PhotoLooking into the eyes of an adorable puppy can cause serious side effects, including visions of puppy-filled days and a strong desire to bring it home. But before signing those adoption papers, it’s important make sure you’re prepared.

It goes without saying that puppies are a big responsibility. And while they often atone for their misdeeds with cuddles and cuteness, it’s certainly not always easy to be a puppy parent. Accidents, chewed shoes, and lots of training are all part of the journey.

But with some reading and preparation, you might find it a little easier to transition into dog ownership. So how can you prepare yourself and your home for a new puppy?

Puppy prep

If puppy season has you tempted to take home a furry friend, take a look at these tips for adopting a new puppy.

  • Find the right puppy personality. First and foremost, prospective dog adopters should seek out a puppy with the right personality. Finding a puppy personality that works with you and your lifestyle can make all the difference, according to the pet experts at DogVacay. Some households might be better suited to a laid back, kid-friendly dog while others might enjoy a more active pup.
  • Puppy-proof the house. You might be mentally prepared, but you’ll also need to make sure your home is ready for the new addition. Puppy-proofing your house will involve latching all the trash can lids, covering up wiring, ensuring all your houseplants are safe for dogs, and putting away hazardous chemicals. You’ll also want to set up areas for your new puppy to eat and sleep.
  • Buy the essentials. Make a trip to the pet store to stock on the essentials. Your new puppy will need a leash, harness, collar, waste bags, dog food, and toys.
  • Spend lots of time together. Once your new puppy is home, bonding time can commence. Be prepared to spend lots of time getting to know your pup. Walking your dog, providing frequent potty breaks, playing with him, and training him are also important at this stage.
  • Consistency in training. Puppyhood is the ideal time to train your dog. The earlier and more consistent your training is, the more effective it will be in the long run. Get everyone in the household on the same page as far as discipline. If you don’t want a mealtime beggar on your hands, for example, be sure no one feeds him under the table. Mixed messages can be highly confusing to puppies.
  • Socialization. During Fido’s first year, be sure to introduce him to as many types of people and animals as possible. Local dog parks or pet-friendly workplaces can be great places to spend time out of the house with your new puppy.

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