What are you getting yourself into with a new puppy? It may not be as much work as taking care of a human baby, but for the first few months of a puppy’s life, it does come pretty close.
Young puppies need to have a very close eye kept on them all the time to stay out of trouble, and get trained. Most puppies and dogs are given up to shelters because owners did not have the knowledge or time to train them, so be prepared! Get a good book on dog obedience and grab all the information you can from experienced pet shop employees, trainers, vets, and others so that you and your puppy will have a happy relationship for many years to come.
When getting a puppy, you will need certain supplies. These include: water bowl, food bowl, good quality dry puppy food, food mat or tray, brushes and combs as needed, appropriate sized collar, six foot leash, 20-30 foot leash, a good cleaning solution specifically made to clean and kill odors from “accidents”, a crate of the right size, washable dog blankets, and a number of toys.
If you are adopting from a shelter or dog rescue, bring in your adoption paperwork and Pets Plus will give you 10% off this initial "setting up" purchase!
Puppies love to play and chew on many types of things. Teaching the puppy what is okay to chew on and what is not is made a lot easier by getting the puppy some specific types of toys. These should include a soft latex toy, a rubber toy, a rope or cloth toy, and a hard toy that is good for teething. Ask us for recommendations.
Remember never to give a puppy anything like an old shoe because they will not be able to tell the difference between an old shoe and a new one, and that will not be their fault! If you catch them chewing on something they should not be chewing on, take the item away while saying "no" in an angry but not loud voice, and then give them something they can chew on. If you catch them chewing on something that they should be chewing on, then give them lots of praise!
As someone with a toddler must childproof their home, someone with a new puppy must puppy-proof theirs, especially since puppies can go almost everywhere right away. In fact, it is best not to let a young puppy roam freely around a large area but to keep them in a small one or with you at the end of a six foot leash at all times. Not only does this keep them out of trouble, but then when you see them act like they need to go to the bathroom, you can lead them outside right away and not let any accidents occur indoors.
Be sure that there is nothing they can get into, chew on, and maybe swallow easily like cleaners, medications, chemicals, poisonous plants, electric cords, chocolate (poisonous to dogs), and small objects. Like kids, if it fits in their mouth they may eat it first and then it will be you asking questions later to the Veterinarian. Prevention is always better than the cure!