Guidelines for Getting a New Puppy

The experience of getting a new puppy is best when you are prepared. Having the proper supplies and knowledge about socializing and training your puppy are key. It's also important to have a healthcare plan in place including choosing a vet and getting dog health insurance. Doing these things right at the start will be best for you and your new pet.

Supplies to Buy

Even before you bring your puppy home, there are several supplies that are crucial to your puppy's adjustment to the new situation. These include bedding supplies, food and treats, toys, food dishes, a crate and other basics.

Crate and Bedding Supplies

One of the most important items is a dog crate. This is basically a dog carrier that is large enough for your dog to stand up. You can't have a crate that is too large so buy one that you think your puppy will be able to stand up in once he's full grown. It's also important to buy a blanket for the crate unless there's one at home you're willing to use just for that purpose. A dog bed is also important for times when you want the puppy in a specific place but he doesn't have to go to his crate.

Feeding Supplies and Other Basics

You want your puppy to have all his basic needs met as soon as he comes home. Have 3 good food dishes and 3 good water dishes. The best dog food dish is either ceramic or glass and is the right size for your puppy. A kong is an excellent way to make feeding a game and a task that keeps your puppy busy and teaches problem solving skills. It also helps keep the teeth healthy as a chew toy. You'll want a good leash and a collar that fits your puppy loosely enough for one of your fingers to fit underneath the collar when it's on his neck.

Healthy Diet

Decide what kind of diet you'd like for your puppy right from the start. A biologically appropriate raw food diet or barf is the best nutrition you can give to a dog of any age. You can find excellent raw formulas at most pet food stores, and there are formulas appropriate for puppies. You can find raw medallions that you just defrost and serve. If the convenience factor deters you, however, a high quality wet food is your next best option. Aim for the most natural formula possible with as many whole food ingredients as possible. A raw bone from the same freezer at the pet store will help keep your puppy busy and gives you something to deter him from chewing on furniture etc. Never give your puppy cooked bones. They are a choking hazard.

Plenty of Toys

Most dogs are content with a good rope toy and a good chew toy. A rope toy is excellent for playing tug of war and if it's sturdy enough, can double as a chew toy. You'll have the kong and you can supplement with a large peanut butter bone from the pet store. Most puppies love a stuffed animal toy. Supervise play with a stuffed animal since you don't want your dog to swallow the stuffing or cloth.

The only thing left to do is to choose your vet, get a good healthcare insurance plan for your puppy, and learn some basic dog training techniques at home or through a puppy class.