A dog can change the way you see the world.  A puppy can change the way you sleep, eat and work!  So, you’re a certified dog lover and have decided to add a bundle of joy to your world?  Congratulations and our condolences!  Your life is about to change 180 degrees.  We have the essentials for your puppy starter guide. Let’s talk about how to prepare, supplies, vet care, food choices, housebreaking and puppy training.

Puppy Proofing The House

puppy behind gate

Your home will need a few alterations before you bring your pup home.  Baby gates are not just for human babies, they also work great for cordoning off your new canine baby in safe areas.  Designate an area of your home that is a “puppy friendly zone.” What is a puppy zone?  An area where there are no electrical cords to chew on, no trash cans for scavenging, no $150 Nike sneakers lying around and most definitely human food is safely stowed away.  The quickest way to discover if your tv remote is tasty is to leave it on the coffee table. Inquiring puppy taste buds are notorious for going straight away to your most precious electronics. Find more tips on puppy-proofing here!

Stuffies For Days

puppy and stuffed animals

Of course, you will need the essentials like a collar, harness, leash, food and water bowls.  Dog beds for every room in the house, but they will probably end up on your couch and in your bed anyway!  An appropriate sized crate if you are crate training is also an essential item.  Giving your new puppy something to chew on will save you hundreds in replacement high heels, sneakers and sandals.  Some dogs go bonkers for tennis balls, some like a squeaky toy and some enjoy a good old-fashioned tug-o-war rope.  Check out these starter puppy toys here!

Let’s Go To The VEE EEE TEE

dog at the vet

Vet care at an early age is extremely important for your new pup.  If you don’t already have a vet, ask around to your friends and family.  Finding a good doctor that you can trust for the next 10-15 years will be reassuring. Different veterinarians have unique bed-side manners, so find someone that you and your dog connect with. Establish that relationship early, so in an emergency you will know exactly who to call and where to go.  Get some expert tips on choosing a vet here!

Chow Time

dog and pizza

You have pee-sha?  Your puppy wants pee-sha too!  Indulging in a little “hooman” food from time to time is completely up to you.  But for the day to day breakfast, lunch, dinner, making an informed food choice is very important. A growing puppy has a GODZILLA style appetite.  So feeding 3 to 4 meals a day will help curb the beast.  Choosing the style of puppy food will have your head spinning.  Do your research on canned food, dry food, raw food, food toppers, etc.  In addition, there are many foods that you eat that you can share with your pup.  Do you know the do’s and dont’s of human foods?  Find out what foods you can and cannot feed your dog here!

Ruh Roh

puppy and toilet paper

House training for your new bouncing baby puppy is not for the faint of heart.  It requires patience, discipline and a whole lot of paper towels! Establishing a schedule and being consistent will increases your odds of being successful. In general, puppies can “hold it” one hour for every month of life. Do the math.  Make sure you have a “cue phrase” that you use over and over again each time you take them out to potty.  Taking your pup to the same spot to eliminate will also help them make the connection of “potty time.”  Always praise and never punish for accidents.   Get more tips on housebreaking your pup here!

Who Is A Good Dog?


Puppy training starts on Day 1.  Having a good canine citizen does not happen organically.  Puppies need training and discipline to make them the “bestest dog in the whole world.”  After you pup has been cleared by your vet with all their vaccinations, joining a puppy class will help to learn the essential skills of sit, stay, down, come and walking on a leash.  Training with you puppy will only increase the bond you have.  Here are more tips on puppy obedience!

Congratulations on your new family member, it’s going to be a fun and exciting adventure! We hope this puppy starter guide will start you off on the right paw.