Be Prepared Before Bringing Your First Puppy Home

5 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Acquiring your first puppy is an important venture. Puppies are adorable, yet they require much attention. If you have had cats in the past, be prepared for an entirely different experience. Whereas kittens are usually independent and litter train themselves, your new best friend is going to need nearly as much attention as a baby.

You will be doing your puppy and yourself a favor by being prepared before you bring him or her home. When getting ready for your new arrival, you will want to make sure you have the following.


If you don't already have a veterinarian lined up, find one before you bring your puppy home. Healthy puppies will make several trips to the vet in their first year of life for vaccinations, spay or neutering, and fecal checks. Should your puppy require medical attention due to an illness or accident, that isn't the time to be frantically searching for a vet.

Be sure to visit potential veterinary clinics to meet the vet and staff. Make sure the facility appears to be neat, clean and someplace you are comfortable bringing your pet.

Puppy Food

Have the food you plan to feed your new puppy at home and ready to feed. However, if it isn't the same food that your pup has already been eating, you are going to want to wean him or her over to the new food slowly. Ask whomever you purchased your puppy from if they would supply you with a bag of the current puppy food being fed. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food into the original. Gradually increase the quantity of the new while decreasing the amount of the old food.

If you aren't sure what food you want to feed your puppy, ask your vet or someone you know who has a healthy dog for suggestions. The choices can get confusing for a first-time dog owner. Some people prefer canned, others prefer dry, some only feed grain free. Ask people why they prefer certain foods. This will help you make an informed decision.

Food and Water Bowls

You may not have put much thought into the food and water bowls you are going to buy for your puppy. The truth is, there are pros and cons to the different materials used for pet bowls.

Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is durable, easy to clean, can be sanitized. These qualities make this a good material for pet food bowls.

Glass – Glass bowls are non-porous, dishwasher safe, can be sterilized making them a good choice when it comes to pet food bowls.

Ceramic – Some ceramic bowls are perfectly fine for pets. The ones you need to be careful with are those that are glazed and aren't clearly marked "lead-free" and "safe for food." Ceramic that isn't marked as safe for foods may contain lead or toxic chemicals.

Plastic – It's best to stay away from plastic bowls. Plastic is a porous material and can harbor bacteria. When plastic is scratched, germs and bacteria can get in the material and may not be able to be washed out.

Travel Safety

Hospitals require parents to take their newborn baby home in an infant car seat. Just as you would keep your child safe, you should also keep your puppy safe in the car. Dogs of any age can cause an accident by jumping around in the car and distracting the driver. Small dogs can get to gas and brake pedals which is very dangerous.

In the event of an accident, or even a quick stop, an unrestrained dog can be tossed around in the vehicle. This can hurt not only the dog, but also the occupants of the car.

Travel crates, especially those that have been crash tested, are one option for your puppy. When using a crate in the car, be sure that the crate is secured by a seat belt or tether. A crate that is launched in the car is very dangerous.

A safety harnesses are a good way to secure your puppy. Harnesses made for vehicles are usually padded, tethered, and some have been crash tested.

As tempting as it may be to have your puppy on your lap while you drive, please don't do it.

These are a few of the important preparations you will want to make prior to bringing your puppy home. Don't forget to have plenty of toys, treats for training, spare towels or bedding, and time to spend with your pup.

Having as much as possible done in advance will leave you more time to enjoy your new family member. Look for puppies at Your New Puppy LLC.