Complete This Checklist Before Getting a Puppy

Are you thinking of bringing a new puppy home? It must be exciting to wait for a new pet to join the family. Whether you’re a first-time puppy owner or have raised dogs before, this guide will help prepare your new guest. If your puppy has already arrived, you may wonder, what’s next? Don’t worry. You can still prepare for your puppy after arrival.

You may already know some of the essential things you should do to make a puppy safe, healthy, and well-fed. But what if you had a checklist to guide you before getting a puppy? You would be more prepared, and your puppy would settle faster. Preparing earlier will also save you the hassle of last-minute preparations.

We compiled a helpful and detailed checklist to capture essential aspects of preparing for a new puppy, such as hygiene and safety. If you complete this checklist before getting a puppy, you’re sure to hit the ground running with no worries.

Benefits of Having a Puppy

You may be getting a puppy for the sheer fun of it. Maybe you have plenty of love you can channel to a pet. But it might surprise you that owning a puppy has multiple benefits backed by science. Here are five benefits of having a puppy that will motivate you to go through our checklist before getting a new puppy.

Puppies Make You Feel Less Lonely: Are you getting a puppy for extra companionship? You’re not alone. Many people get a dog for cuddles and unconditional love. 85% of respondents in one national survey by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) believed that having a pet reduces loneliness. So go ahead and get that puppy. You’ll get a furry friend who will love you unconditionally.

Puppies Help Improve Your Heart’s Health: You may want a puppy to spoil them with love. But they’ll pay you back in priceless ways. They’ll get you moving and reduce your stress, thus preventing two factors that contribute to heart disease. One Swedish study found that dog owners have a 20% less chance of a heart attack.

Dogs Help Reduce Your Stress Levels: Nobody loves feeling stressed. A puppy is quite playful and will want to cuddle and play when you get home. Play and cuddling help boost the production of the ‘happy hormone,’ serotonin, and reduce your cortisol levels. A study done at Washington State University showed that time spent with a dog helped reduce cortisol levels.

Dogs Make You More Social: getting a puppy will reduce your loneliness levels and help you get more social. Think of the times having a dog motivated you to share a photo online. Having a pet is also a good conversation starter and makes you more approachable. One study published on PloS One found that 40% of dog owners made friends much more easily.

A Puppy Will Keep You Moving: Lack of physical activity is a big concern, especially when doing things has become convenient. A puppy will make you get up from the couch to play, cuddle, refill the feeding box or take out the litter. You might also find yourself getting up more often to take the puppy out for a walk.

Questions to Ask Before Getting a Puppy

Before we go through the ultimate checklist before getting a puppy, it’s essential to consider a few important factors. Considering these matters should not discourage you from getting a puppy, but it should help you appreciate the responsibility of taking care of a pet.

A puppy will require more attention, patience, and care than a grown dog. So it would help if you were more prepared. Before we begin our checklist before buying a puppy, here are five questions to answer to get you more prepared.

1. Can I Commit the Time to Take Care of a Puppy?

Caring for a puppy is like having a child. They need care, attention, and time. You can’t just leave them in the house alone for long shifts. So it would be best if you considered the time you realistically have. If you travel often, can you get a pet sitter? If you live with a partner or children, can they commit to taking care of your puppy while you are away? Answering this question will help you plan for your time to accommodate your puppy.

2. Can I Commit my Finances to a New Puppy?

Even if you don’t pay for your puppy, you still should be financially ready to take care of them. They will require supplies, food, and medical attention, all of which require resources. Costs will vary depending on many factors, including breed. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, you should expect at least one emergency medical visit that could cost you medical fees.

3. What Type of Puppy Should I Get?

Now that you’ve considered finances and time and believe you should get a puppy, it’s time to decide what breed to get. The first place to look is your interests. What kind of breed do you fancy? For example, if you’re into big dogs, choose a breed that grows to a big size. In this case, an English Mastiff or an Irish Wolfhound would suit you most. Of course, ensure that your living situation can accommodate a big furry friend.

4. Where Will I Get a New Puppy?

Once you have clarified the breed you should get, consider where you want to get a puppy. Adoption is a fantastic way to go. You will likely get a healthy dog that needs a loving and permanent home. You can also receive a puppy as a gift. If you opt to buy, you have more choice on the type of puppy you can get, including a trained one.

5. Can I be Patient While Training a Puppy?

You can get a trained or untrained puppy. Even if you get a trained puppy, you might need more training to meet your standards. Can you be patient with your puppy? Will you get frustrated when they litter the carpet with their food? To plan for your puppy training needs, you can go through our checklist before buying a puppy.

Ultimate Checklist Before Getting a Puppy

Some people opt to adapt to life events as they come. But those who plan find navigating and responding to unexpected events easier. It’s better and more convenient to plan for your puppy. That way, you don’t have to hassle looking for supplies or service providers when they come. Complete this checklist before getting a puppy.

1. Choose a Reliable Veterinarian

Pets, like humans, are prone to certain illnesses, some of which could be devastating for your puppy. It’s advisable to get a veterinarian even before your puppy arrives. They can advise you on how to prepare for your puppy. You may also have to take your puppy for preventive medical service.

You can ask your friends and family for recommendations for a good veterinarian, or you could head online and check reviews. You want to make sure your veterinarian is a trained and reliable professional. Make sure they are also readily available and accessible for emergent medical situations, such as a dog swallowing something they shouldn’t.

2. Get Your Yard Dog-Ready

Your furry friend will require ample space to play and rest. Puppies are also quite adventurous; you want to protect them from toxic plants, pest-infested tree stumps, or unfenced pools. You should hire a landscaping service provider to make your yard puppy-ready. They’ll make sure there are no sharp objects that could hurt your puppy.

You can also call tree service providers to ensure untended trees or stumps pose no safety risks. In addition to making your yard dog-ready, it will feel more inviting. You’ll also be more inspired to join in and play with your puppy. Also, fence your pool to prevent drowning until your puppy can swim safely. Finally, get rid of any toxic plants. You could consult your vet to know if a plant is toxic to puppies.

3. Consider Building a Fence

Outdoor time is quite essential for dogs regardless of age. One of the options you can consider for puppy-proofing your home is fencing installation. A fence allows you to train your dog within your home compound. Adding a fence will not only protect your pet but also add value to your home. Having a fence will make you less anxious about your puppy getting stolen or hit by a car.

Another reason to call a fence contractor is to protect your puppy from predators. If you live in an area where mountain lions, wolves, and coyotes live, your puppy could be at risk. Fencing your yard will also give you the liberty to unchain your dog. They can run freely around the fenced compound.

4. Remove Pests from Your Home

Another threat to your lovely puppy is pests. A pest infestation can result in your puppy getting fleas, lice, or other bugs. These will cause irritation, discomfort, lack of appetite, and in some instances, severe illness. It’s best to call pest control service providers if you notice symptoms of pest infestation. They can help you draft an indoor pest control plan.

Of course, you should ensure that they use products that don’t threaten your family or other pets you own. Some practices, such as frequent vacuuming and yard maintenance, will help reduce your risk of pest infestation. If your puppy gets infected by fleas and bugs, get immediate treatment to prevent their spread.

5. Research Dog Food Options

< Food is an essential aspect of our checklist before getting a puppy. Animal metabolism is quite different from human metabolism. For example, barbecued pork ribs taste delicious to humans but may harm your puppy. That’s why you need to research safe food options for your puppy. Always get information from a reputable source, such as your veterinarian or the American Kennel Club, as there are many myths and misconceptions about dog metabolism.

Commercial dog food goes through many quality checks, so you can experiment with various options and see what your dog loves most. Your puppy’s breed and size will determine its nutritional requirements. Always ensure any food option you choose can meet your puppy’s needs. Make sure to read food labels. Some fit all stages, while others are more suitable for puppy-stage dogs.

6. Choose a School

Our checklist before getting a puppy concludes with a note on training. You can begin training a puppy as young as eight months old. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, the first six months of training are the most crucial, as they will stick the most. That’s why you should only take your dog to a qualified dog training service. It’s best if you keep the adult dog in mind. For example, do you want an adult dog jumping and engaging in a tug of war?

You can enroll your puppy in a class where they can learn with other puppies. This will provide them with opportunities to socialize. Ensure the puppy class has professional trainers with the right skills and knowledge. They should also use the right methods.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have the ultimate checklist before getting a puppy, you can prepare successfully for the onboarding of your furry friend. You should first consider if you are in a position to take care of a puppy. But don’t hesitate; a puppy will bring you a better and happier life. These tips will guide you on your puppy’s safety, hygiene, and nutritional needs. All you need is to complete the checklist before getting a puppy. Best of luck with your puppy!