January 30, 2024 7 min read

Preparing for a furry new member of the family is exciting and overwhelming for pet parents. There’s a never-ending whirlwind of things to do, things to buy, things to learn, and names to think up to make sure you have a well-behaved and happy dog in years to come. 

To help take some of the pressure off puppy owners, we’ve composed a list of things to do to prepare for your new puppy to help you both with this transition.

What Should You Do in the First 24 Hours With a New Puppy?

The excitement of bringing home a new puppy is palpable, but the initial 24 hours are crucial for setting the tone and establishing a positive environment for your furry companion. 

Here's a detailed guide to navigating this crucial time.

Quiet Introduction

Upon arrival, give your puppy a calm introduction to their new environment. It's a big transition for them, so avoid overwhelming them with too much excitement or activity. A gentle, quiet welcome helps alleviate stress and allows them to acclimate gradually.

Designated Space

Create a cozy, safe space for your puppy to settle in. A crate, a comfortable bed, and some familiar items from their previous environment (if applicable) can provide a sense of security. This area should be in a quiet corner of your home and away from heavy traffic.

Introduction to Basic Areas

Familiarize your puppy with essential areas, such as their designated potty spot and their food and water bowls. Show them where these areas are and encourage them to explore gently.

Establish Routine

Begin establishing a routine for feeding, playtime, and bathroom breaks. Consistency in schedules helps your puppy adapt more quickly. Take them outside to their designated potty area at regular intervals, especially after meals or naps, to begin to potty train them.

Bonding Time

Spend quality bonding time with your puppy. Sit near them, speak softly, and offer gentle petting to help them feel secure and build trust. Building a positive rapport from the start is key to forming a strong bond.

Gradual Introduction to Family Members

Introduce family members gradually, allowing your puppy time to get comfortable with each person. Keep interactions calm and positive, ensuring everyone respects the puppy's space and offers gentle interactions.

Short Play Sessions

Engage in short, low-energy play sessions to avoid overwhelming your puppy. Gentle play with appropriate toys encourages bonding without overstimulating them.

Patience and Observation

Practice patience and keen observation during this time. Understand that your puppy is adapting to a new environment, and their behavior might reflect anxiety or confusion initially. Watch for cues of stress or discomfort and respond calmly.

Limit Visitors

Restrict the number of visitors during the initial hours. Your puppy needs time to adjust to their new surroundings without too many external stimuli.

Quiet Nighttime Routine

Create a calm bedtime routine. Provide a comfortable sleeping area near you, allowing them to feel close and secure. A soft blanket or a familiar toy can offer comfort.

Remember, the first 24 hours are about setting a foundation for a positive and welcoming environment. Be patient, observant, and gentle in your interactions to help your new puppy adjust comfortably to their new home. With time, patience, and care, your puppy will gradually settle in and bond with their new family.

How Should You Choose a Vet for Your New Puppy?

Like finding a pediatrician when you have a kid, the first thing you should do when adopting a new dog is find a reliable veterinarian. Prioritize vet checkups, ID tags, and microchips for your new pet's safety.

If you are new to the area and don’t know where to start, try using social media. Your breeder or adoption center might also have a list of referrals.

Local Facebook groups are a great place to start making connections. Alternatively, you might try asking on a community board such as Nextdoor. We suggest asking on multiple sites. The more you ask, the more suggestions and options you’ll have.

If you hear a few names repeatedly, it’s time to do some research. Start with Google and Yelp reviews to narrow down your top candidates. Once you’ve established those, investigate their websites to see the services provided and pricing. 

If you can’t find pricing online, try calling and asking for the prices of a few essential services you’ll be needing. Get a base price to see the doctor or get vaccinations.

What Are the Training Basics for a New Puppy?

A well-trained dog is a happy dog. Your dog is eager to please; you also want a dog that listens when you need it to, so learning training basics is a must. First and foremost, whenever you are training a dog, remember that the two most important things you can be are positive and consistent.

Your dog doesn’t like getting yelled at, and you don’t like yelling at them. What’s more, dogs don’t have the cognitive capability to understand what you’re ranting about beyond knowing they’ve upset you. Furthermore, how can you expect your dog to be fully attentive and enthusiastic about training if they’re anxious about upsetting you?

Second, you must be consistent. Like humans, it takes dogs time and effort to build or change a habit. If you allow too much time to lapse between sessions, your dog’s retention of that knowledge will drop, and you’ll start from square one all over again.

What Are New Puppy Essentials?

One of the many similarities between preparing for a puppy and a baby is the never-ending list of things you need to buy to entertain, feed, and otherwise keep them alive. 

A few things you might want to check off before bringing your pup home include:

While this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, it will at least get you through the first few days. You may also consider buying poop bags for your walks and an enzymatic pet cleaner for the inevitable accidents.

How Do You Puppy Proof Your Home?

Yet another similarity between young dogs and young humans: filling your home with anti-invasion methods against their endless onslaught of energy. To puppy-proof your home, start with the obvious, like closing off areas you don’t want your dog to have access to with baby gates. 

If you’re having trouble thinking of the trouble a puppy could get into, get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. Look at your home from their perspective, and you might be surprised by what seems enticing from below. 

Remove any objects you don’t want damaged or potential hazards. If the item can’t be removed, try hitting it with some non-toxic bitter spray to keep curious mouths off. Safeguard against hazards like electrical cords and toxic plants, making your home a haven for your new puppy. 

How Do You Set Up a Confinement Area for a Puppy?

Use the playpen to set up a confined, safe space for your puppy to rest or when you can't supervise. If the idea of cooping your pup up breaks your heart, don’t worry! Dogs seek den areas by instinct for comfort and safety, so it's just as good for them as having a quick break is for you.

Don’t make the confinement area too big. Just enough room for an automatic dog potty, a bed, water, and a bit of space for a toy if you have it. You want to keep this area nice and cozy both because it’s a den and because it will help start your pup's potty training process.

Dogs will instinctively keep the areas they eat and sleep clean, so they avoid using them to relieve themselves when possible. Your newborn puppy will require a bit of grace as he gains control of his bladder.

How Should You Use Treats To Train a New Puppy?

Dog treats are invaluable tools for positive reinforcement and training your new puppy. When used strategically, they can aid in teaching new behaviors and reinforcing good conduct. This section will cover how to make the most of treats.

Reward-Based Training

Employ treats as rewards for desired behaviors. When your puppy follows a command or displays good behavior, promptly reward them with a small, tasty treat. This positive reinforcement reinforces the behavior and encourages repetition.

Quality and Size

Opt for high-quality treats that are specifically designed for puppies. These treats should be small, easily chewable, and enticing for your puppy. Consider soft treats or small, easily breakable ones to prevent overfeeding during training sessions.


Be consistent in treating your puppy. Use the treats consistently for specific behaviors you want to reinforce, such as sitting, staying, or coming when called. This consistency helps your puppy associate the behavior with the reward.

Timing and Frequency

Timing is crucial. Offer the treat immediately after your puppy demonstrates the desired behavior. This immediate reinforcement strengthens the association between the action and the reward. However, be mindful of the frequency of treats to prevent overindulgence.

By strategically using treats as positive reinforcements during training, you not only encourage good behavior but also establish a strong, trust-based relationship with your new puppy. Remember, patience, consistency, and positivity are key elements in successful treat-based training.

Wrapping Up

In wrapping up this guide to welcoming your new puppy home, remember that these initial moments are the foundation for a well-behaved adult dog. By creating a safe place, establishing house rules, and using positive reinforcement in puppy training, you set the stage for their well-being and happiness. 

Providing everything you need, such as puppy food, chew toys, a BrilliantPad, and a cozy dog bed, ensures your new pup feels secure in their new puppy home. Introducing them to crate training and house training gradually instills a sense of routine and safety. 

Embrace this exciting time as a dog owner and cherish the bond you'll build with your furry friend. Stay patient through accidents and messes; it's all part of the journey. With dedication to dog training and proper care, you'll witness your puppy blossom into a well-behaved and cherished member of your family, ready to embark on many happy adventures together.


Puppy nutrition | Dog health | The Kennel Club

Proper Puppy Nutrition Nourishes Rapid Growth & Development | American Kennel Club

Positive reinforcement – training with rewards | Dogs Trust

The Right Treats Make the Best Reward: How to Choose | The American Kennel Club