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Before Puppy Comes Home

February 03, 20244 min read

Before Puppy Comes Home

It's almost time to bring puppy home, and you want to know how to best prepare for their arrival! Puppy preparation does not have to be complicated or overly expensive. Buying all the bells and whistles are fun and convient but we're going to cover the most essential items.

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Before Puppy Comes Home

Puppy Proofing:

One of the most important things you do before puppy comes home is to puppy proof. It's definitely the first thing you want to start. It'll also give you an idea of any puppy proofing gear you might need.

The best way to puppy proof is to get on the floor (puppy eye level) and see what might grab your puppy's attention - or get them into trouble. Go through each room that your puppy will have access to, and decide which rooms will be off limits - for the time being.

Look out for loose wires and knickknacks on low tables or book shelves. Are your shoes always out? Or do you have a closet to hide them in?

Is laundry often left out on the floor? Especially in kids rooms and bathrooms (these might be 2 rooms to keep off limits) The kitchen is also a hot spot. Is your garbage accessible, or can it be put away? Do you have tea towels hanging off the stove?

Here are a few suggested items to help you puppy proof:

My puppy book, Puppy Life Skills has a complete list on how to puppy proof your home.

The Essential Puppy Items

There are a few items I highly recommend you have handy before puppy comes home. These would be on my "life saving" list. I wouldn't have a puppy without them!

  • A kong is one of the best toys to help keep your puppy's mouth busy! You'll want to use it when puppy's biting gets out of hand or when you need a moment to yourself. Here is a blog that includes how to stuff a kong

  • Omega paw ball is a food toy that can be used to feed your puppy their meals. Instead of taking 10 seconds to inhale, your puppy will spend 10-30 minutes working!

  • Long stuffies are the best toys to use when playing with your puppy. The longer the toy, the less chance they have of catching your hands!

  • A dog crate or play pen is recommended to confine puppy to prevent unwanted behaviours, help with house training and chew training. Training needs to be done to help your puppy feel comfortable with the crate and should be done gradually!

  • A flat collar and a 6ft leash

  • A treat pouch and training treats you'll want small and accessible treats!

  • Bully sticks other great way to keep your puppy's mouth busy!

Puppy Training

The first few days with puppy is all about letting them get settled in. There is no rush on teaching sit or stay, but building a bond with your puppy and focus on their socialization. Take the next few days simply getting to know them. Play, snuggle and help them feel safe with you. The best way to create good habits and prevent unwanted behaviours is making sure your home is puppy proofed and providing many outlets for your puppy's energy. (which is what those toys and bones are for!)

If your puppy has received their first round of vaccinations, they are ready to socialize (as per the recommendations of different veterinary governing bodies such as AVSAB and OMVQ) This is your main focus over the next 2-3 months with your puppy.

Socialization is the single most important investment you can make in your puppy's future. By providing many opportunities to learn about their world, your puppy will be prepared for their future life with you.

There is a lot of conflicting information when it comes to training, especially socialization. We have a few resources to help guide you through training your new puppy.

Happy Training!

Katherine Davidson, CTC, CSAT, FFCP (trainer)

Founder and creator of Dog Inspired

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Hey There!

I'm Katherine Davidson​

I love puppies and I'm a total behaviour geek! I enjoy watching new puppy parents thrive in their roles of raising the BEST puppy ever!​

Author, course creator and professional dog trainer from Montreal Canada.

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