Big news: we brought home our new puppy this weekend! He’s the sweetest little guy. He just loves to cuddle and is adjusting great to the kids and the house. He especially loves exploring in the backyard and it’s so cute watching the little games he plays.
Bringing home a new puppy is exciting, but also – a lot of work! We are all just smitten with him already and impressed with how quickly he’s picking up basic commands and potty training.
We’ve had dogs for a long time, but we haven’t had a puppy in 8 years, so we needed to pick up some things to be ready to bring our little pup home. Today, I’m going to share what we did to prepare and what we picked up to make the transition as smooth as possible for our furbaby and family.
Oh, and he doesn’t have a name yet – so stay tuned for what names we are considering and make sure to cast your vote for our favorite! Also, affiliate links are used below, which means at no cost to you, I may receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase through my links.
How To Transport Your New Puppy In The Car:
First – you need a safe way to transport your new puppy safely. Sometimes, puppies can make erratic movements out of fear of the unknown. There have been people who weren’t prepared for their puppy to launch out of the car door when they got home and then ran off or … worse. So, make sure you are transporting your puppy using a carrier of some kind.
I picked up this one on Amazon and it was perfect. The soft bed was cozy, the soft sides kept it easy to carry and more comfortable for him and the pockets were perfect for putting his new collar and tag and collapsible water bowl.
If you’re getting a tag made before pickup and you don’t have a name picked out, most places will engrave one side with your contact info and then let you come back to add their name when you have it picked out. Make sure the tag has your name and phone number. Add your street address for added security.
Get a soft collar (save the fashion collars for after puppy has adjusted to wearing one) and bring it with you to put on the pup before they leave their current home.
I was able to latch a car headrest leash attachment to one of the hooks on the carrier, to make sure that if I made any sudden stops, the carrier wouldn’t move very much. If you don’t have one of these car seat leashes, they’re amazing for transporting puppies. Just make sure if it’s attached to a dog that is not in a carrier – it’s connected to a harness and not a collar around their neck. I use this all the time when taking my black lab in the car with me and it keeps her from flying around.
What You Need At Home For Your New Puppy:
People have their own opinions about crates. If you plan on crate training, you’ll want to slowly work them up to it. I don’t have any experience with crate training. Instead, we prefer to use exercise pens that give them plenty of room to move around and lots of fresh air.
The exercise pen has plenty of room for their beds, food, and some toys. I use pee pads to catch any accidents. We start potty training right away, but just like humans, it takes some time for them to learn where you want them to go and how to signal you that they need to go. Protect your floors with pads until they’re closer to mastery.
This pen is great because it can be reconfigured if I need it to be smaller. The small door is super easy to latch or unlatch. And, because of the material, it doesn’t scratch or make any noises on the floor.
For dog beds, I love going to Homegoods. They have the best selection for a super affordable price. Or, you can grab them on Amazon or a dog store, too.
Depending on the design of your home, you may want a larger pen in the main place where they’ll spend most of the day and a smaller one where they will be sleeping. Or, you can work on crate training at night.
For us, we picked up the 8-panel exercise panel for day and the 4 panel for night. The smaller pen fits nicely in my bathroom near our room for nighttime.
Find out what works best for your space and how you live. If the puppy sleeps too far away from you at first, they may cry a lot. If they can smell you, they’ll transition much better. Still, they’ll miss their siblings and parents quite a bit and one way you can ease them through that separation is by staying close, giving them lots of snuggles and not forcing something new right away.
Cuddling with your puppy is not just for you – it really helps them bond with you, learn your smell, and feel safe in their new home. This bond will make training easier, too, because like the rest of us – we learn faster and work harder for someone we trust and like.
How To Prepare Your Home For Your New Puppy:
Puppies are super sweet, but they are chewers – especially as those teeth come in. You’ll be repeating the phrase, “Leave it” all day long. Make sure to have lots of appropriate toys for them available that you can switch out. If every time you say to leave it, you follow it with an appropriate toy, they’ll start to learn what they can or can’t chew on.
Also, like a baby, you’ll want to puppy-proof ares where the dog will be. Things to think about include:
- Moving delicate items that could fall and break if a puppy jumped on them
- Moving electrical cords that a puppy could chew on
- Moving rugs that are special to you and you do not want any puppy accidents on
- Moving anything you don’t want the puppy chewing on up to higher ground
- Keeping floors clean of small things and toys and food that puppy could eat and get hurt/sick from
- Basically anything that you wouldn’t want chew marks on should get moved up
Yes, you can train a puppy pretty quickly (some faster than others) to learn what they can chew on, but expect some casualties in this journey. You will lose a few things in training – just remember that when they are older and calmer, they will be the most loyal companions to you or many years if you train them with love and respect and consistency.
Here are some great toys for new puppies. Ours loves all of these!
How To Feed Your New Puppy:
Other than that, you’ll just need some puppy food. Ask what your puppy has been eating and keep them on the same food and schedule at first. As they get bigger, they’ll eat more at a meal and eat less times per day. It’s tough on a dog’s digestive system to change foods, so only change if they need to move to the next size food or if it’s upsetting their stomach. Here’s what his foster mom gave us and what we picked up to use when this runs out:
Our guy is still eating three small meals a day, with a mixture of wet and dry food (about one cup of dry food with a few tablespoons of wet food on top). I picked up a temporary bowl set and riser designed for smaller dogs. He will grow pretty quick and I’ll need a bigger one, so that’s when I’ll buy something nicer like this. I picked up this little set at Homegoods, but here’s a similar one on Amazon. Stainless steel bowls and silicone are the easiest to clean and durable for chewing puppies.
New Puppy Schedule:
Puppies do a lot of sleeping for the first few months, which will help you ease into it. To give you an idea of when to feed and play with the puppy, you can use a new puppy schedule like this one. Of course, every puppy is different and yours might need more or less sleep or more or less play time, etc. – based on their breed and unique temperament.
Naming Your Puppy:
Have you picked a name? We have tons of great resources to help you out! Start with this post, which includes a free printable to track your faves.
Here are some more pet name lists to inspire you:
- 230 Creative Boy Dog Names
- 101 Popular Girl Dog Names
- 120 Purrfect girl cat names
- 10 Must-have dog supplies
- 15 gifts for animal lovers
Hope this helps! As for us, we are down to a few names: Zorro, Zuma or Meatball. What do you think?
Have a fabulous day,