Santa declared you were on the nice list and brought you a puppy?  Well, then let’s get started with all the things you will need to do and buy for your new puppy! Here are some simple tips you can implement to make your new puppy happy and healthy.

Puppy Supplies


Hopefully you made a trip to the puppy store and stocked up on all the goodies you need before the bouncing baby arrived! Here’s a basic supply list:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Leash
  • Poop bags
  • Crate and crate pad
  • Puppy chew toys
  • Puppy pee cleaner (yep)

Puppy Proofing


You are going to want to move things up and away from those baby shark teeth.  Get down on all fours and survey the home.  Your puppy will attempt to chew/taste/tug/dig everywhere.  Lock up cleaning supplies, put up the electrical cords, remove toxic plants and definitely hide all your shoes.  When your puppy first comes home, make sure you supervise them closely.  Only allow them into rooms you are in as well.  Baby gates are a good investment.  This is a good time to introduce chew toys as a better alternative than your favorite slippers.

What’s Up Doc

puppy at vet

A trip to your veterinarian for a complete physical is a must-do within the very first week.  Discuss the timing for puppy vaccinations, spaying/neutering and the importance of micro-chipping.  This is also a good time to figure out pet insurance companies and what type of coverage you will need.

Puppy Fuel

puppy eating

Do your research for pet food.  Be a label reader.  Ask advice from other dog owners. Whether you choose to make your own puppy food, do a raw diet or select a high quality kibble, good nutrition is key for your puppy to live a long and healthy life.

Puppy Training


Don’t wait to start your puppy on a schedule.  Housebreaking is going to be the #1 task on your training list.  Puppies need to be taken outside a minimum of every two hours. Particularly right after meal time take them to the designated “potty area” in your yard.

Crate training also provides your puppy with a safe area. A crate should never be used as punishment.  You want your puppy to associate the crate as a good place to be.  Start with short stints in the crate of up to one hour.  Kenneling at night should be at a maximum of six hours.

Be Social


Socializing your puppy right away is critical for their development.  This doesn’t mean you invite everyone on your contact list to come over.  Spend lots of time touching your puppy, holding their paws and petting them alot.  Taking your puppy for a car ride to experience new sights and smells will also benefit their development.  Make sure your puppy is secured safely in your car at all times. Also introductions to fully vaccinated dog that belong to your friends and family is a safe way to socialize. Please be mindful that puppies that are not fully vaccinated should not be in public places or meeting new dogs.  Talk to your vet about when your puppy can fully emerge into your social life.

Reward Good Behavior


You will want to keep some puppy treats within reach at all times to reward your pup’s good behavior.  Give them a treat when they are resting quietly or responding to your simple commands.  Keep the training intervals short, but several times a day.  If your puppy is food motivated, a small treats goes a long way to keep their interest. Toys, praise and cuddle time are also effective rewards.

Have Fun


Most importantly as a new dog mom or dog dad is to have fun and enjoy the process.  Puppies grow into teenager and then adult dogs quickly.  Enjoy your time as you learn about their personality and all their quirks.  This is a 10 to 15 year commitment for you and your family.  Enjoy the journey!