Prepping for Puppy
Our Max (a mixed breed Shih Tzu/Bichon) was born on September 7th 2019 and he joined our family nine weeks later. Sometimes I call him "Max"-imum cutie...other times..."Max"-imum trouble (he he).
Max has brought us more joy than I could have possibly imagined, and more work! People say having a puppy is like having a baby; as a mom to a six year old and a four year old, I can honestly say while Max is a lot of work, he's nowhere near the life changing earthquake of a baby, but he did cause a few tremors! I thought I would share my puppy prep checklist with all of you who might be considering a pup, in the hopes that it might decrease the strength of your upcoming tremors.
Max, just being cute.
Eversort Organizing Puppy Prep Checklist
This list doesn't consider all the decisions you have to make prior to picking out your pup; this list is for after the deal has been done and your sitting at home thinking - what - have - I- done! Don't despair, all will be well with the right prep work.
SERVICES (pet sitting, training, vet, groomer, pet store)
1. Pet sitting
This is likely one of the most important decision to make especially if you work outside of the home. It's also the service that if you need it, you'll likely spend the most money on. Most puppies don't like being alone for long periods of time. Dog walkers, friends, and doggy day cares are all options. I ended up using a dog walker who came and met me and Max during his first few days home.
You also have to think about travelling. Do you travel a lot? Will you be able to leave the dog with a friend, take them with you or will you have to board them at a kennel?
2. Training and socializing
Most breeders recommend basic obedience training for a reason; behaviour problems can be a real issue for dogs and owners alike. Decide on if you will register for classes and sign up as soon as possible. Max starts his classes in the new year - I will keep you posted on how it goes!
Taking the time to socialize puppy is fun and it pays off in the long run. Think about how you will expose your puppy to new social situations early on. I had Max all over the city and we are still on the go. He loves to get out and it's good for him and for me too. One of the best things about having Max that I have noticed so far, is how many wonderful people I have met because of him.
3. Veterinarian (and maybe pet insurance)
This is a no brainer, but a must - deciding on a vet for your new pup. You might also want to check into pet insurance.
4. Dog groomer
Depending on the breed of dog, this might not be necessary, but check out grooming services. I ended up using grooming services at the pet store. So far, so good, but hopefully I can learn and do it myself at some point.
5. Pet stores
Before you bring puppy home, it is worth taking the time to explore the pet stores in your area. You will be shopping anyway, and the staff at the stores are usually very knowledgable.
PRODUCTS (all the STUFF you need)
1. Poop and pee
Where will the all the action happen? Puppies usually don't come house trained. I wish I had of known to take up all of my rugs before I brought Max home. I didn't learn this lesson until three months into having him; if he sees carpet, he pees. It's automatic! Luckily I have mostly hardwood floors. Recently I picked up the rugs and put down pee pads. This system seems to be working for the times when he just can't hold it. Someone suggested now slowly moving the pads closer and closer to the door, to encourage him to pee only outside. Baby steps!
Whatever way you choose to house train, think about the supplies you will need:
- an enzyme spray (pet friendly, can be sourced at pet stores or on Amazon)
- pee pads, especially for smaller dogs are an option (disposable or reusable)
- poop bags
- poop bag carrier bag for your leash (I like IKEAs)
- litter boxes for small dogs can be an option
-Combs and brushes
-Grooming kit with a shaver (again, depending on breed)
-Nail clippers, file and scissors (often included in grooming kit)
-Setting up a bathing area (I use a bucket I got from IKEA and place it in the tub, along with Max, seems to be working great)
3. Puppy proofing your house (inside)
If your pup is going to be home alone during the day, where will you leave them? Whatever you decide, the following things are possible items that you'll need:
- Baby gates for the stairs (or to close off a room)
- A dog crate
- You will need to puppy proof your space (latches for cupboards, picking up chewable stuff)
- There is also an apple scented spray that you can spray on things that pups like to chew. They don't like the scent and it acts as a deterrent. It worked for me to stop Max from chewing on baskets (his chew toy of choice)
- Odour eater (I sourced a charcoal one from Canadian Tire - works great to keep the doggie smell down in the room)
- Cameras are an option (check out the awesome camera called "Furbo"that throws treats
4. Puppy proofing (outside)
- Do you have an outdoor play area? Do you need to fence in an area, fix holes in fencing, protect plants or set up a designated space for pup to pee?
- Consider washable rugs (from Ruggable) if you are going to be keeping your rugs
- Outdoor pee area: will you designate (or try to designate) one spot for pup to do his business?
- Will you need a tether for outside?
- If you are using a dog walker, you might need a lock box. Check with them on the system they prefer.
5. Sleep, eat, play (repeat)
- Dog bed (or two or three)
- Bowls (for food and water)
- Leash (or two)
- Harness (some people like to use a harness for walking)
- Collar and tag
- Shoes for winter
- Sweaters for some breeds are a must to keep them warm
- Cream for bottom of sore feet in winter
- Pouch to keep pop bags into
- Pouch for treats (mine lives in my coat pocket)
- TOYS (balls, tug toys, chew toys, kongs which hide treats for fun and more!)
6. Car and travel
How will your dog drive around with you? Max is small, so I thought I didn't need any rest restorations for the car. Wrong..lol. He wants to sit on my lap when I'm driving and I find it distracting. So, I ended up buying him a booster seat! It works, and it's cute. I got mine from Amazon, but you can source them in most pet stores. A big dog will have different needs; I found the best product tips came from friends. Ask around and see what people you know use.
If you plan to fly with your pup, you will have to check with the airlines to make sure you have the right carrier.
And don't forget to prepare for the (long) drive HOME
How and when will puppy be coming home? I was lucky to have a friend help me pick Max up and he didn't cry at all. But I have heard some horror stories of very long drives home, so be prepared.
- If you are driving to pick up pup, you will likely need someone to come with you, so you can focus on the puppy.
-For the car, think about how the puppy will be travelling - will you need a crate, or will the puppy be on your lap? Be prepared for accidents in the car on the way home, just in case. Pack some paper towel, an old bath towel, some poop bags and cleaner.
-You will likely want to take a few days off work to be home with your puppy. I took a week off and was glad for it. It gave us all time to adjust!
Well that should get you started! Whew..lol. And now for some cute puppy pictures of Max to remind you all of why we all love these critters.