Many families can’t wait to bring home a new puppy. But bringing a puppy home for the first time can be full of surprises – and not just pleasant ones! From chewing on cushions to soiling carpets, housetraining a dog takes oodles of patience and planning. If you’re thinking of bringing a puppy home for the first time, here’s what you need to know.
Bringing a puppy home: how to prepare
Bringing your puppy home calls for advanced preparation. Familiarize yourself with this handy ‘bringing a puppy home’ checklist to help keep your house clean and ensure both you and your new furry friend get off on the right foot/paw.
1. Bringing a puppy home in a car
Getting your new puppy home will often involve some car travel, and for many dogs this can be quite distressing. Keeping your puppy secure helps to keep you and them safe, and also ensures that any mess is kept to one place in the car. If your puppy does leave a mess by the journey’s end, it’s important to be equipped to handle the mess before it spreads any further. Consider stashing the following in your car for cleaning emergencies:
- Nappy bags
- Antibacterial Cleaning wipes
- Plenty Original
- A small towel
- Some water and a small bowl (so they can have a drink on longer journeys)
For more tips, check out our guide to travelling with a dog in the car.
2. Crate training a puppy
Settling a puppy into a new home requires a designated space for your dog to sleep and relax. If your puppy is going to be left alone for a few hours a day, you may want to learn how to crate-train it. Puppies less than six months old shouldn’t be in a crate for more than three to four hours at a time, so make sure you’re able to manage this appropriately. Start with periods of five to 10 minutes several times a day until they can spend 30 minutes in their crate without whining.
This might take days, or even weeks, but when they’re happy – you’ll be happy too!
When bringing home a new puppy, expect it to want to paw and howl its way into your bed. Crate training is the best way of deterring this.
3. Food and water
After bringing your puppy home, give it food that it’s used to and in appropriate portions. Anything new may upset its stomach and lead to more accidents around the house. This also means you’ll need to have a suitable food and water bowl ready and waiting.
Find a suitable raised surface to put your puppy’s food and water bowl on, and place some extra absorbent paper towel underneath, like Plenty, to catch splashes from excitable dinner times.
When they’re awake, puppies are hyperactive balls of energy and need to keep busy. Bringing a puppy home for the first time can make them especially excitable! To protect your belongings from being chewed to bits, get plenty of dog toys before bringing a puppy home. Chewy rubber bones are ideal because they’ll keep your puppy entertained and help its teeth.
5. Playpens and barriers
Bringing a new dog home means sharing your space – but not all of it. Let your puppy know which parts of the house it can explore, and which parts are off-limits. Barriers may be the best way of enforcing this from the start. When you bring a new dog home, putting it in a playpen can also help draw the line between rest time and play time.
6. Toilet training
Bringing a puppy home for the first time means you can expect many little accidents on your carpet. The sooner you train your puppy to go to the toilet outside, the safer your carpets will be from little messes. Have plenty of extra-absorbent household towels, such as Plenty, on hand to soak up the mess, and make sure you’re up to speed on carpet cleaning techniques.
Bringing a new dog home is an exciting time in which you can expect a bit more chaos than normal – especially in the beginning. Share the responsibility with the entire family by involving everyone in the clean-up process. This will help your puppy to become familiar with everyone, as well.
Settling a puppy into a new home is a group effort. Ensure everyone in your household takes turns at feeding, walking and cleaning up after the puppy so that it gets used to everyone in the family.
Routine is really important when bringing your puppy home and helping it to settle in well. A lot of the above tips will help you and your puppy with this, but it’s important to try and create structure in your dog’s day too. Try to feed your dog and go for walks at roughly the same times each day, and settle them down for sleep at a consistent time too. While this can be challenging at first, this will help make bringing your puppy home far easier in the long term.
When dealing with unhygienic tasks – like cleaning the poop your pet has just left proudly on the kitchen or car floor – use a strong and absorbent piece of kitchen paper, like Plenty MAX. It’s strong enough to take on the task, and can be disposed of easily for convenience and cleanliness.
Hopefully this guide has given you some useful pointers on bringing your puppy home. Check out some of other articles to find even more pointers on keeping your home clean or how to deal with messy pets.