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Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Bringing home a puppy is exciting because he becomes a new member of the family, but raising one is hard work, so the whole family needs to pitch in and do their part. The new puppy needs to be fed, walked, bathed and more.

You’ll need to make sure each family member knows his or her job to help out. Plus, you’ll want to follow a few more tips to keep your puppy healthy and your home safe from any potential damage. This includes supplies to buy beforehand.

General Puppy Supplies
You’ll need to have some supplies on hand when the puppy comes home, such as:

  1. Crate
    Why is a crate important? The crate not only serves as a safe place for the puppy at night, but it can also help with the house and behavioral training. Learn more about crate training, so you’ll get the best use from this important tool.
  1. Leash
    Your puppy needs a leash for walks, but what type is best? A good start is buying a lightweight but strong leash at least 10 feet long. You can buy a longer leash as the puppy grows.

Use the leash to train your puppy to come back when called and obey commands when on walks.

  1. Food and Water Bowls
    You may think a bowl is just a bowl, but there are some things to consider. Plastic bowls often become chew toys. The chew marks left on the bowl can harbor bacteria that can make your puppy sick. Find a bowl that is dishwasher safe and chew-proof.

The shape of the bowl matters, too. Learn more about what shape is best based on the type of dog you’re bringing home.

  1. Toys
    Choosing safe toys for your puppy can get confusing. Keep in mind that puppies are aggressive chewers, and any toy he can tear into pieces becomes a choking hazard. Learn to recognize unsafe toys.

Care Supplies
You’ll also need several different supplies to specifically care for and keep your puppy healthy. Keep in mind the following:

  1. Bath Care
    Bath time can be stressful for both puppy and pet parent, and there are many things to consider. Should you bathe your dog in a sink or tub? Should towel dry or air dry?

Take some time to learn the best options for bathing your dog at home to avoid causing your puppy the anxiety of going to a groomer. As a bonus, this can serve as a great bonding time for you two!

  1. Puppy Pen
    Part of puppy care is making sure your pet gets enough exercise so he’s strong and healthy. If you don’t have a fenced area for him to run, consider a puppy pen that allows a little freedom to run outdoors.

A long line and tether can also be helpful to allow your dog room to run while remaining safe and confined to a certain area.

  1. Flea/Tick Treatments
    If you plan to take care of the pests yourself, you should take the time to learn about your options in flea and tick treatments for puppies. These treatments aren’t recommended until puppies are of a certain age, so make sure you know when and how to use these products safely.

House Rules
The house rules are for the family to follow. This way you know that each person understands what their responsibilities are to care for the new addition to the family:

  • Who will feed the puppy?
  • Is the puppy allowed on the furniture?
  • Who is in charge of training?
  • What correction is needed when the puppy makes mistakes?
  • Where will the puppy be during the day, and who in in charge?
  • Who takes the puppy for walks and where?
  • Where will the new puppy sleep?

Setting rules are the best way to ensure your routine is followed, so the puppy is cared for and learns to obey.

Puppies grow up to be loved family members, so it’s important to be prepared to care for your furry friend properly. Working as a team, the whole family can help make sure your new puppy is healthy and happy.

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