Considering getting a new puppy? Before you bring them home, make sure that you have a plan in place!

  1. ┬áResearch and select a veterinarian. If you can, find a “Fear Free” clinic to make your vet visits as pleasant as possible. If you know when you’ll be bringing puppy home, go ahead and set your first appointment!
  2. Research and select your puppy or dog food. Make sure you’re feeding a quality, balanced food. I suggest checking out Dog Food Advisor for more information on puppy food.
  3. Buy your gear now! Go ahead and invest in all things puppy before bringing your new friend home, that way you can budget and purchase items slowly, and be ready for puppy as soon as they come home.
    • Collar and leash
    • bed
    • food and water bowls
    • puppy appropriate toys
    • dog towels
    • dog treats
    • puppy appropriate chews
    • crate or kennel for short term confinement
    • Exercise pen for long term confinement
    • cleaners that break down urine/feces smells, in case of accidents.
  4. Puppy proof your house! Make sure you put away objects your puppy can reach and chew on, cover or hide electric cords, and move trash cans out of reach.
  5. Design a Potty plan!
    • Pick a spot in the yard to take your puppy to
    • Set a schedule – start with every 2 hours!
  6. Create a training plan. Plan puppy parties where lots of safe people can come over and meet your puppy, set up puppy playdates with vaccinated dogs, find a safe puppy class to join (with a positive reinforcement trainer).
  7. Find a positive reinforcement trainer to help you with training troubles!
  8. Get ready for fun!

Here’s an excellent video by APDT on how to prepare for your puppy. Watch for more tips!