Preparing for a Puppy
Being prepared for a new puppy means you'll have more time to get to know each other. Here are some things you'll need to make your house a home for your new friend:
Your puppy has lots of energy, so select bowls that won't tip over easily. You'll need to wash his bowls daily, so make sure they're easy to clean. Since some pets might be allergic to plastic, twin stainless steel bowls in a holder are ideal. You may want to buy smaller bowls at first and upgrade to larger ones as your puppy grows. This will keep him from getting buried under a heaping pile of dog food or falling in his water bowl every time he drinks.
The first year is critical to your puppy's development. During this time, your puppy needs special nutrition to promote strong bones and teeth, proper development of body systems and a thick, lustrous coat.
At certain times during this period of growth and development, your puppy will need up to twice the nutrition of adult dogs. For example, at six to eight weeks of age, he requires as much as three times the adult caloric requirement per pound of body weight.
Start your puppy on the right track with a complete and balanced puppy food.
Your puppy needs a collar to hang an ID tag on, and also so he can be leashed for walks. There are a wide variety of styles available. Whether you choose a buckle or snap closure, pick a collar made of lightweight nylon or leather. Make sure he has an ID tag secured on his collar. It should list his name as well as your name, address, and phone number. It may take a while for your puppy to get used to wearing a collar. Don't be discouraged if he's uncomfortable and scratches at it when you first put it on.
Make sure your puppy wears a collar and ID tag at all times. He is growing quickly, so make sure you’re adjusting the collar to fit.
Your puppy's leash is just the thing he needs for taking walks with you, plus it's a valuable training tool. There are a number of styles, materials and lengths to choose from. A six-foot leash is just right for a dog his age.
Naturally, you'll want to keep your puppy just as cute as the day you brought him home. So, you'll need the grooming tools that are appropriate for your puppy's coat.
For short-haired breeds, use a brush with natural bristles, a rubber currycomb or a hand mitt.
For long-haired breeds, you'll want a sturdy wide-toothed metal comb and perhaps a mat splitter.
Be sure to include a flea comb in your grooming supplies and establish a regular grooming routine as early as possible.
Your puppy is just a baby, so he'll need a few playthings. Among them, puppy-safe chew toys can help him teethe and work off excess energy.
Nylon chews and hard rubber balls make fun and safe toys. As a general rule, if a toy can fit entirely in a puppy's mouth, it's too small - choose a toy that can't choke him. And remember, a toy that is the right size now may become a hazard as he grows.
Some toys can be dangerous.
NEVER give him:
- Toys made of soft rubber, fur, wool, sponge or plastic that he could choke on or swallow.
- Anything with hard, sharp points or attachments - like squeakers that can break off and be swallowed.
- Shoes, socks or other personal clothing - he might assume it's okay to chew on all personal items.
- Balls of string, yarn, plastic wrap, twist ties, plastic baggies or any other household item that could get lodged in his throat.
Crate and Sleeping Bed
Your puppy will need a warm, comfortable place to sleep. A crate provides a "den" for your puppy when you're not home.
Crates are available in two styles: portable plastic crates with handles and wire crates.
Regardless of which crate you choose, it should be large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lie down. It should also have adequate ventilation. If you buy an adult-sized crate, purchase partitions or place a cardboard box in the back to provide a cozy space for your growing puppy.
Stain and Scent Remover
Specially formulated stain and scent remover takes the odor away from a puppy's nose - and yours. It's important to note that many of the conventional household products that are not found in the pet aisle or at a pet supply store mask odor only to humans, not dogs. That said, if you use a conventional household product to clean up after your puppy, don't be alarmed if he keeps repeating himself at the same spot. He's merely trying to mark his territory.