The first step before you get your new puppy is to puppy proof your home. This is very important as you don’t want your puppy getting into anything that could cause them harm or ruin your favorite rug. I picked a spot in my house that would be Millie’s own little corner. This area happens to be in my kitchen and it worked perfectly. I found a little three-tier cube organizer where I could place all of her supplies and essentials. Looking around my house, I made sure that I had any little items picked up off the floor as puppies love to stick everything in their mouth.
What Do I Need for a New Puppy?
A new puppy requires a lot of up-front cost for supplies, but it’s definitely worth it. Depending on your preference and lifestyle, you may want to kennel train your new puppy. It teaches them that this area is safe and like their own little room. It also helps with potty training (we’ll get into that a little later). A bottle of spray stain & odor cleaner with enzymes in it will be your best friend. We like this brand! Your puppy will pee on your floor and you will want to clean it up with a good cleaner that has enzymes in it.
Other basic essentials would be bowls for puppy food and water, leash, collar, puppy-style toys, grooming brush, dog shampoo, washable kennel pad, and treats. Some toys that I found helpful were teething chews and the puppy Kong.
If you want a custom made collar tag, I designed my own on dogIDs.com. My husband is a huge Star Wars fan so we named our puppy after the Millenium Falcon, or Millie for short. Using this website was a great way to get something unique for our new puppy while also being an essential that she needed!
Choosing the Best Puppy Food
Making the right food choice for your puppy is important for the first year of their life. Since puppies grow so fast, they need nutrients, protein, and fat to support that growth. There are a variety of puppy food options like Puppy Vantage or even all life stages foods such as Venture Rabbit Meal & Pumpkin or Venture Roasted Lamb & Butternut Squash. Earthborn Holistic’s Unrefined line is also a great choice for any puppy as all of the recipes are created for all life stages. Millie tried a variety of foods before settling on one. We realized that she had a sensitive skin and stomach so foods with fish & lamb proteins worked best for her. She loves the Coastal Catch recipe!
First 48 Hours & Routines
The first 48 hours of having your puppy will be challenging. You may lose some sleep from the whining or barking, but I assure you it will be okay! Once you get into the hang of things it will feel second nature. It is sometimes helpful to place the crate in the same room as you so the puppy can know you are there with them. Keep in mind though that you don’t want to form any habits that you don’t want to last long term.
Having a routine with a new puppy is very important. Here is a step by step timeline of what my routine looks like from morning to night with a new puppy:
- Wake up and take the puppy outside to potty. Remember to use your form of potty training, commands, and yummy reward!
- Feed breakfast
- Let them play and/or do some training throughout the day
- Take them out every 30 minutes to an hour during the day to keep up the potty training
- Feed dinner
- Take away water an hour before bedtime so they aren’t tempted to go out throughout the night.
- Take the puppy outside one last time before bed.
My first challenge when I got Millie was to begin potty training her. I researched various methods of potty training, talked to a lot of friends and family who had potty trained their puppies before, and watched some YouTube videos (YouTube is your friend when training a new puppy!). I decided that the best method for our lifestyle would be to bell train her. This consisted of placing potty bells on the door that I always took her out, guiding her paw to the bell, hitting it, and saying the command “potty”. Immediately I would take her outside, repeat “potty” again, and she would go. I would reward her with EarthBites treats and we would repeat the process every 30 minutes. New puppy training is all about repetition–dogs are super smart creatures, but just need a little guidance!
As far as other basic training commands, I taught Millie to sit, come, down, and shake. Most of these I would YouTube and follow along while training her. It took about two weeks per command for her to get it down pat, but nonetheless she got them! Again, repetition and persistence is key. Try only taking a few moments at a time to work on training your puppy with commands or they eventually get “bored” and you lose their attention. Patience is key!
We didn’t personally have a dog before Millie, but Marta has plenty of tips to share on how to introduce a new puppy to your dog!
Another aspect to consider when training your puppy is socializing. Puppies need to socialize with other dogs and humans as this helps them learn to be well-behaved. We would take Millie to play with other dogs and watch as she learned from the big dogs. It also wears them out so they sleep peacefully throughout the night. Being around other humans and having them say the commands that your dog knows helps them learn to listen to other people besides you.
Having a new puppy can be stressful, challenging, and overwhelming, but that only lasts for a little while. These supplies, tricks, and training methods may not be exactly what work for you, but it’s a good starting point for those needing some advice. If you can push through those tough times, it is definitely rewarding. Millie has been the best decision we’ve ever made and fills our family with such joy.