Resource Center Dog Ownership How to Prepare for Your Puppy's Arrival

How to Prepare for Your Puppy's Arrival

David Mead is the Vice President, Head of Marketing at PuppySpot. Dogs have been an important part of his life since his early childhood. He has a passion for dog training and believes that dogs make the best companions as long as you treat them right.

For most people, the first few days, weeks, and months with a new puppy are whirlwind of emotions. Mentally preparing for this may be the most important "prep work" you can do. Prepare to be mentally and emotionally flexible with yourself and your puppy, and enjoy these early times.

  1. Puppy-proof your space, and have a dedicated area for your puppy. Keep shoes on counters or behind closed doors, and don't give your puppy access to more than one room or area at first.
  2. During the first week, the puppy will be mostly sleeping and getting to know you. Make sure they stay healthy, and that you begin creating a bond through light play, touching, and kind communication. Outside of lots of potty breaks, don't stress about training them perfectly—that will come soon enough.
  3. Food. Having a plan for this before your puppy arrives can ease stress since you'll likely want to be home with the puppy for the first few days—not making trips to the feed store. If you plan to transition your puppy to a new type of food, do it gradually, over 5 to 7 days, slowly increasing the amount of new food vs old food. It's also good to mix a small bit of canned pumpkin to help with digestion and the transition. This is easy to find at pet food stores.
  4. Sleep—similar to food, it's good to have a plan for this. Consistency is key, so if you want your puppy sleeping in a crate at night, starting earlier is better. You can, of course, have that crate near to you for the first several nights, and then move further away once you and the puppy are comfortable with your new setting. 
  5. Potty Plan and Prep. For bathroom issues, EXPECT that there will be accidents. It's virtually impossible to have a puppy that never has a potty "accident" inside. So have the proper cleaning supplies on hand, and give your puppy frequent potty breaks outside, and high praise and many treats when they go potty or poo outside.
  6. Toys, Treats, and Transport Tips. A few toys are great to have ready to roll, as you'll want to play fetch, tug, and more with your puppy from day one. Toys are great for redirecting when your puppy wants to jump or play-bite at hands, ankles, etc. (which is extremely common and nearly guaranteed). Our blog article on driving your puppy around town can be found here, and can provide a lot of peace-of-mind when you need to leave the house with your puppy.

    Video to Prepare Your Home for Your New Puppy

Additional Resources

What Do I Need to Do Before My Puppy Comes Home? (From Baxter & Bella)

Train your Puppy from home with Baxter and Bella 

Protect your pet and your wallet with Fetch Pet Insurance

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