Choosing to get Labrador puppies is a big undertaking, especially since there will be plenty of things to know about lab puppies. For this reason, you must prepare adequately for the arrival of your Lab.
If you’re wondering how to prepare for a puppy in an apartment, no worries. In this article, we’re going to break down the things you need to buy and do to make your home comfortable for your new puppy.
What you need to buy for a Lab puppy
1. Dog Food and Food Bowls
When your Labrador puppy arrives home, do not switch to a new food immediately. Instead, do it gradually over time. Consult the breeder or the shop from where you adopted the dog about the types of food that the puppy has been used to eating. You should keep the puppy on this diet for at least a few weeks after arriving in your home.
Make sure to get only food that is appropriate for your Lab pup. Although research on pet food is not yet extensive, a study has found that a diet integrated with functional foods can provide many health benefits to your dog and can even reduce their chances of getting certain pathological illnesses.
Make sure to do your research before buying any dog food as well. Consider the nutrients that your puppy can get and take a look at the ratios that you should be feeding them. The food your puppy should be taking in has to be made exactly for puppies since adult Labradors have different nutritional needs. Consult your vet if you need an opinion on the best food for Lab puppies.
Food bowls are another story. Your puppy is going to need one bowl for food and another bowl for water. You have to make sure that the bowls you get for your puppy cannot be easily tipped over or damaged by chewing. Lab puppies tend to chew on many things, so getting a food bowl that won’t easily be damaged is essential. It is also good to choose ones that have a certain heftiness and weight to them so that your puppy cannot drag them around easily and spill the contents.
2. Crates and Beddings
Labrador pups are incredibly energetic and need some space where they can do whatever they want, even when you are not there to look after them. This is where crates come into the picture.
Puppies also need a safe and familiar space for when they want some downtime, and a crate can provide them with just that. When properly trained, your pup can learn to see crates as their own safe place.
Buy a crate that has just enough space for your Lab to sleep comfortably in. In many cases, crates will come with a divider that you can remove in time when the puppy grows bigger.
Because dogs tend to keep their sleeping area clean, you might also consider putting bedding in their crate. This reinforces the idea that they cannot relieve themselves inside the crate as that would soil their sleeping space.
Bear in mind that crates should never be used for punishment purposes. Instead, they should be used for the benefit of your pup only. If you need to discipline them, there are other methods that you can enforce. Visit our blog post on how to discipline your puppy to know what these methods are.
3. Collars, Leashes, and Harnesses
There are multiple kinds of collars, leashes, and harnesses in the market today. Choose ones that you are comfortable using and will not hurt your puppy. These items can help you control your puppy when you need to, as long as they will not cause harm in any way.
A collar is also helpful if you need something to attach your dog’s information or tag to. In case your puppy gets lost, the tag will ensure that whoever finds your puppy can immediately contact you and return your dog.
The major con to using a leash is that your puppy could chew on them. Since Labrador puppies are chewers, you have to train your puppy to not chew on their leash.
Whichever item you decide to purchase, just make sure to choose one that is right for you and your puppy.
Toys are crucial in keeping your puppy occupied and even in preventing them from chewing on their bedding. Some toys are made for chewing, while some are for stimulating your puppy. We suggest that you do your research on what kind of toys you will need to get for your dog.
Take note, however, that you should also avoid getting your dog too many toys at once as this can overstimulate them. If you have already bought multiple toys for your pup, just switch them around so that your Lab will have options to choose from.
5. Grooming and Cleaning Supplies
Grooming is an integral part of any dog’s routine, and your Labrador puppy is no exception. You need to get your dog accustomed to the process of grooming at an early age.
Labradors often shed, so brushing will be an integral part of your pup’s routine. Regularly brushing your puppy’s coat will help keep the shedding down. Only use bathing and cleaning supplies that are made for puppies, too, as ingredients from other grooming supplies may harm your pups instead.
You should also keep an arsenal of cleaning supplies on hand. Life with puppies can get messy, so it’s best to prepare for those times when they have an “accident” on the carpet.
What you need to do
1. Prepare your home.
Many household objects can catch your new puppy’s eye. Sometimes, these items might even be dangerous. It is crucial, therefore, that you make the necessary preparations in keeping your home safe for your Lab pups.
Think of it as baby-proofing your house for an incredibly energetic and dexterous baby. For your home to be a safe space for your Labrador puppy, you will need to train your dog to follow specific house rules. Make sure also that they will not be able to access the stairs or any high place where they might accidentally hurt themselves. Your puppy should be carefully monitored so that they cannot go out of the property unnoticed.
At first, you will have to supervise your new puppy around your home until you are confident that they can be safe on their own. If you are not around to monitor them, the crate is an excellent way to create a safe space for your new Labrador pup. You may also want to check out our blog post for other tips on how to make your quadruped comfortable alone at home.
2. Look for a veterinarian in your area.
One of the first things you should do even before your new puppy arrives home is to look for a good veterinarian whom you can quickly go to in case of emergencies. Regular check-ins with your vet can also help guide you in taking care of your Labrador puppy as they grow.
3. Talk to your family.
Getting a puppy is a serious commitment. If you are living with your family or with housemates, it is best to lay down some ground rules and boundaries. You have to make sure that they are well-informed on how to supervise and take care of your puppy. Let the people you live with be part of the decision-making when it comes to your puppy, as this could also affect them.
While some people may see having puppies around as a lot of work, they can also bring joy and companionship to a home. So, you can be sure that your family or the people you live with will also learn to love and care for your new Lab pup.
In conclusion, there are many things you need to take care of a Labrador puppy. Make sure to do extensive research and consult your vet if you have any doubts or concerns. You can also read our post here if you have other questions about how to take care of your new puppies.