So what if you brought home a puppy instead of a kitty?  This week, Wisconsin Pet Care continues with our adoption series, helping you navigate the first few days with your canine friend.


Settling In Your New Dog


*What to purchase before puppy comes home:

-dog food

-(2) bowls (one for food and one for water)

-collar (don’t forget the tag with his name and phone number on it!)


-crate (if you plan on crate-training your pup)

-dog toys

-dog bed or blanket

-nail clippers


-treats (for training and positive reinforcement)


*DO remember that your pup is a creature of habit.  Sticking to a feeding and bathroom schedule will help ease some acclimation anxiety.  Being able to anticipate activities enables your dog to feel a sense of control over his environment.  Additionally, scheduled potty breaks aids in housebreaking your new friend.  Even if you have brought home an older dog, who was formerly trained to go outside, the transition into a new home could cause some regressive behavior.


*And to that point, DON’T expect a perfect pup – accidents do happen!  When you first bring your dog home, keep him in a smaller area, preferably with an easily cleaned floor.  Kitchens, extra bathrooms (for smaller breeds), and other living spaces without carpeting are all great choices.


*DO take Fido out to his new “potty area” before even bringing him into the house.  Let him get the “lay of the land” and sniff out his new territory.  He may or may not go to the bathroom (if he does, reward him on the spot!  Waiting until he returns to the house to get a treat leaves him associating the reward with coming inside, not going to the bathroom).  Regardless, be patient and continue sticking to a schedule – he’ll be a potty pro in no time!


*DO get to know “Puppy Feng Shui Wisdom”: Dogs are simple – they don’t like to use the bathroom where they sleep and vice versa.  Crating your dog taps into their natural den-dwelling instincts, and it is one of the quickest ways to house-train your new puppy.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post on crating!


*DO puppy-proof your house.  Start by putting away easily knocked over knick-knacks, refraining from lighting candles and adding cabinet locks to easily-opened doors.  Moreover, you will want to tack down loose wires, check the ASPCA’s site for any house plant toxicity, and give your flooring a good cleaning.


Now that you’ve integrated your new puppy or kitten into your home, what happens next?  Coming up, Wisconsin Pet Care will give you an idea of how to pick a good veterinarian for your new pet pal, as well as what to expect during your kitten/puppy’s first few visits.