Prepping for a New Puppy
Updated: Feb 8
You’re bringing a new puppy into your home! So exciting! Let’s make sure that you have supplies and plans prepared ahead of time to help make the transition as easy as possible. You want to avoid mistakes and set things up for success from the very beginning.
Supplies to Have Ahead of Time:
Crate (properly-sized or with a divider)
- "Properly-sized" means that the puppy will be just able to stand up, turn around, and lay down in it. A divider allows you to get a larger crate that will fit an adult dog, but also fit your puppy while they're young.
Food & Water bowls
High quality Puppy food
Collar & Non-retractable leash
Enzymatic cleaners (Stain & Odor removers)
Toys (at least one chew toy & a couple of other types)
Some soft, smelly training treats
Baby gates and/or a moveable pen
Supplies to Bring in the Car for Pickup Time:
Questions for the breeder (lineage papers, vet records, breeder contract, feeding schedule, etc.) or rescue
A helper person, to drive or to hold & comfort the puppy on the trip!
A blanket or towel
1. Puppy-proof the house
Chewable things (papers, power cords, small objects, etc.) up away from and/or separated from the puppy
2. Setup an area for the puppy to be at ‘home’ at first
You want a small-ish, separated area that will be for your pup - with their crate, maybe a blanket, and toys - that doesn't have any hazards in it and is easy to cleanup
3. Choose the potty area(s) for the puppy
Before Heading Home:
1. Get at least a week of the puppy’s most recent food & their feeding schedule
Often, breeders and rescues will give you a small sample of the food they've been feeding the puppy, but double-check this.
2. Get all of the paperwork for the puppy (lineage, vaccinations, contract, etc.)
3. The puppy needs to potty before getting in the car (especially if the trip is more than ~15-30 minutes)
4. Have the puppy held in a blanket or towel in a lap or at feet, depending on what the puppy seems most comfortable with
5. Keep the car trip home calm and quiet, as much as possible
6. If you have to stop for a potty break on the trip home, don’t take them to a place other dogs go to the bathroom (like at a dog area in a rest stop) as they won't yet be vaccinated against common diseases
1. Potty the puppy before you go inside
2. Let the puppy explore on their own (with constant supervision)
Don't allow them access to the whole home yet, just in the puppy-proofed area(s) that you have set up for them.
3. Feed the puppy at their next meal time (don’t start transitioning to their new food for at least a day) & take them out afterwards to potty
4. Take food away by 6-8pm
It's always best to feed at specific times (normally 3-4 times a day for a younger puppy) rather than free feed.
5. Play with the puppy for a bit right before bed to help tire them out
6. Take the puppy out to potty right before bed