New Puppy Checklist: What to Consider Before You Get One
It’s not uncommon to get puppy blues and regret adopting a new puppy.
You’ve seen stray puppies on the streets and a lot more in rescue centers. Some of these pups had homes, but the owners quickly realized that adopting a dog wasn’t as easy as expected.
The first few months will be challenging, but if you can get through that, you’ll have a new best friend.
Take your time to understand the essentials and intricacies of raising a pup.
Think of a new puppy as a child — the commitments you make and all the things you do to prepare for a newborn; you’ll need something similar for your puppy.
What You Need for a New Puppy Checklist?
Here is our ultimate new puppy checklist to help you prepare for your new undertaking.
Cost of Owning a Puppy
How much will it cost to own a puppy? Are you getting the puppy from a breeder or adopting it from a shelter?
Raising puppies is expensive; thus, you need to be prepared for this financial undertaking.
According to Petfinder, adopting a puppy from a shelter costs anywhere from $0–$350. If you decide to foster a stray dog, it’s free.
However, if you want a more specific breed, you’ll have to consider breeders. According to Prudent Pet Insurance, the price of a new puppy from a breeder costs upwards of $2,000.
Keep in mind that the purchase cost is just the beginning. You’ll need to think about monthly maintenance.
Remember, the maintenance cost will vary depending on the breed, breed size, and age.
You don’t expect the cost of raising a Chihuahua to the same as that of a Siberian husky.
Which breed do you want?
Note: Don’t rush to get a particular breed just because you saw it in a movie, TV show, or YouTube channel.
Take your time to research the breed.
In December 2019, Disney released Togo, a movie about an old, undersized Siberian husky and his owner, Leonhard Seppala. The owner and his pack of huskies journeyed across Alaska to deliver vaccines.
It was an emotional movie that left audiences awed. After the film premiered, there was an uptick in husky searches, and even breeders noted that they received more requests.
It’s alright to want such a dog but have you thought about what it means for your family?
This breed has been bred to run and haul heavy loads in snow. You shouldn’t consider them if living in an apartment. Huskies are hyper breeds, and keeping them in your apartment or suburban home is a recipe for disaster.
It’s the same as getting a Border Collie — they are bred to herd cattle and have a herding instinct. It’s among the reasons why Border Collies are abandoned and end up in rescue centers.
Therefore, before you bring a puppy home, research whether they will fit into your lifestyle.
Getting a dog is an expensive undertaking, both financially and mentally. You might think that a certain dog breed is cute, but the level of maintenance required will shock you.
Do You Have Time?
Adopting a new puppy is a long-term commitment — dogs can live up to 14 years.
Can you handle being with a dog for 10+ years? Can your schedule accommodate a pet?
All puppy owners understand that puppies need training. Among the first things you’ll need to do is potty training. Do you have time and patience to potty train?
You don’t expect to adopt a pup, leave it at home, and come home to a clean house and well-behaved dog. No, it doesn’t work like that, especially if your dog isn’t trained.
If you know you have a tight schedule, opt for a pet that requires less maintenance. A new puppy needs a loving, understanding, and available pet owner; if you can’t commit to that right now, choose a pet that suits your current lifestyle better.
However, if you still want to get a dog, consider hiring pet sitters.
Do You Have Allergies?
Are you allergic to dogs?
In the U.S., close to 30% of the population is allergic to cats and dogs. If you’re not sure, try interacting with pups at your local shelter or friend’s house.
That should tell you whether you’re allergic or not. If it’s the former, you might want to consider adopting another type of pet.
But if you’re adamant about dog adoption, you can follow the tips outlined by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Before you bring a new puppy home, you’ll need basic puppy supplies such as:
- Food and water bowls: Make sure you have bowls for water and puppy food.
- Dog crate: Since you’re getting a puppy, it’s unlikely that they’re housebroken. You’ll need a crate where the pup can stay as they learn house rules. Note: Get a crate based on the expected adult dog size.
- Dog bed: You don’t expect your puppy to sleep on the floor, or do you? Get a comfortable bed that will fit in the dog crate.
- Dog toys: Puppies love playing, so ensure that you tap into their playful nature by providing them with puppy toys. You can get your puppy a puzzle toy, chew toy, and chase toy.
- Dog collar/leash: Since you’ll need to take your puppy for occasional walks, a puppy collar or leash will come in handy. Don’t forget to add a microchip, ID tag, and poop bags.
- Dog food: Buy the correct food for your puppy’s age and breed.
The first few weeks will be tough as your pup will want to explore. They’ll run around the house, outside to your neighbors and streets. This can lead to injuries, property damage, and unnecessary stress.
You can prevent this through puppy training. Take your time to train your puppy, and while doing so, puppy proof your home.
Here are tips to get you started:
- Research whether the plants in your home are poisonous to puppies.
- Secure your trash cans and cleaning supplies.
- Store any medications and supplements in secure cabinets.
- Consider installing a dog-proof fence. This a fence that your puppy can’t dig under or jump over.
- Install baby proofing tools around the house and limit access to areas you don’t want puppies.
Dog Skin Care
Depending on the breed you choose, some are heavy shedders, others are light shedders, and you can’t forget non-shedders.
Puppies are like babies—they will have milestones such as shedding fur, losing teeth, etc. Are you prepared for these milestones? Puppies begin shedding at 4–6 months and can continue up to a year.
If you have a non-shedder, this will only happen a few times. But if you have heavy shedders such as Alaskan Malamutes, Belgian Sheepdogs, Akitas, Bernese Mountain dogs, Chow Chows, Keeshonds, etc., dealing with fur becomes a daily routine.
Whether your puppy’s breed is a shedder or not, you’ll need to learn proper dog skincare and grooming. You must understand how to keep your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.
Groom your puppy from an early age so that they get accustomed to grooming and being handled. This is essential, especially if you have a heavy shedder.
Invest in the right grooming tools such as dog brushes — get one that’s appropriate for your pup’s fur type. Puppies typically require a softer brush than adults. Consult a veterinarian on the type of brush and products to use.
Also, don’t forget to inspect your pup for fur loss, redness, rashes, fleas, and ticks. Every day after a walk, session at the dog park, or as you clean your dog, inspect for signs of skin problems.
If your puppy is infested with fleas or ticks, you’ll notice a lot of scratching, red and bumpy skin. Your puppy will also bite their skin leading to skin loss.
How do you treat this infestation? Start by treating your puppy, then treat your home. Consult a vet on whether you should use topical treatments, pills, or shampoos.
Once you’re done treating your puppy, focus on eliminating the infestation from your home. Use carpet powders, indoor foggers, sprays, etc., all available at your local pet store.
Bring Your Puppy Home
Now that you’ve checked everything off your new puppy checklist, it’s time to welcome your new canine companion.
Get all the supplies you need from puppy products, chew toys, puzzle toys, puppy treats, dog food, a puppy crate, and whatever you need to make him or her feel right at home.
Even with all your best efforts, your puppy will have separation anxiety the first few days after being separated from its litter.
Your puppy will need time to adjust to the new environment. Use our calming aid for dogs to ease the transition. It’s a soft chew treat made of hemp and suitable for puppies over 12 weeks.
Each bottle has 180 chew treats. Grab one today as you prepare to welcome your new friend.