Nothing is more exciting than bringing home a new pet, especially a wiggly ball of fur with puppy breath. But, before welcoming your new furry friend, ensure you’re prepared for their arrival, which will help set them up for success, and provide an excellent foundation for a lifetime of wellness. 

What supplies does my new puppy need?

A new puppy may seem to need almost as much as a new baby, but you cannot do without a  few essentials. When creating your shopping list, include the following items:

  • Leash and collar or harness
  • Waste bags
  • Collar ID tags
  • Appropriate-sized crate
  • Enzymatic cleaning supplies
  • Training treats
  • Food and water dish
  • Food formulated for your puppy’s age and size
  • Brushes
  • Nail trimmers
  • Teething toys
  • Long-lasting treats and chews

Having the essentials set up before you get your new puppy will help welcome them and make them feel right at home, plus you will not need more busy shopping trips while your pup is getting settled.

What training does my new puppy need?

Your puppy is a blank slate and will learn all about their world and how to interact with their environment from you. Proper training at a young age will help your furry pal grow into a happy, well-adjusted adult, so ensure you invest plenty of time into training your puppy in the following categories:

  • Crate training
  • House training
  • Obedience training
  • Socialization

Crate training and house training pair well, as a crate can be instrumental in helping your puppy learn to control their bladder. By teaching your puppy the crate is a great place to relax with a tasty treat, they’ll soon be running to their favorite place for a nap. And, the crate will help keep them out of trouble when you can’t keep an eye on them. 

Obedience training will help teach your pet good manners, along with the household rules, such as not jumping on people, walking on a loose leash, and basic commands. Socialization will guide your puppy on forming positive associations in their world, especially concerning strange pets, people, and places. The key to any training regimen is allowing your puppy to learn at their own pace, remain consistent, and to reward immediately for a job well done. With patience and perseverance, your four-legged friend will know how to be the best companion for your family.

What health insurance does my new puppy need?

Puppies can put a serious dent in your budget as they grow, with all the supplies, training classes, and veterinary care they require to be happy and healthy—especially if they’re prone to mischief and end up in an emergency veterinary hospital. Before bringing your new puppy home, look into pet health insurance. Compare your options and determine the plan that will best fit your puppy’s needs. For example, if your new puppy is a Labrador, you’ll want to ensure orthopedic care is covered, as hip, knee, and elbow conditions are common in this breed. A Yorkie puppy should have dental benefits added to their plan, since this tiny breed is prone to dental disease from a young age. 

The key to pet insurance is locking in a plan as soon as possible to prevent uncovered illnesses, diseases, and injuries that may be considered pre-existing conditions. If your new puppy develops stress diarrhea the day after you bring them home, but you haven’t yet purchased an insurance policy, future gastrointestinal conditions may not be covered. Consider pet insurance one of your puppy’s must-haves.

What veterinary care does my new puppy need?

Like babies, puppies require regular wellness exams and a vaccination series to ensure they’re growing properly and are protected from disease. For the first few months of your puppy’s life, they’ll receive vaccinations and their boosters, physical exams, and parasite deworming and prevention. During their visits, we’ll discuss problem behavior management, diet and nutrition, microchipping, and spaying or neutering. By the time your puppy receives their final vaccinations in their puppy series, we’ll have covered all the topics vital to your pet’s growth, development, health, and happiness. As your puppy grows into an adult, they’ll need fewer vaccinations that last for a longer time period, but they’ll still need year-round flea, tick, and heartworm prevention to keep them safe. Although we won’t see you as frequently when your puppy hits young-adult status, our team is always here to answer your questions about your pet.

Help your new puppy start off on the right paw by creating a healthy foundation. Our Fairfax Veterinary Clinic team is here to help protect your puppy against life-threatening diseases, provide nutrition and behavior advice, and ensure they receive top-notch care. Give us a call to schedule your new pup’s first appointment for a lifetime of wellness.