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Preparing for a Puppy

There's nothing more exciting than bringing home a puppy for the first time. I had been waiting in anticipation for this day to come for over 1.5 years, as I was pretty far down on a long list of names from my local breeder. I wasn't in a rush to get a dog, but knew that I wanted one, so I didn't mind the wait.

I always grew up around our family dog, but this would be my first time raising one on my own. I was excited for the responsibility and chance to have my very own furry best friend. I definitely had a lot of expectations and was met with challenges that I could never have even imagined, but I like to believe it was worth it for the best friend I now have.

Things to Do in Preparation:

  1. Get several types of toys. Puppies aren't hard to entertain, and everything is new to them, but it's good to ensure you have a variety of chew toys to help with the teething phase. Top favorites are squeaky toys, chew toys like Kongs, balls, and some plush ones.

  2. Buy the essentials: Nature's Miracle stain and odor remover, lots of paper towels, a cheap leash, extra cheap towels for car rides, water/food bowls, puppy camera, etc.

  3. Have a few names already picked out. Let the personality and look settle in and then choose a name that fits your pup best.

  4. Sign up for pet insurance! I signed up after picking up my puppy and coverage didn't start for an entire month, so sign up before to be ready for everything.

  5. Buy a cheap crate and play pen. These are super helpful for your sanity. Crate training is hard, but worthwhile for when you need to leave the home, and the play pen is helpful for when you're home and cannot keep eyes on your pup the whole time. Your pup will outgrow the crate, but you can always donate it to a shelter afterwards when you buy the full-size one.

  6. Watch training videos on YouTube. I am SO thankful I did this a few weeks before because as soon as she arrived I literally had zero free time. Take advantage of the time you have before and prepare wisely. I watched lots of videos on bite inhibition, potty training, and basic leash training. I recommend surfing YouTube and finding a channel you like.

  7. Puppy-proof your home: This one is self-explanatory, but make sure your home is as ready as can be. Clean up the floor, tuck loose wires away, move valuables to higher shelves, and practice minimalism. Don't leave things out and always have toys readily available for the puppy to chew on.

  8. Buy food and treats: Talk with the breeder to find out which brand of dog food she is feeding them, and make sure to start your pup on that before transitioning to a new brand. Also pick up low-calorie treats for training and some chew sticks that are designed for puppies. You'll be thankful to have these when your fur-baby arrives.

  9. Research your Breed: If you are getting a purebred dog, then make sure to know a lot about what you're getting into. Shikoku are very different in nature than the dogs I grew up with (German Shepherds), so there was a lot to learn in terms of training, food preferences, habits, and grooming.

  10. Create a Plan: Time is limited when you get your puppy. You'll be overwhelmed with stress, excitement, and things to do, and time will literally pass by so quickly. It's important to prepare ahead of time whatever you can. I chose a local vet, made a hourly schedule, researched how much to walk a puppy based on age, and looked for socialization classes nearby. I also recommend keeping a flexible work schedule and requesting to work from home for the first few weeks you have your pup. If you cant work remotely, then take time off, it's essential to bond with your fur-baby upon arrival.


Hi! I'm Jackie and my dog is Sora. I work remote as an engineer, but I love to spend my free time in nature and by traveling to new places. I take my camera wherever I go, and sometimes my drone.

Somewhere With Sora is a Seattle-based lifestyle and travel blog that provides helpful travel and adventure tips for all kinds of trips, with or without the dogs.

Let me help you plan your next trip!

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