Let’s face it, puppies are irresistible. If you meet a cute, innocent, wide-eyed little guy, odds are good that you’re going to want to take him home! Puppies are a lot of work, though, like any baby, you’ll need to know exactly what you’re getting into and do all the required prep-work before bringing one home.
If you’re adopting a puppy, here are the basic supplies you will need to acquire beforehand: a crate and/or baby gates, food and water bowls, cushy blankets, a collar and leash, a brush and nail trimmers, some sour apple spray, and of course, plenty of toys. It’s a good idea to have the puppy’s living space set up before he arrives to reduce stress and confusion for you and him. If you’re going to crate train, you want the crate to be comfortable and welcoming, but not too big: just large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. The idea is to create a comfortable resting space that is still small enough that your puppy will not want to go to the bathroom inside.
Puppy-proofing your home is just as important as buying all the required supplies. Puppies, like human babies, tend to explore with their mouths; they might eat foreign objects and they always chew up a storm! Pick up everything off the floor that you don’t want to be chewed or peed on before you bring your puppy home. It’s also a good idea to protect electrical cables and cords, or at least give them a good spray-down with sour apple spray before the puppy comes home so they will seem unappealing from day one. It may also be a good idea to spray furniture legs and anything else that stands right at mouth level for your puppy. If there are parts of your home that you just can’t puppy-proof, bring out the baby gates. If you start teaching your puppy where he can and can’t go right away, it will be easier to keep him from breaking the rules as he grows up.
Finally, make time for your new arrival. The introduction to a new home is stressful for any dog, and it will take your puppy a while to get used to new rules and schedules. Bring your puppy home at the beginning of a long weekend, or just take a few days off, so you can help him settle in. Puppies are a big time commitment, even after the initial introduction. So, before you bring one home, think about whether or not you’re ready to take on late-night potty breaks, accidents, chewing, playtime, and socialization. If a puppy is just too much for you, you can always adopt an adult dog.
We’re happy to help you prepare for a puppy, and we have several cute ones who are looking for homes, so drop us a line! You can reach the Woodford Humane Society at 859-873-5491 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by: we’re open Tuesday - Sunday at noon.