17 Essentials to Welcome Home Your New Furry Baby

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Alka Paul
Congratulations on welcoming your new puppy home! Your bundle of joy will require ample of essentials to get you started on this amazing journey, along with your unconditional love. –by Alka Paul
You need to begin with organising his training tools, grooming tools, health and safety gadgets and all other basic prerequisites to make him comfortable and happy at his new home.

Here are the seventeen basics all new pet parents need to focus on, along with the guidance of a good veterinarian.

1. Get control with collar
Choose an adjustable buckle collar or a harness for your new pup. It will lead to enjoyable walks and effective training sessions for both of you. Buy a basic one, as he will outgrow it very soon.

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2. Leash it up when stepping out
Pick a lightweight leash and make sure it’s durable as your puppy will start chewing on it sooner or later. He may pull on the leash when you take him for a walk, so buying a good quality one is a must.

3. Get a dog tag
Make a pet ID tag with his name, your name, and your contact details for easy identification just in case he gets lost or escapes.

4. Keep it sturdy with good quality food and water bowls
Select sturdy bowls for your pup for feeding as well as drinking water. If the bowls are sturdy, they will not move while the pup is using them. They should have a depth too for easy feeds. You need to pick right size bowls as they come in different sizes depending on the pup’s age and breed.

5. Choose chews to prevent destruction
You need to be prepared for some unwanted chewing of shoes, clothes, furniture, hands and feet as puppies love to chew. You can give him something safe to chew on such as rope toys or chew toys, which will distract him from chewing on your household things. This will also help in redirecting undesirable behaviour until your pup starts shedding his puppy teeth.

6. Get toys to make some noise
Puppies love toys. To begin with, you can give him puppy teething toys. You can also pick up some puzzle toys, interactive toys, different types of squeaky balls and rope toys. Toys are important part of your pup’s mental and physical growth. They offer a sense of security and will get him tired leading to a good amount of rest and sleep.

7. Good food is a complete mood
Feeding your pup good quality and hygienic food is essential for his healthy growth and development. With the consultation of your vet, you can begin feeding him with a selective brand of kibbles meant for puppies. After few months, you can slowly introduce a combination of home cooked food along with kibbles. Be consistent by feeding him a balanced diet. Fresh clean water should be available in the bowl 24 x7. It’s essential to keep washing the bowls each time to prevent germs.

8. Crate before it’s too late
A crate is an essential buy for your pup, whether you decide to crate train him, travel with him, or take him to the vet. It also serves as a comfort zone for your pup to have his ‘me time’. The crate should have ample space for your pup to sit, stretch, and lie down.

9. Comfort unbound with bed and blanket
Give him a cushioned bed right from the beginning and place it at a corner where he would go each time to relax or sleep. It’s best for him to have his own territory. Along with a comfortable bed, you can get him a soft blanket which will make him feel cozy. There are plenty available in different sizes and colours that will match his bed.

10. Treats all the way
Treats are vital for your pup not only during training but also for creating a loving bond between the two of you. Giving your pup a well-deserved treat is a sign of affection too. You need to reward him with treats for displaying positive behaviour. Treats should be healthy such as dog biscuits, kibbles or fresh vegetables such as diced carrot and cucumber.

11. The magic of grooming
You can begin grooming him at home when he is about eight weeks old. Keeping a regular routine from the beginning will get him used to these sessions and slowly he will start enjoying them. Start with basic grooming such as brushing his hair with a soft brittle brush or a comb as they will take off all the dirt or unwanted hair stuck on the coat and skin. You can start bathing him at the age of 3 to 4 months. Always use puppy shampoo while bathing him. Get him used to you touching his paws, ears, face, and tail while you bathe him.

Begin dental hygiene early enough by cleaning his teeth with coconut oil applied on your finger. Rub it softly all over his teeth and gums. This will evade bad odour and will keep his teeth healthy and shiny. Clean his ears with a medicated lotion after a few weeks, only if you can see any wax developed inside. Nail clipping can be done when he is around 4 to 5 months old by a professional groomer.

12. Keep towels and newspapers handy
Make sure you have soft and absorbent towels to dry your pup after bathing him once he is two months old. When indoors paper towels can be used to wipe his pee or vomit, and can use newspapers to pick up his poop.

13. Scoop the poop
As a responsible pet parent, you need to scoop your pets’ poop when you take him for a walk. You can use poop bags or a poop picker that’s meant to pick up the poop.

14. Follow vaccination and de-worming routine
Vaccination ideally begins when the pup is between 6 and 8 weeks old. And then again after 3 weeks, when he gets his last round. It’s best to talk to veterinary doctor near your home who will set up the best vaccination schedule for your pup.

Deworming is done by giving tablets to your pup when he is 2 weeks old, repeating every 2 weeks until 3 months of age. Then once a month from 3 to 6 months. After 6 months, deworming can be done quarterly. This schedule too will be explained by your veterinarian.

15. Have a medical box for your furry friend
Your pup may require supplements such as calcium or vitamin tablets for nutrition and growth. You need to check with your veterinarian for the same when you take him for the first vaccination. You can also check which medicines supplies can be bought and kept handy at home during emergencies for loose motions and vomiting. You also need to administer flea and tick medication to keep him free of parasites. It’s best to take your pet for a general check up every six months.

16. Early start to house training
House training requires consistency, commitment, and lots of patience. It’s necessary to maintain a regular schedule for eating, playing, and eliminating. A puppy can hold their bladder for an hour as per their monthly age. So, if your pup is two months old, he can hold on for two hours.

You need to take him every two hours outdoors or to the bathroom spot where you want him to do his business – especially on waking up, after eating or drinking and after playing. Use the word pee each time he is relieving himself for him to get familiar with this word. Reward and praise with a treat each time he does his job.

Puppies are usually fed four times a day. If the feeding time is consistent, he will also eliminate at a fixed time, making house-training easier for both of you.

17. No excuses, just exercise!
Take your puppy for daily walks once he is fully vaccinated. You can start with a ten minutes’ walk, twice a day. Before this, you can play with him indoors or in a safe area where he does not meet unvaccinated dogs. Exercising at home in the form of playing and training is good enough to keep him fit and active.
In addition to these 17 essentials, socializing your puppy is equally important once he is fully vaccinated. You need to expose him to new pets and people. A friendly pup is a happy pup!

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