Welcome back! If you’re like many dog lovers here in the Kansas City area, the oncoming spring season is often a time when people experience “puppy fever,” and begin planning and preparing for welcoming a new furry bundle of joy into their lives. In our last post, we looked at some of the questions you will want to ask as you ponder the idea of getting a puppy, and the commitment such an undertaking requires. Puppy ownership is an incredibly rewarding experience that can lead to years full of love, cuddles, and adventures with your canine companion. Planning and preparing for the first few days, weeks, and months of being a puppy parent is essential to raising healthy, happy puppy as they grow into the smart, well-trained, and well-behaved dog you hope to share a portion of your life with. Here is a puppy checklist of supplies, vet appointments, and other aspects of becoming a puppy parent you will want to prepare for before bringing your new furry family member home.
Essential Puppy Supplies
Before bringing your puppy home, you’ll want to have a stockpile of all the necessary puppy supplies ready and waiting for them. Here are some of the essential puppy supplies to have on hand before bringing them home from the breeder or rescue shelter.
Plastic Crate or Wire Kennel
Dogs are pack animals who would, in the wild, live in a den with their mothers and siblings until they are old enough to leave the den. A den provides them security, protection, warmth, and comfort, so you’ll want to create a safe area for them in your home. A crate or wire kennel will provide them with a comfortable space to play, relax, and sleep while you’re at home or away for short times. Additionally, kennel-training can help with housetraining them and giving them a space where they can’t damage your belongings. You don’t want them to feel isolated, therefore, you’ll want to choose a location for the kennel in a central area such as a living room or kitchen. The important thing is to make it a small space that is big enough for them to stand, turn around, and move easily. Drape a sheet over the top of the crate or kennel to make them feel comfortable. You can place a water bowl in their kennel and can lay down a towel for soft padding. Try to avoid putting a dog bed in the kennel until their chewing is more under control, as puppies tend to chew dog beds to shreds in their first few months of life.
There are so many dog food brands to choose from these days that it can feel a bit overwhelming deciding on a puppy food. Call our team here at Eagle Animal Hospital for puppy food recommendations, as we can discuss some of the different feeding options with you. Most puppies will have sensitive tummies in their first few days after leaving their mothers. Most breeders continue to allow suckling into their sixth to seventh weeks, while also introducing kibble into their diet. It’s best to talk to your veterinarian to see what they recommend for your breed, but you’ll want to have food on hand to feed them when you bring them home.
Food and Water Bowls
Make sure to have puppy-safe (and puppy-sized) food and water bowls ready when you bring home your fluffkin so you can feed them and hydrate them. Puppies tend to spill their food and water bowls, so choosing bowls that have a wider bottom and smaller top can help prevent spills.
Collar and Leash
You’ll want to have an appropriately-sized collar and leash for your puppy. While walking them on the leash may be difficult for their first few weeks, it’s a good idea to familiarize them with the leash, especially if you have to walk them or let them out in a public space to use the bathroom if you live in an apartment or the like.
A baby gate can be a godsend during the first few days, weeks, and months of training your puppy. These allow you to block them off from certain areas, and can help when training them to stop biting and nipping at your feet, ankles, and legs.
Schedule a Vet Appointment
You will want to have your puppy scheduled for a visit to the veterinarian for an initial exam. Call your Eagle Animal Hospital team to schedule your puppy for a vet visit so we can meet your pup, examine them, schedule their first round of vaccines and booster shots, and provide you with helpful training instructions and nutritional guidance. These are just a few of the ways to prepare for welcoming a puppy into your home, so be sure to join us next time as we continue looking at more puppy prep tips in part two of our blog series.