can also check out the price of supplies in the pet aisle.
- Sneak a Peek: New to dog ownership? Spend some time with dogs. Chat with other owners in dog parks. Dog-sit for a neighbor, friend or relative. Visit the nearest breeder, humane society or animal-rescue shelter. It can help give you a better understand of what type of care dogs need. It can also help you decide what kind of dog you may want.
- Have a Meeting: Whether you go with your gut or tally the score among family members, decide on puppy duties now. Create a weekly chore chart and get everyone to commit to their part.
Build Your Defenses
As the commanding officer of your household, equip your crew and secure your headquarters for the puppy’s arrival. These tools can help minimize potential puppy messes and get your puppy started out on the right paw:
- Storage bins for food and supplies
- Baby gate
- Stain remover
- Dog-designated towels — dry him off and protect your couch and car seats
- Cleaning wipes or paper towels
- Old newspapers
- Biodegradable waste baggies
- Plastic-bag caddy or tote
- Poop scoop
- Tennis racket or ball thrower
- Training whistle or bell
- Book about your chosen breed and training guide
- Pet insurance
Welcome Your New Buddy
Create an environment that encourages learning, obedience and playfulness. Pick up these puppy essentials:
- Food and water bowls
- Recommended puppy food
- Adjustable collar and ID tags
- Leashes — fixed length and/or retractable
- Dog bed
- Training crate with towels or cushion — could function as bed or dog house
- Carrier crate
- Grooming tools — brush, comb and nail clippers
- Dental-hygiene kit
- Flea and tick treatments
- Chew toys for play and dental health
- Play toys
- Puppy treats for training rewards
Do the Doggie Duty
Understand and accept the commitment it takes to be a responsible dog owner. Family members who share pet duties also share a sense of bonding with the new puppy.
- Timing: Adopt a puppy when you know you’ll have the time and patience to train him and give him attention.
- Totals: Remember, pet ownership comes with costs. Budget for initial fees like adoption, vaccinations and spay / neutering, in addition to ongoing fees for food, grooming, flea treatment, pet insurance, vet visits and more.
- Tasks: Daily duties include feeding, refreshing water bowls, walking, training tasks and cleanup. Weekly activities include washing and grooming; periodic responsibilities include flea and tick treatments, vaccination boosters and health checkups.
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