Preparing for your new Puppy!

Lincoln the dog

So, you want to get a puppy. Congratulations! Puppies can bring you many hours of entertainment and joy. But don’t bring a puppy into the house without adequate preparation. The wise puppy owner will be fully prepared with supplies and equipment, the right service providers and a plan for house rules as well as regular routines.

One item you will need is a crate. Crate training is a great behavior management tool. Not only will a crate help you house train your puppy, it will assist you in teaching your puppy appropriate behavior when it’s in the house. Your goal is to teach the puppy to use the crate as his safe-haven. Crates should never be used as punishment or for warehousing a puppy.

Chances are that your puppy will have potty accidents. Dog-safe cleaning products are good to have around house while you are house training the puppy. I highly recommend purchasing an enzyme cleaner. They’re extremely good at eliminating the smell from the area that was soiled. Remember, dogs have a sense of smell that is up to 1000 times more powerful than our sense of smell. Whereas, you may not smell the post potty accident after you cleaned it up, the dog can smell it, and may try to go potty in the same area again. A good enzyme cleaner will take away the smell completely.

Don’t forget to get a collar and ID tag for your puppy, in case they get loose. Make sure you include your contact information on the ID tag allowing anyone who finds your puppy to help reunite the two of you. You might consider getting your puppy a microchip; something your veterinarian can provide.

You will also need a leash and harness to better control your puppy when you take them on short walks. Since your puppy is young, you don’t want to take them on long walks yet since they’re still growing and learning how to walk properly. Short 5-10 minute walks are long enough until they get older.

Puppies have a lot of energy, which means they will need toys. Toys are a great way for them to expend that energy and entertain themselves when you’re not available. Some toys are interactive, which can help you better bond with you puppy.

Since puppies are teething, they will put anything in their mouth. That means you will want to “puppy proof” your home to ensure they can’t get anything dangerous or valuable to eat.

One thing you will want to consider are dog care providers. These include a veterinarian, trainer and possibly a dog walker and/or pet sitter depending on whether or not you have the time during the day to care for your puppy.

Training and socialization are critical for puppies. Puppies need to be socialized with both people and other animals. This doesn’t mean being overly friendly to everyone and everything that crosses your paths. Some dogs are not well socialized, so you want to manage that carefully. Good socialization means getting used to having others around and how to properly interact.

Particularly in Nashville since it’s such an animal friendly city, it’s great to have a puppy. But know that puppies grow up to become adult dogs. If you’re properly prepared, you and your puppy will have a long wonderful life together for years to come.


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