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Bringing Home a New Puppy: Steps to Prepare

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UPDATED: Mar 24, 2020

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Bringing home a new puppy is an incredibly exciting experience — and a huge responsibility. You and your puppy will experience a transition period as you get to know each other’s habits and personalities.

a young pug puppy at his new home

While raising a puppy may seem initially overwhelming, there are a few things to do before your furry friend comes home that can make this adjustment easier.

A puppy is easily excitable, especially in a new environment, so you must be properly prepared for every outcome. Otherwise, frustrations may arise when you find yourself needing to make costly repairs to your home.

Do Your Homework

Doing your research before buying a puppy can help you learn more about that particular breed’s habits and tendencies. Dogs are as diverse as people, with different temperaments, personalities, and behaviors. Where Akitas are known for their stubbornness, beagles are extremely tolerant.

Though these traits are what make your puppy unique, there are a few common habits to look out for. Some breeds are more likely than others to engage in potentially destructive behavior, such as chewing on furniture, doors, or carpets. There are different types of destructive behavior, including:

  • Primary destructive behavior
  • Secondary destructive behavior
  • Obsessive-compulsive-related destruction
  • Separation anxiety-related destruction
  • Fear-related destruction
  • Territorial destruction

It’s important to know as much about the breed as you can to focus on properly training your puppy. Even if your dog might not necessarily exhibit these particular traits, it’s good to know what could happen. It not only prevents potential problems with your puppy’s physical health, it will likely also decrease damage to your furniture and other belongings.

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Puppy-Proof Your Home

Just like curious, active toddlers, puppies will get into things they aren’t supposed to. As cute as they are, puppies are equally mischievous, and it is important to make sure all potentially harmful objects are out of reach. Some common areas to consider are:

  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Garages
  • Cleaning supply closet
  • Rooms with cat supplies
  • Back and front yards

Taking time to clean up ensures your home is safe for the dog to be in. For example, open-lid trash cans contain a multitude of curious smells for puppies, which could result in a mess or in them ingesting hazardous food. Electronic cables can also be harmful if chewed, as well as decor that is easily knocked down.

Some plants are poisonous to dogs as well, which could result in vomiting or stomach pain. Be thorough; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Consider Pet Insurance

While no one likes to think about their dog getting sick, it does happen, and the vet bills can be costly. Puppies need a lot of check-ups and vaccinations throughout the first several months of their lives. Investing in pet insurance helps reduce the cost of vet bills.

Most of the well-known insurance companies, including Nationwide and Progressive, offer pet insurance which helps cover many of the procedures your puppy (and older furry friends) need.

Plans customized for individual needs make these premiums more affordable.

Be sure to look over your home insurance coverage as well. Puppies love to chew on household objects and items, including furniture, baseboards, and doors. Even with the right training, puppies are unpredictable, and paying out of pocket will cause even more frustration.

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Gather All Necessary Supplies

Besides taking harmful items out of the home, it’s a good idea to stock up on supplies that can occupy their time and energy when you’re away. A puppy supply checklist will help get your home ready. Here are some staple items to purchase:

  • Food
  • Food and water bowls
  • Treats
  • Comfy bed
  • Chew toys
  • Retractable leash
  • Adjustable collar

Going pet supply shopping before bringing home your pooch is a surefire way they will have everything they need. Items like collars, leashes, food, and bowls are essential — but also consider supplies like bitter apple spray, a smell which is unappealing to dogs and can help keep them away from leather couches and other off-limits areas.

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Designate Space for Them

Creating a space for a new puppy is a crucial step to making them feel acclimated in a new area. Knowing that one area belongs to them makes the puppy feel safe and secure, and eases any anxiety they might have. This designated space should be indoors and easily accessed – by both the owner and the dog – and have their crate, food, water, and toys nearby.

Designating a space for them also helps the training process. Once they have a clearly defined space, they know where to go lie down when commanded, go to sleep, or simply relax in a spot that smells familiar.

According to Pet MD, dogs love the comfort and security of their own space.

Looking for more tips? Check out these 11 hacks every dog owner should know:

Bringing home a new puppy is exciting and overwhelming, all at once. Luckily, by following the tips above you can help your new friend feel right at home, making the transition easier for both of you.

About Sara Routhier

Sara Routhier, Managing Editor, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world of insurance. Her work has been featured on: CBS, Denver Post, DriversEd, ESPN, Finance101, Finder, FOX5, Legal Advice, MSN, PrettyMotors, SeattleTimes, StarTribune, USA Today, WalletHub, Yahoo, and the Zebra.

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