10 Vet Approved Tips To Help You Prepare For A Puppy

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how to prepare for a puppy

A lot of people will be bringing home a new pet during the holidays!  I think we’ve all had a puppy on our list at some point in time.  I’ve had a puppy one on my Christmas list for many years but not this year!  My wish was granted on my birthday and my gift was a nine week old female Yorkshire Terrier.  Here she is pictured with my son, Noah.  Aren’t they cute?  All Yorkies are born with black fur.  It’s sort of a surprise to find out what their true coloring is.  Ours is blue and gold.

Vet approved tip to prepare for a new puppy
Noah and Gigi (9 weeks old)

This is the first time in my life I’ve had a puppy to call my own.  For those of you who have been with me a while, you’ve been introduced to Gigi on my blog and social media.  She is a huge part of my life now and I love her unconditionally.  She is my “Ambassador of Happiness”.  We walk together, run errands together, sleep together…well, we do everything together!  She will be 24 weeks old at Christmas and she’s in full force puppy mode!  WOW!  The energy and cuteness!

Not joking here… I just took a break from writing this to take a Christmas ornament away from Gigi that one of the cats took off a display.  While my house is puppy-proofed, the cats get into high places, whack things onto the floor, and Gigi takes it from there.  I have to watch her closely at all times.

Unfortunately, Gigi isn’t house trained yet.  We are making progress but I’m a novice puppy owner.  I’m only a pro at cleaning up messes!  Thankfully, a few weeks after Gigi came home, a new cleaner for pet stains became available at Target, STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover.  This product has really helped me through the difficult times of house training.  The few carpets in my home are area rugs and guess where nearly all accidents happen?  The rugs!  But, I don’t get frustrated with messes.  I just accept that accidents happen and rely on products such as STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover that can remove the most stubborn stains.  I’ve also used the product to successfully clean up mud that has been tracked in the house.  This has really helped make caring for Gigi a lot easier!

Formal southwestern living room
Notice the colorful Southwestern rug? This is where most accidents happen.

Before Gigi came home, I spoke with my sister to gather tips on how to prepare for a puppy and avoid dangerous incidents.  My sister is a veterinarian and board certified surgeon.  I knew she would have great pointers to help me prepare for a new puppy.  Having spent years dealing with emergency pet situations, sadly she encountered pet injuries that could have been avoided.  If you are bringing a new puppy home, here are 10 vet approved tips to help you prepare for a puppy.  These tips will help make the transition smooth for your family and the pup.

10 Vet Approved Tips To Help You Prepare For A Puppy

1 – Plenty of chew toys

Puppies will chew on anything they can access.  To prepare for a  puppy, having  plenty of chew toys they associate as their own is essential. This will help avoid them chewing on your furniture and other belongings.

Yorkshire Terrier Puppy - prepare for a puppy
Gigi loves her holiday chew toy from Target!

2 – Soft bedding and a blanket

Coming into a new environment, a puppy should have things to associate as her own.  Blankets and bedding are ideal and a sleeping area is a place she will spend a lot of time resting.

Prepare for a Puppy
Comfy and Cozy – recharging for play time!

3 – Stain and odor removing cleaning product

With puppies, carpeting isn’t always friendly.  With urine, feces, and vomit accidents, cleaners capable of removing the stain and odor are recommended.  The new STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover has ODOR REMOVE™ Technology that cleans and protects carpeting without leaving any residue behind.  The product helps eliminate odors and repels dirt.  It also leaves an invisible shield behind to protect against soiling and make cleaning the area easier next time.  A must have to prepare for a puppy!

Stainmaster Pet Stain Carpet Cleaner

A Target Cartwheel offer is available for this product in December offering 25% off.  Find this product in the cleaning aisle at Target.  (See my notes at the end of the post regarding availability).

4 – Set up a quiet place

When introducing a puppy into your home, set up a quiet place for her.  The area should be away from places within the home that other dogs in the house may consider their “spot”.   It takes time for pets to adjust to each other and puppies can be injured if an adult dog is protecting their territory.  Puppy gates also help create safe areas of separation.

5 – Consider a crate

By nature, dogs are den animals.  A crate becomes a comfort zone for them as they grow.  It is also a safe area for your puppy if you have people going in and out of your home where doors or gates may be left open.  Crates are convenient and safe if your yard is not appropriate due to weather, wild animals, an unfenced pool, or other obstacles.  To keep a rambunctious puppy from getting into trouble while you are in the shower or not able to watch her, a crate is a comfy place she will peacefully sleep.  Keep their chew toys and bedding in the crate as well.

6 – Bitter apple spray

You can find bitter apple spray in most pet stores or online and it serves as a safe and effective deterrent that helps your pup learn not to chew on inappropriate things, such as your area rugs and furniture.  Before I used bitter apple spray, I incurred this unfortunate damage.

Puppy Damage
Damage from Puppy Chewing

7 – Stainless steel bowls

Stainless steel is your best bet for protecting your puppy against harmful bacteria.  Use a stainless bowl for her water and food.  Clean the bowls daily.

8 – Puppy-proof the home

This is another reminder that puppies will chew and rifle through anything they can gain access to.  Dirty clothes on the floor, plants, electrical cords, bathroom trash cans, shoes, books, papers, child toys, remote controls – anything and everything!  A walk-through should be performed and items picked up off the floors and moved out of reach from where the puppy will be.  If you take any medications, ensure no pills have been dropped on the floor and your routine doesn’t permit that to happen.

tip to prepare for a puppy
Unable to puppy-proof the wood floor and it’s amazing she got to it!  We’ll hold off on repairs until she’s older.

9 – Puppy-proof the yard

Puppies dig and explore.  If you intend to allow your puppy in your yard unsupervised, fences, electrical wiring, dryer vents, toxic plants, and unfenced pools are common hazards.  These are not necessarily all the hazards that could be looming in a yard so it’s critical you examine the outdoor area very closely.

10 – Going out in public

It’s fun to take a new puppy out for walks, to the park, and other public places.  However, until your puppy has undergone the final round of vaccinations, it’s not safe for her.  This includes walks in the neighborhood.  Consider walking the puppy in your backyard to get her accustomed to a leash.  However, beyond your front door should be out of bounds until all recommended vaccines are complete.

Whether you are bringing home a puppy this holiday season or hosting a holiday party, being prepared is the key to success.  I have to say, I’ve been impressed with the STAINMASTER  Carpet Pet Stain Remover and it’s really made things easier on my family.    I picked up the product at my local Target store in Ahwatukee (Phoenix), Arizona.   It’s not available at all Target stores but it is available online.  Click here to find STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover.  You can also have it shipped free to your local Target store.

Definitely grab a hold of the cartwheel offer because you will likely have holiday stains with or without pets.  This is the best product I’ve used to spot clean my carpets.  It is  must to have on hand during the holidays!


Happy holidays to you and your family!  Please share any puppy tips you have in the comments below!

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19 thoughts on “10 Vet Approved Tips To Help You Prepare For A Puppy

  1. Such a pleasure to read your puppy adventures 😉 I prefer cats but Hubby is quite allergic… sadly we don’t have pet at home… Happy Holiday Janine ! I wish you a wonderful Christmas with lot of love and pretty presents too ! Hugs

  2. Aw your cat almost doesn’t look real in that photo of her on the couch! Beautiful Jade!
    Gigi is adorable – I hope her toilet training comes along quickly… we had a crate for our dog and she found it comforting to have “her place”.

    1. Jade is really pretty. And what’s interesting about her… she’s the only cat that tolerates the puppy. She lets Gigi chase her tail and paw her. My other two beat her up. LOL – That’s her spot on the sofa. I need to read up on house training techniques because what I’m doing is just NOT WORKING.

  3. This is a great post. Lots of useful info for puppy-parents-to-be.
    But my favourite thing about this post is… the photos! Your son is such a cutie. And I love that you have several pets. Lots of work but also endless fun!

    1. We have 3 cats and 2 dogs. I love them all. I’d have another dog if my husband said yes. Noah is here with me, he’s all smiling that you said he is cute! He really enjoys being a part of the blog! Have a beautiful holiday!

  4. Your puppy is so adorable. Do you have any problems with her crying if you use a crate? “Has the Apple spray really helped with chewing?

    1. The bitter apple spray helps but I only spray it on the furniture and areas she tries to chew. She has still gone after the stairs, corners of cabinetry and things like that so it’s a matter of watching the puppy and telling them NO so they learn. With the crate, at first she cried, but now she will go in there on her own so I leave the door open all day. It’s like her little house.

  5. These are really truly great tips for new pet parents. I could have used them several years ago when we first got our dog. I was so inexperienced and made a lot of mistakes. {client}

    1. I think the one for me that hits home is about the medication! It’s even dangerous with adult dogs since they sniff around and eat everything! It’s easy for a puppy to overdose and a scary thought.

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