It seems that this time of year I get lots of inquiries about what to do when puppy comes home. Spring and Summer  are the perfect time to get a new puppy as most puppies don’t protest to eliminating outside. 

Here is my checklist for what owners need before your puppy even comes home

1)Crate

Before buying a leash, a harness,  before buying a cute water bowl and chew toys, get a crate. It is not designed to be a mid-century torture chamber, rather it is a place that your puppy can sleep, build bladder control and stay out of trouble when you can’t keep an eye on him. The puppy should be able to stand up, turn around and lay down  in his crate. If your crate is bigger than that your new puppy will most likely find a corner to eliminate and then lay down in the opposite corner. This is now defeating the purpose of the crate. Make sure your crate has a divider so as your puppy grows you can give the puppy more and more space. Puppies and older dogs do not like to sleep where they eliminate. The crate is your new best friend. 

2) Gates

Tiny new puppies do not need run of the house, they rarely need more than run of the kitchen. Put the crate in the kitchen and then gate off all access points with either exercise pens or gates. When you are able to monitor the puppy, play with him in the kitchen or other hard surface so the puppy is not inclined to urinate. Puppies are more likely to relieve themselves on absorbent areas. 

3) Ceramic or metal food and water bowls. 

4)Toys

Puppies are funny little creatures. They love to play, run and romp just like human toddlers. Get a variety of toys, both hard and soft for the puppy to chew on. Those razor sharp teeth are coming in fast and chewing relieves the pain. 

5) Puppy Food

If owners want to switch their puppy’s food, do it slowly. Make sure you are feeding a high quality puppy kibble, or raw diet. Find a food with limited ingredients so not to overwhelm the digestive system.