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The Ultimate Checklist for First-Time Puppy Owners

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Few things are as exciting as bringing home a pet for the first time. Puppies instantly enliven your household with their infectious energy. Don’t let their adorable, small size fool you: puppies can be a handful, especially if it’s your first time taking care of one. Preparing in advance for your puppy’s arrival lets you ensure both you and your family are ready for this big transition, and you don’t have to do it alone. Blue Lake Animal Hospital offers the guidance you need. Here’s our ultimate checklist for caring for your very first puppy. 

Make Sure You Understand the Responsibility

Caring for a puppy is essentially a full-time job. You need to provide the basics, like food and a warm bed, but you also need to set aside time for play. Puppies have lots of energy and require socialization, so providing enough attention can be time-consuming. They also need to be house-trained and taken for walks several times a day. This doesn’t account for your own work-life balance. Having a puppy has countless rewards, but keep in mind the big responsibility you’re taking on. 

Prepare Your Home

Before bringing your puppy home, make sure your house is safe for your furry friend to explore. Here are a few ways to puppy-proof your house: 

  • Puppies love to run and play. Be aware of anything your puppy might run into and potentially get hurt. Rearrange furniture and move fragile items so your puppy doesn’t knock anything over.
  • Use a gate to prevent your puppy from running up and down stairs until they are ready. 
  • Fence in your yard, and make sure your puppy cannot access your pool if applicable. Keep toxic plants, such as daffodils, out of reach. 
  • Spray an anti-chew solution on wires, shoes, furniture and other items your puppy may wish to bite. Put away socks and small items that your puppy may mistake for a toy. 
  • Move houseplants and electrical cords to where your puppy cannot reach them. 
  • Tock up on dust mops and lint rollers, and have a good broom on hand to clean up your puppy’s shedding. 

Get the Supplies Ready

Between cleaning up messes and providing daily care for your puppy, you’ll want to have all of the essentials on hand. Include these items on your list: 

  • Puppy food
  • Stainless steel bowls
  • Leash and collar
  • Waste bags
  • Potty training pads
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush made for dogs
  • Brush or comb
  • Puppy toys

Set Boundaries

Once your puppy is home, determine which rooms you will grant access to. You might want to keep your puppy off of furniture until potty training has concluded. It’s also important to choose a location for their bed. It’s easier to reinforce your puppy’s rules and expectations later on if you establish them right away. 

Visit a Veterinarian

Bringing home a puppy for the first time is a big deal. Plan on scheduling a veterinary checkup at the soonest opportunity to confirm your pup is ready for the exciting future ahead. Contact Blue Lake Animal Hospital to book an appointment.

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Visit Our Online Pharmacy

Managing your pet’s medical needs is easy when you use our online pharmacy. Renew your pet’s prescription and purchase FDA-approved medication right from the comfort of your home. If you have any questions, contact us to speak with a trusted veterinarian.