Preparing for Puppy: Bringing your puppy homeWhen you make the decision to bring home a new puppy, it isn’t just a matter of finding the perfect pair of puppy eyes to fall in love with. Preparing for Puppy’s arrival beforehand will allow you to welcome him or her into your home with a minimum of fuss so that you can enjoy bonding and spending time together right away.

Finding The Right Vet – The best way for you to find the vet that will fit both your needs and the needs of your new family member is to speak with trusted friends. Don’t be afraid to ask the vet any question you can think of. Once you have chosen a vet, take your puppy in for their first appointment within a few days of arrival, and be sure to follow the vet’s vaccination schedule.

Make A Schedule– If you live with other people, you will likely find it helpful to sit down and discuss individual responsibilities. Responsibilities may include:

  • Filling the food and water bowls
  • Exercise
  • Puppy clean-up
  • Grooming

Make sure that everyone in your family knows what their responsibility is and post the schedule in a visible place in your home.

Dog-Proofing Your Home

Puppies get into everything and for both your safety and theirs, dog-proofing your home is one of the most important aspects of preparing for Puppy’s arrival. Move anything breakable or chewable to a high place out of Puppy’s reach and safely secure any electrical cords. If there are areas in your house that you don’t want the puppy in, securely block them off. Get rid of any potentially poisonous household plants, or put them in secure areas or up high.


At minimum, your new puppy will need:

  • a collar and name tag
  • a leash
  • a crate
  • water and food bowls
  • toys

Your collar and name tag are a must for your new puppy. A name tag will allow your puppy to be returned to you if they manage to get out, even with the extra precaution of a microchip. Be sure it has the dog’s name and your cell phone.  More than one phone number is good too!  When choosing a collar, avoid painful collars like choke chains and shock collars. Instead choose a leather collar or nylon Martingale-style collar that will stay on but not choke your new puppy.  Our favorite collar is the Premier Collar.

When buying a leash, choose a leash that is 4′-6′ long and non-retractable.  Retractable leashes can cause harm to you, your dog, and the people around you if your dog gets tangled up or causes someone to trip.  A great leash/harness for walking is called the Easy Walk Harness.  It controls pulling naturally, using the dog’s center of gravity.

Dogs enjoy having a den that is their ‘safety’ area.  This is what a crate is for: a place that is solely theirs to eat and rest. Think of your puppy’s adult size when buying a crate; they will still use it when fully-grown and need room to stand up, turn around, and lie down.

Non-breakable, dishwasher-safe, non-slip bowls are best for both water and food. Clean both bowls regularly.

From your puppy’s point of view, the most important supply you can buy is toys! Look for toys that not only provide a firm surface to chew on but also exercise their minds, such as Kong rubber puzzle toys. Instead of rawhide chews, supply your puppy with hollow bones that you can stuff with cheese or peanut butter.


Training is a must to turn your puppy into a healthy, happy member of the family. DogBoy’s offers Foundations class to puppies 5 months and older, where our knowledgeable and experienced staff will teach you as well as your puppy. For the littlest ones, our 5-week Puppy Rotation Class will allow you to start any time.

Preparing for Puppy by following these steps will be easy and stress-free, so enjoy your new family member!

For more help, check out The Puppy Primer, by Patricia McConnell.

Still need additional assistance?  Request a puppy consult for one on one advice and help picking just the right pup for your family.

Our thanks to Alexis and Augie for the photo!