Last Fall we adopted the sweetest little pomchi (Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix) puppy EVER! She’s a little sweetheart and I was over the moon to be getting her. I hopped on my computer to research everything I would need to know before bringing home your new puppy and found there wasn’t a great, conclusive guide to help me make sure I bought everything I’d need before bringing home our puppy and covered everything I’d need to do beforehand. So I made my own! Here is the ultimate guide to bringing home your new puppy!
First things first. Before you settle on a particular breed of dog make sure you do your research on the dog’s breed. Be careful of buying from puppy mills and avoid them at all costs. We found our sweet pomchi, Maddie, through a local family who’s dogs had a litter. We also checked local shelters. There are many dogs available for adoption! Before you decide on your new puppy consider all of your options.
Once you’ve found your new puppy then the preparation begins! There are several supplies you’ll need to buy before you even bring your new puppy home. You’ll also need to make appointments and puppy-proof your home. Responsibilities will also need to be handed out to family members. All of this should be done BEFORE your new puppy comes to your home. I’ll lay it all out, one by one, and make sure you are ready for your puppy’s new arrival!
Preparing for your new puppy
Before our puppy came home we went to meet her and put down a deposit on her. She wasn’t ready to come home with us yet, but it was a great opportunity to meet her and see what her demeanor was like. Another reason I suggest meeting the puppy in person before putting down a deposit is because there are SO many puppy scams out there! I myself almost got scammed by a person posing as a pomsky breeder. Anyone who requests you send money without seeing the dog is likely a scammer and you should RUN in the other direction. Do your research and ensure they are a legitimate breeder or family with a puppy for sale. Check online to see if there are any complaints or scam flags up for that particular breeder.
When we went to meet our puppy we brought along a blanket and a toy and requested that they be with her and her litter mates until she came home with us. This is a great way to get the mother and litter mate’s scent on the objects so when you take the puppy home they have something familiar with a familiar scent on it. Our puppy still has these things (she is 8 months old now) and loves them!
You should also ask the breeder or puppy owner what kind of puppy chow they are currently feeding the puppy. You will want to purchase that same brand of puppy food before your puppy comes home. Switching their food suddenly, along with a new home and surroundings, can be quite a shock to their system. Start them on the same exact food and if you want to change brands do so slowly over the course of a week, adding a little bit of the new food at a time until it replaces their other food. Puppies need a special puppy blend of food that is higher in calories and contains the elements their growing bodies need. Talk with your vet if you need help choosing the best brand for your particular breed. Don’t forget to also buy a food and water bowl for your new puppy. I recommend one that they can’t chew. Stainless steel dog bowls work great and won’t get chewed up. You can also do this DIY personalized dog bowls project with the stainless bowls!
Make your new puppy their first vet appointment for a date shortly after you are scheduled to pick him or her up. Your vet may be booked out several weeks so you don’t want to wait until you get the puppy to do this. They should have a puppy wellness check up and any needed vaccinations at this appointment.
Another important thing to note is that you should not bring your new puppy around other dogs (ie-dog parks, crowded public places with pets) until they have had all of their immunizations. They can pick up various diseases from other dogs since they are not yet vaccinated. It would be awful to have your new puppy get sick or worse simply because they socialized with other dogs too soon.
Puppies are natural explorers so you’ll want to take a look around your home and identify potential hazards. Much like baby-proofing your home, you’ll need to puppy-proof your home. Watch for electrical cords they can get at and chew. We also talked to our kids about always keeping their toys picked up when they aren’t playing with them. Anything that gets left on the floor is fair game for the puppy to find and chew on (and potentially choke on). This was a great motivator for our kids to keep their toys tidy! Keep an eye on shoes, gloves and hats as well! Puppies love to chew.
You may want to buy a baby gate to keep your new puppy confined to certain rooms of the house when needed. Puppies are like babies and need constant supervision. They can’t be out of your sight or they may get into trouble or worse, get hurt. We found a baby gate or a puppy pen was a great way to confine Maddie when we couldn’t watch over her constantly. Remember they don’t know how to handle stairs yet either and should be supervised near them until they’ve mastered them!
Before your new puppy arrives decide which members of the family will have which responsibilities that come with owning a puppy. Who will clean up after the dog? Who will help potty train the dog? Who will feed and brush the dog? Enlist the kids and get them on board. I had plenty of volunteers and after 6 months the novelty still hasn’t worn off. My kids are great helpers and love our puppy.
Supplies you’ll need for your new puppy
You need to order a dog tag with their name on one side and your name, address and phone number on the opposite side. I got this inexpensive dog tag on Amazon and it came personalized! Maddie quickly chewed it so much it was unreadable. Since she was so tiny this tag hung down off her collar and she could reach to get it in her mouth. Little stinker! After that we ordered this personalized dog tag for the same low price and it has held up perfectly.
Puppies don’t know their boundaries yet and also don’t know to come when you call them. They can easily escape and get out of your reach. Having a personalized dog tag ensures that if they get lost the person that finds them can locate you.
You should also buy a puppy collar. Keep in mind that their necks are very tiny as a puppy so get an appropriate size that can grow with them but won’t slip off their head when they are on a leash. We also got a harness but Maddie had to grow into it since she was just 2.5 pounds when we got her at 8 weeks old.
Order these supplies now before your new puppy arrives!
I had never crate trained a dog before and wasn’t sure I wanted to confine Maddie to a kennel. After doing a lot of research I decided that crate training our puppy from day 1 was the best option. I had always viewed the crate as cruel punishment, however after reading about it I have found that dog’s need a safe space that is all their own. Their crate provides this for them. Our puppy loves her crate and voluntarily goes inside her crate to sleep whenever she needs a break from the kids or the chaos around her.
One thing that is very important is to never use their crate as punishment. Their crate should always be a positive place and never be used to give them a time out or punish them. You don’t want them to view it negatively!
It’s important to buy a crate that only allows enough room for the puppy to stand up and turn around and nothing more. The reasoning behind this is that you want to give them enough room to sleep and be cozy, but no extra room where they can pee. If there is room away from their bedding then they will pee there. If there is only enough room for their bedding then dogs don’t like to pee where they sleep and they will resist peeing in the crate.
You can buy a crate that will grow with them. This is the pink crate (tip-the crate on Amazon was 50% less than the same crate at Petco) we bought for our puppy and it comes with a puppy divider to make the crate smaller and expand it as they grow. Maddie only grew to 5.5 pounds so we never removed the divider for her. Half of this crate is the perfect size for her. You’ll also want a crate liner or you can use towels if your puppy chews up the bed! Maddie never chewed on her own bed.
We also bought this soft sided, collapsable travel crate for when we take car rides and need to crate her. It folds right up into a bag when we aren’t using it. It was perfect for camping too because it took up much less space than her wire crate did.
One very important tip is to always remove your puppy’s collar before leaving them unattended in their crate or kennel. They can get caught and strangle themselves. This goes for puppies and dogs.
Order these supplies now so you are ready for your new puppy’s arrival!
These are the same products we purchased!
Of course you’ll want to provide plenty of things your puppy CAN chew on! Here are some of our favorite puppy toys (and Maddie’s personal favorites too!). Order these NOW before your new puppy arrives! You don’t want to have to run out to the store the day your puppy arrives, nor do you want to be caught with nothing your puppy is allowed to chew on. Be prepared!
Your new puppy also needs a bed! We decided to order this cave bed for our puppy. Since we weren’t sure if she preferred to be covered or not this bed was perfect because it offers both options! She can lay on the top and have nice comfy support under her or she can burrow into the bed and be covered. She prefers to be covered and loves this bed! Whenever she is near a blanket she always dives all the way under it and loves to be completely covered up so this was the perfect bed for her. Even if your pet doesn’t like being covered, this bed works awesome! Maddie also lays right on top of it and it works great both ways. It has held up really well also and looks brand new still (6 months later!).
Before going to pick up your new puppy you will also need to decide if the dog will be allowed on furniture and allowed to sleep in your bed. It’s important that whatever you decide, you stick with it and enforce it from day one. If you have decided the puppy will sleep in the crate then don’t give in and take the puppy into your bed that first night. If you do then you’ll likely have the puppy in bed all the time!
We also bought these potty training bells upon the recommendation from our friend. We didn’t use these at first and I wish we had! We had some difficulty potty training our puppy but once we began using these potty training bells it was a piece of cake! They come with a guide that explains bell training. Basically it teaches the dog to ring the bell when they need to go potty so that they have a means of communicating that to you and learning that potty goes outside! Consistency is KEY!
Once you have finished all of your puppy preparations and bought all the necessary puppy supplies then you are ready to go pick up your new puppy! I recommend bringing along a second person with you so that one person can drive and the other can hold your new puppy. Bring an old towel or puppy blanket to wrap the puppy in on your lap in case they have an accident. Bring along a spare as well!
Don’t forget to bring along the collar and name tag you bought along with a dog leash. If you have a long drive then you’ll also need dog bowls, food and water. We love these collapsible dog bowls for traveling. We use them in our camper and in our vehicle and they work slick! Plan for some potty breaks for the puppy. Their little bladders can’t hold it for very long and this is a new, exciting and nerve-wracking time for them.
Plan for their first week at home to be quite as they explore their new surroundings and get to know you. Try to resist overwhelming them and taking them everywhere. Let them become secure in their surroundings and also remember to keep them away from other dogs until they have their vaccinations.
Now the fun begins! Get to know your new puppy. Explore ways to bond with your dog. Start training them and socializing them from day one. Do things like pet them, play with their ears and feet, clip their nails, brush their fur and give them baths in order to socialize them and get them used to these things. If you start from day one you can avoid having a dog that hates these things or worse yet, bites when they are done. Get them used to other people and all sorts of different noises as well.
If you have bought a mutt and are curious to know what breeds make up their DNA then do a dog DNA test! It’s super fun. We did it with our mutt, Max.
Our sweet little Maddie decided she got cold very easy here in Northern Minnesota’s sub zero temperatures so we invested in a dog coat (grab the hot pink one she is wearing here) and had some tiny little dog booties made for her! Once she was toasty she loved joining us on our skating rink!
I hope this ultimate guide to bringing home your new puppy was a help to you! I have compiled all of my notes from my own research, along with my experience in raising a puppy. I’d love it if you’d take a minute to pin this post for easy finding later or share it on Facebook! Use the share buttons above or below this post for easy sharing!
Are you getting a new puppy? I’d love to hear about it and see pictures of your new puppy! Leave me a comment below or join Must Have Mom on Facebook and share your pics with me!