It’s a lot of work to provide a puppy with the care and attention they need to thrive. Here are five steps you can take right away to put you on the path to successful puppy parenthood.
1. Make some early decisions
There are several choices you’ll need to make about your puppy’s care, and the sooner the better. To make informed decisions, spend time researching the following:
- Puppy nutrition. There are a lot of options to choose from. Dig into the different types of food (wet, dry, fresh, etc.) and identify reputable brands that work with board-certified nutritionists.
- Pet insurance and wellness plans. These plans can be a good way to manage your puppy’s healthcare costs. Look into different providers and explore packages that fit your needs budget.
- Veterinary care. Read reviews and ask friends for recommendations in your local area. It’s also a good idea to see what emergency care and 24-hour clinics are close-by.
2. Shop for essentials
Before you bring your puppy home, buy must-have items like food, toys, collar and leash, crate, and bedding.
3. Get your home ready
Your puppy will need a safe, comfortable place to come home to. Puppy-proof your house by removing or securing anything that could be hazardous. This includes electrical cords, toxic plants, household chemicals, small items your puppy could choke on, or any item you don’t want your puppy to chew. You’ll also want to set up a bed or crate in a quiet room or corner of the house that your puppy can go to decompress.
4. Plan for training and socialization
For your puppy to be a good canine citizen, they’ll need training and socialization. Look into puppy classes in your area. These are a great way for your puppy to learn basic obedience and how to interact with other dogs. You’ll also want to work on introducing your puppy to new sights and sounds so they’re comfortable in different situations and environments.
5. Partner with a veterinarian
Your vet is your best resource for your puppy’s initial preventive care and for their life-long healthcare. Schedule an introductory appointment with a veterinarian and start making a plan for their ongoing care.
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