1. An appropriate-sized crate or carrier
Dogs are den animals, and they love the comfort and security offered by a snug space of their own. Ideally, the crate will have three "walls," with the front open so your dog can see through.
It's important to find a crate that's just the right size for your puppy. If the crate has too much room, the puppy is likely to have an "accident" inside of it.
But the crate should not be so small that he doesn't have room to sit up or stretch out. Add some bedding, like old sheets, T-shirts, or towels, so the puppy has something soft to sleep on, and be sure to leave him a few chew toys.
2. Wire playpen
We recommend those wire panels, which can be configured to any size or shape you might want. They can also be used to block doorways to rooms you'd like to keep off-limits. (They work for toddlers too)
3. Wee-wee pads
These are essential for puppies not fully immunized and not allowed outside yet. They may also be a permanent solution for apartment dwellers or others who find outdoor house training impractical.
4. Chew Toys.
A new puppy will chew anything in his path: your shoes, furniture, DVDs. Make sure you have plenty of toys for him/her to chew instead, and always offer a toy when you catch him chewing a non-toy.
We recommend starting with a variety, as different breeds and individual puppies gravitate toward different things. It will take some trial and error to figure out what your dog likes best. Start with a multipack of puppy bones, squeak toys, furry toys, and rubber balls.
Sidenote; Golden Retrievers love tennis balls!
5. Leash and collar.
Even if your puppy is not fully immunized and therefore not ready to go outside, you can introduce him to his leash and collar, and get him accustomed to wearing it.
When you do take your puppy outside he/she will be much more accustomed to the leash and collar and things should go much smoother!
6. Bitter Apple Spray.
After puppy-proofing your home, there may still be a few items you can't just place out of puppy's reach, like the corners of your furniture.
Bitter Apple Spray can be applied to most household items. It's scentless for humans, but tastes nasty to dogs, and keeps their curious mouths away.
7. Puppy food and bowls.
This is pretty obvious, as puppies need to eat about three times a day and require a bowl of fresh water nearby most of the time.
We highly-recommend Life's Abundance high-quality pet food, and serve in a stainless steel bowl (steel collects less bacteria than glass or plastic).
8. Nature's Miracle or other enzyme cleaner.
Even the best-trained puppy will have an indoor accident at some point, and it should be cleaned up within seconds, if possible.
The difference between enzyme cleansers and your regular household spray is that the enzymes will eliminate odors that only your dog can smell, reducing any reminder that he's gone potty in any particular part of your house.
Also, avoid any cleaning agent that contains ammonia — the chemical smells just like pee to a dog, and dogs love "going" where they've "gone" before.
9. Time Commitment
When you get a new puppy, it's important to realize that your new pet is going to need a good deal of time and attention from you and the other members of your household.
Unfortunately, many people think they can pick up a new puppy and be able to continue uninterrupted with hectic schedules that keep them away from home for hours on end. This is counterproductive for both the puppy and the owner.
It's important to make plans to avoid leaving your new puppy at home alone for extended periods of time when you first bring him or her home. Many people find it beneficial to schedule a few full or partial vacation days when they get a new puppy.
This can help the puppy get used to you and adjust to the new surroundings. Spending time with your new puppy may also help you get started with the housebreaking process and keep your furniture and flooring from being chewed to bits by a stressed out and bored puppy.
You Got This!
Now you know what it takes to get ready for a new puppy! Of course there might be a few more things I forgot to mention or might specific to your breed of puppy you choose.
Getting a new puppy can be soooo rewarding!
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below and share with your friends!