How to Prepare For a New Puppy
So you’ve made up your mind and you’re getting a Goldendoodle puppy! Who doesn’t love getting booped by a tiny wet nose and pampered with unlimited snuggles? These little bundles of joy bring love into your life and quickly develop affection towards every member of your family. Of course, being a dog owner comes with major responsibilities, and it’s best to be prepared before the big car ride home. Getting your home and family ready for a furry new member will not only help your puppy settle in, but makes it easier to raise your pup and is the start of a wonderful friendship.
Just like kids, puppies have their quirks about feeling happy and safe in their new home. And just like kids, they’ll need some things and space of their own. Puppies require essentials such as bedding, toys, leashes, a crate, potties, and plenty of food and treats to be their happiest selves. As a new puppy owner, you should also be prepared to do some cleaning while your puppy learns the difference between right and wrong, so it’s a good idea to have plenty of cleaning supplies around the house.
Pre-puppy preparation is a great way to get a head start on your pup, and includes buying essentials as well as taking a few simple lessons on puppy ownership. The more prepared you are to have a puppy, the easier the experience will be on everyone — especially on your new pup. Here are a few tips to consider before a fluffy ball of happiness tumbles their way into your home and into your heart.
Being Mentally Prepared for a New Puppy
After the initial excitement and first few days, it’s time to make your Goldendoodle puppy feel at home while preparing to train and discipline them into good habits. It’s important to know that while dog ownership comes with infinite rewards, it takes effort and commitment similar to that of raising a child. After all, if dogs were so simple to own, they wouldn’t be dogs — they’d be cats!
What to Expect
Disclaimer: puppies will be puppies!
There will be no shortage of fun and love with a puppy in your home, but there will also be the occasional oopsy, uh-oh, and oh-no. Here are a few surprises you should expect:
- Puppies love to chew! Chewing helps them cope with the sensation of growing teeth as well as develop strong jaws and teeth early on. If they happen by a fresh pair of shoes or other chewable object, the temptation may be too much too resist.
- You might lose a little sleep from time to time. Puppies often whimper when they’re lonely, being disciplined, or just not getting what they want. This is typically resolved with healthy conditioning over time, but don’t be surprised if that lazy morning is a little more exciting than you’re used to for a while.
- Things will probably get broken. Until they know better, puppies might view some of your possessions as expendable playthings. Having to fix or replace a thing or two is normal with a puppy and is easier to cope with if you have some “puppy savings” in the bank.
- In short, be ready for anything — but mostly sweet and funny things! If your puppy does something entertaining or adorable, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We do love a good laugh.
Preparing Your Family for a New Puppy
Your new Goldendoodle puppy will have more than enough energy and love for every member of the family, so everyone should be on the same page as far as responsibilities go. Make sure to discuss the details with your family and set a few ground rules for everything to go as smoothly as possible.
Here’s what you should discuss with your family:
- Who will be responsible for taking the pup outside or to the papers and when?
- Who will take care of walking the puppy and when?
- Who will be in charge of feeding the puppy three times a day?
- Once the puppy arrives, who will make an appointment with the veterinarian to get all the necessary paperwork and vaccinations?
- Who will be responsible for cleaning the puppy’s liquid and solid accidents inside the house?
Once you get that out of the way, it’s time to decide on the vocabulary list you’re going to use to train a Goldendoodle puppy. Dogs have a great memory and respond well to verbal commands — once they understand them. It’s important for everyone in the family to use the same language and tone to get the idea across to your new pup, who will start picking up on the meaning as they associate certain words with actions. This privilege will also extend to anyone that takes part in raising your pup, such as walkers, nannies, friends and people on your daily routine. A simple trick to puppy training is writing down all the common words you’ll say to your pup and putting the list on your fridge door or somewhere clearly visible.
How to Pet-Proof Your Home
If you don’t pet-proof your home when introducing a new puppy, you’re just asking for trouble. These simple precautions will save you money and a few hairs on your head from the stress of puppy-related accidents:
- Set up a puppy-proof area. This will be a safe and easy-maintenance location in your home where the puppy will do minimal damage and can spend most of its time playing and sleeping during the first several months of its life.
- Install baby gates to create a buffer zone between your pup and the things you don’t want them around. This is essential for both your puppy’s safety and the protection of your belongings. However, please note that accordion-like gates can be very dangerous for a puppy and it’s best to opt for puppy-safe gates.
- Make sure to secure the staircase until you’re sure your puppy can go up and down the stairs by itself and without falling.
- Don’t leave any cleaning supplies or other hazardous products or objects within your puppy’s reach.
- Remove plants, carpets and other things that a puppy can easily ruin, or place your puppy in a location where such things are not within reach.
- Do your best to cover or hide any electrical cords and wires. You can do this by tucking them behind cabinets and furniture or installing covers over your cables and wires.
- Adopt the habit of picking up everything after yourself and leaving very little to chance. This includes putting clothes, shoes and other belongings away and out of the reach of mouth and paws.
- Remove long curtains and table clothes while your puppy is growing to avoid awkward staredowns.
- It’s a good idea to have a spacious crate around for times when you can’t supervise your puppy but can’t risk leaving them in charge of the house. A puppy crate is a safe and comfortable enclosure where your puppy can spend the night or hang out when you’re unable to watch them. It also makes for a proper timeout spot when disciplining your puppy.
- Always safeguard your backyard and garden with a fence to avoid a panic attack and having to search the neighborhood for your puppy.
We’re almost there! Just a few more things and you’ll be as ready as ever for that little bundle of fluff. Our pre-puppy checklist helps get your essentials in order and avoid rushed errands to the store so you can spend more quality time with your pup.
See Our Favorites for Everything You Need on the New Puppy Shopping List, which Includes:
- High-quality puppy food and low-calorie treats
- Water and food bowls
- Chewable puppy toys that keep your belongings safe
- Collar and leash for walks around the neighborhood and playtime at the park
- ID tag with your puppy’s name and your address and phone number
- A crate that fits your dog’s size
- A dog bed and bedding
- Wire playpen
- No chew spray (e.g., bitter apple spray)
- Non-toxic stain and odor remover
- Dog shampoo and brush/comb
- Puppy pee pads
- Poop bags
- Paper towels (you’ll need them!)
- Dog toothbrush & paste
- Puppy nail trimmers
Are You Ready for the Big Day?
We hope you’re as excited to meet your new puppy as they are to meet you. Sure, puppies and dogs may seem like a handful at times, but the amount of joy, companionship and entertainment that they offer will make any effort in raising them pale in comparison. As you get used to your new puppy, you’ll fall into a rhythm of patience and care that becomes second nature and will see your pup grow into a beautiful and loyal dog. After all, a good dog is family first, and a pet second.