Before you bring you new puppy or dog home, you will want to take time to ponder one last time if you want the responsibility and if you are actually ready for a dog. If you are not ready and do not have the proper time to devote towards training and guiding the dog, please for the dog’s sake, do not bring one home.

Furthermore, if you currently have a dog, you will need to be extra careful making sure your dog will accept a new “pack member”. You will want to let the dogs get acquainted on neutral grounds.

Please plan ahead to set your puppy up for success!

Before the new puppy or dog arrives you should consider the following information.

1. Puppy or dog-proof the house: You should walk around the yard and inside the house to pick up items that you DO NOT want the puppy to have, or those items that can harm the dog. If there are certain areas of the yard or home that you do not want the dog to have access to you should buy baby gates for the house and a kennel for outside. Just remember that it is YOUR duty to keep the puppy or dog out of the areas you don’t want destroyed or bothered.

2. Invest in a Crate. The size of the crate you need will depend on the kind of dog that you own. You should buy one size crate from the beginning. Make sure you purchase one that will house your dog well into adulthood. While the dog is in its puppy stages, you should block half of it off with a non-destroyable material. For this use, either crate partitions are available for purchase, or concrete blocks work well also. In addition, make sure the crate you buy is a VariKennel type and approved by the airlines if you ever plan to travel.

3. Another consideration may be to purchase a kennel that is portable. There are great for having the puppy outside as they are larger play pens for dogs. They will not only restrict the dog’s freedom outside, but they can also be set-up inside too.

4. You are best off purchasing stainless steel food and water dishes for your new dog because this kind cannot be chewed up and ingested.

5. Use a thin, lightweight nylon leash and collar for your young puppy. Although, you will also want to go ahead and purchase a longer, 6 foot leather or nylon leash and appropriate collar for when your puppy gets a little older.

6. Buy the dog several toys. You can buy toys such as Nylabones, Kongs, tennis balls, a Buster cube, etc. The best thing to keep in mind when buying toys is to make sure the toys are washable, safe, durable, and FUN. You will need to remember to teach your puppy or do that its own tows are the best thing to chew on; not shoes, the sofa, human hands, clothes, the TV remote, etc.

7. Purchase a higher quality food. If you are changing your dogs usual food (you definitely should if the current brand is not of high quality) make sure you do so gradually. The change will work best if you wean your dog or puppy gradually off of its previous type as doing so can reduce or prevent intestinal or stomach upset. Make sure you feed a young puppy three times daily, while you feed adult dogs only twice daily. Stick to what you want your dog to eat; your dog will choose to eat the food when it becomes hungry enough. Do not let your new dog or puppy become a “picky” eater.

8. The dog’s bedding is completely up to you. Old blankets and towels can work very well for this reason. Just remember that is common for bedding items to end up shredded.

9. Set your new canine pal up with an appointment to the Veterinarian. If you do not already have a relationship with a Vet, you should stop by and interview a couple local ones in your area.

10. Explain all “dog rules” to each member of your family. Make sure all family members clearly understands all the rules before the new family member arrives.

Okay, so you have already purchased all the items needed to make your new dog feel at home and stay entertained. You now need to explain the rules and boundaries to everyone in your home that pertain to the dog. You should have a very clear idea of what behaviors you wish to reward and which you wish to eliminate. For instance, if you don’t want your new puppy or dog to jump on people, tell everyone who encounters the dog to IGNORE jumping. Instead, the person should calmly meet the dog when it is sitting calmly in the floor. If you do not want your dog to lunge or pull on the leash, DO NOT reinforce this by allowing the dog to do so; here you should reinforce when the dog is NOT pulling. Enrolling in Behavior and Training Class or Puppy Kindergarten can help break unwanted behaviors.