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Bringing Your Puppy Home

When you have decided on a new puppy, make sure to take a little time to prepare for the puppy by "puppy-proofing" you home and making a safe place for this new family member. Consider these suggestions:

1. Puppies chew on anything available to them. Have a few safe toys available and move other objects where they cannot reach them. For example, keep shoes in a closed closet and items picked up off the floor. Consider a puppy product that deters chewing, such as , which is non-toxic, biodegradable spray that helps prevent damage from teething puppies.

2. Puppy space: Give your and a regular place to sleep. Have water and food available. As you are housetraining, keep a lot of newspaper or around and place the puppy on it, especially after meals, to train them to go potty on the newspaper and not the rug. As they learn, cut back on the amount of paper and keep taking them out outside to do their business. Use a baby gate to confine your puppy to spaces for their use to prevent accidents all over the house.

3. Prepare with adequate supplies. Learn about the right food for a puppy and how often they need to be fed. Other supplies will include a that fits comfortably, a leash to learn how to go for walks with you, some , tags with identification labels, a doggy crate for or temporary confinement times, a dog house if the puppy is outside a lot, a , or other .

4. Be prepared to have a few trips to the vet. Locate a vet in your area and a place to take your puppy in for a health checkup and the appropriate shots necessary for his or her age. Your vet will give you a schedule of necessary shots and other health suggestions.

5. Realize that your puppy's happiness and future behavior is in your hands. Plan to train and socialize the puppy so that they behave properly. Plan to leave your puppy alone for periods of time so that there is not an overdependence on people being around all the time.

6. Get a good book or on your breed of puppy and read how to care for your new little family member. Knowledge will go a long way to raising a happy, healthy dog.

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