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Essentials To-Do List for Bringing Your Puppy Home:

  • Set up an appointment with your vet as far in advance as possible for your puppy.


  • This is also a good time to do some research & put together a printed list with your regular veterinarian, 2 different 24hr emergency vet phone numbers, find a reputable Pet Sitter/Walker, boarding kennel for emergency situations & research Pet Insurances to find the right fit for you.


  • Puppy proof your home (   How to prepare your home for a new puppy (

  • Make sure your puppy is supervised at all times outside unless it is in a fully enclosed (including a roof) area until it is at least 25 lbs: Hawks can mistake a small pup for a rabbit. If you live in an area with other predators like coyotes or raccoons take this into account as well.

  • Get a puppy area set up in an area of your house that is not carpeted. This will be a safe & secure smaller area either using a play pen fence or using baby gates to partition off a small room. This will be where your pup stays if you are not able to directly supervise it. Put its crate with the door open in one corner full of some snuggly blankets & toys to make it a positive space. In the rest of the space set up some toys & a pee pad in-case of accidents. Once your pup is accustomed to its crate it can be placed in it for short amounts of time when you are not able to supervise it while it is still learning where to go potty.

  • Decide on a potty training system (I recommend bells) & make sure you or another family member will have time to work with the pup until it has learned your routine & what is expected of him. This puppy is not fully potty trained when it goes home:  I START puppies on potty training & work to teach them the concept of going potty in a specific place - transitioning that concept to your specific home will take some time & patience. I never want people to think that a young dog will be 100% trained when it goes home: any dog owner needs to be prepared to put time & training into a new puppy/dog.

  • Until you have stablished where the pup is supposed to potty you will need to take him out every 30 minutes to an hr especially right after meals.  Once they have learned the routine & are not having accidents inside you can lengthen the time between potty breaks.      I highly recommend hanging bells on your doorknobs during potty training (I have some on my amazon wish list). Have the puppy touch the bell with its nose or paw & click (or use a voice command such as “Yes!”) & re-ward with a treat. Then take the pup out the door. Use a phrase such as “go potty” when your pup starts going potty immediately click & treat to positively reinforce the behavior. Do not expect your puppy to make it through the whole night until it is much older/has had plenty of time to become accustomed to your home. 

  • Buy a bag of Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice Large Breed Puppy formula (or the 4health version of this at tractor supply & some training treats.

Basic Essentials:

  • Sealing Food Storage Container

  • Bowls

  • Dog Crate

  • Dog Bed

  • Baby Gates

  • Playpen

  • Dog Toys & safe non-rawhide/bone chews

  • Leash

  • Collar

  • Nametags that have your address & phone number

  • Long Line

  • Harness & seatbelt for car rides

  • Treat pouch 

Grooming Supplies:

  • Dog Brush/Comb

  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste

  • Nail Trimmer

  • Non-irritating puppy shampoo (check the amazon list)


Potty/Cleaning Supplies:

  • No Chew Spray

  • Natures Best Enzymes Spray

  • Stain & Odor Remover

  • Paper Towels

  • Puppy Pee Pads

  • Poop Bags

  • Pooper Scooper

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