Adding a New Puppy to Your Family

Introducing a puppy into your family is a major decision, and with that addition comes a great deal of responsibility. These tips can help you prepare your home and family for your new puppy's arrival.

Go shopping. Before you bring home your four-legged bundle of joy, there are a few items that you'll need to care for the puppy.

  • Bowls for water and food, as well as the food your puppy will eat
     
  • A leash and collar
     
  • A bed that will be comfortable for your puppy and easy for you to clean
     
  • A crate that is big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lay down in
     
  • Toys for playtime

Puppy-proof your home. Puppies can get into trouble until they've learned the rules and developed physical skills. Make sure to puppy- proof in advance.

  • Put small objects away where your puppy can't get to them to chew.
     
  • Secure cabinets and move anything toxic to a high shelf.
     
  • Remove any poisonous plants, such as Poinsettia and Calla Lilies.
     
  • Use baby gates to block off any steps so your puppy can't fall and hurt himself.
     
  • Make sure that electrical wires and cords are out of the reach of curious mouths. Ask your veterinarian about other ways to make your home safe for your pet.

Schedule a veterinary examination to assess the health of your new companion as soon as possible to ensure he receives the appropriate vaccinations and any needed health care.

Source: American Kennel Club; American Veterinary Medical Association