There are few things more exciting than bringing home a new puppy. In addition to being adorable, puppies expand the family and bring a new sense of excitement and love into the household. Raising a puppy can be a challenge, though, and it pays to make sure you get off on the right foot by ensuring you have these five essentials before your new addition comes home:
A crate is a multi-purpose piece of equipment. In addition to helping with the housetraining process, a crate also gives your new puppy a place to feel safe, providing him or her with a contained space for when you are not home. A good crate should be large enough for the puppy to comfortably stand up, lie down, and turn around in and should be made of durable material, such as metal or high-density plastic. Line the bottom of the crate with a comfortable bed to ensure that your puppy associates the crate with a positive space.
- Chew Toy
Everyone knows that puppies chew. It has been widely documented in everything from the famous film, Marley & Me, to the old classic, Homeward Bound. Although a puppy’s chewing behavior is a natural part of the teething process, it can be destructive when a puppy chooses something inappropriate, such as a shoe or a table leg, on which to chew. Fortunately, puppy parents can help circumvent this problem by providing the puppy with a high-quality and enjoyable chew toy. Choose a toy that is made of durable, non-toxic material and is large enough to avoid getting lodged in the puppy’s throat.
- Baby Gate
Puppies are adventurous, and, if left to their own devices, will quickly claim every room of the house. To protect your puppy as well as your space, invest in a high-quality baby gate. A baby gate can easily expand to fit most doorways and provides a safe, inexpensive way to keep your new puppy out of the kitchen or dangerous areas like bathroom cupboards.
- Puppy Food
Developing puppies have distinct nutritional needs and will be best served by eating food that is specially formulated for puppies. In addition to featuring a smaller kernel size, perfect for little teeth, puppy food also offers a specific set of vitamins and minerals that are designed to nourish and support your puppy’s growing body and brain.
- Collar and Leash
Leash training your new puppy is an important part of keeping him or her safe and establishing a good obedience foundation. Invest in an adjustable, comfortable collar made of material that is wide enough to avoid cutting into your puppy’s neck when pressure is applied. Equip the collar with a nametag or embroidered identification and finish the set off with a leash that is no more than six feet long. These important pieces of equipment will help you ensure your puppy’s safety in traffic or crowd situations and help him or her learn important commands like “sit” and “stay.”
With these five essentials, the transition to owning a new puppy can be safe, exciting, and comfortable, for both the puppy and the new puppy parent. Congratulations!