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You’ve wanted a dog for years and have finally reached a stage in your life where you are finally ready for one – but now what? Knowing you are ready for your very first dog and being ready for your first dog are two very different things. There will always be a learning curve, but the right set of expectations and knowing the essential first steps and what you need to do to set your puppy up for success can make the transition smoother for you and your new pup. 

  1. What to Get Before You Bring Your Pup Home 

If you’re waiting for your pup, use that time to prepare! Start first by puppy-proofing a single room in your home. This should likely be your living room or living room/kitchen, especially if the floors are tile or hardwood, which are much easier to clean than carpet. Your pup is going to tear through your home. They are new, they don’t yet know the rules, and they will also not have good control over their bladder. On top of all that, they will also be teething and be ready to bite anything they see. All of these bad behaviors can be trained out of them, but they won’t know the rules right off the bat, and it’s better to prep your home so that they can succeed from the start. 

This means removing anything from the floor you don’t want to be eaten or chewed. If you have rugs, you may want to remove them for the time being. On top of that, you will also need to buy the essentials. When it comes to toys, get a variety of different types to stimulate their brains and also provide a variety of items they can chew. 

  1. When it Comes to Food 

You need to transition your pup’s food slowly. Puppies tummies are very sensitive, and suddenly switching to a new diet can result in diarrhea. If, even after the adjustment, your dog’s excrement doesn’t become solid, look at the ingredients. Many dogs cannot digest grains well, and many cheap dog foods are full of them. 


The second tip is to buy your food online. Not only are there many, many better options online than you will find in a pet store, but you can also often save by buying directly from the supplier. 

Choosing Your Vet 

Your puppy will need to be checked over, microchipped, and vaccinated. Even if your puppy is already fully vaccinated and microchipped, you’ll still want to take them to be checked out and to introduce both your pup and yourself to the vet. Though it isn’t essential, picking a vet like Orting Animal Hospital that offers every service from preventative care to surgery to even advanced treatments like Class IV laser therapy can make everything easier. Your dog will be more familiar and comfortable with the same vet, and you will be too. If there is an emergency or if your pet needs an advanced car, they can do it all at once. 

Socializing Your Dog 

Socializing means introducing your dog to new things and doing it in a way that helps them understand it and not be afraid of it. Dogs that are afraid are going to lash out. To socialize your dog, you need to introduce them to lots of new people, other dogs, new places, and new situations. Try to get them used to everything that will regularly happen in their lives within the first six months for best success. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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