Today is National Puppy Day! Bringing a puppy home can be a wonderful thing but there are some things you need to know to properly care for a new puppy before you do. To celebrate National Puppy Day the Humane Society of Missouri and the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America offer the following tips for a smooth transition into puppy parenthood:

1. Consider what kind of dog will be a good fit for your home and family. Important factors include location and amount of space in your home, number of children and their ages, any current pets (and their temperaments), and the amount of time you’re able to spend with your puppy.

2. Puppies need medical care and attention early on, including vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery, to maintain proper health. Pets adopted from the Humane Society of Missouri will already have these, but it’s important to schedule regular checkups for your pup. For the best pet health plan, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian as soon as possible after adopting a puppy.

3. Pups need cozy beds, appropriate toys, bowls for food and water, nutritious food and snacks, and a secure collar with up-to-date tags. And don’t forget to get a microchip, which is also included in adoptions from the Humane Society of Missouri. If crate training, begin by introducing the puppy to the crate as soon as he or she is brought home and placing a variety of treats in the cage throughout the day so that the puppy is encouraged to enter voluntarily. Visit www.hsmo.org for additional tips for crate training as well as pet-proofing your home.

4. New puppies are constantly learning, so commit to fostering good habits early. Start with a class that uses positive, reward-based training to teach your puppy to become a well-behaved member of the family! Additional resources for puppy training can be found on HSMO’s website in the pet resources section.

The Humane Society of Missouri and all over America have adorable puppies ready to be adopted so maybe today is the day that you stop by and bring home a new family member.