Preparing for Your New Puppy~
Bringing Your Puppy Home
Use the information in this section to prepare your home and family for life with your new puppy.
The Supplies You Need
Before you bring your puppy home, be sure you have the following supplies:
- Premium pet food to get your new puppy off to a good start. We use feed our pups and HIGHLY recommend Life's Abundance Dog and Puppy Food. If you choose to feed your pup this food, we will extend our Two-Year Warranty and give you a LIFETIME GUARANTEE!
- Stainless steel, non-tip food and water bowls. (It is thought that the chemicals in plastic can cause fading of a dog's nose, making it appear "pink". (Per the AKC website.)
- Identification tags with your puppy's name, your name, phone number and your veterinarian's name and phone number and microchip number. A collar and a leather or nylon 6-foot leash that's 1/2 - 3/4 inches wide (consider using a "breakaway" collar with plastic clips that will unsnap in case your puppy gets hung up on something).
- A home and travel crate that's airline approved and will accommodate your puppy's adult size. This crate will serve as your puppy's new "den" at home, when traveling or riding to the veterinarian's office. His scent in the crate will provide comfort and a sense of security during these stressful times.
- Stain remover for accidental soilings.
- Brushes and combs suited to your puppy's coat; ask your veterinarian or breeder about an appropriate brush or comb for your dog.
- Dog (or just simply baby) shampoo, toothbrush and paste.
- High-quality, safe chew toys to ease teething. Rope style toys help to floss your puppy's teeth while he/she plays.
- Flea, tick and parasite controls. We use and recommend Frontline Plus or Advantix.
- Nail clippers.
- Treats, and LOTS of chew toys!!!
- Use stainless steel, non-tip food bowls, which won't break or absorb odors.
- LOTS of chew toys. They love squeaky, stuffed animal types and rubber balls.
- For a comfortable collar fit, allow for two-fingers of space between the collar and your dog's neck; consider using an adjustable collar.
Making a Home Safe
To make your home safe for your new puppy, eliminate potential hazards around the house and pay attention to the following items:
- Keep breakable objects out of reach.
- Deny access to electrical cords by hiding or covering them; make outlets safe with plastic outlet plugs.
- Safely store household chemicals.
- Keep the following house and garden plants out of reach: poinsettias, azaleas, rhododendrons, dumb cane, Japanese yew, oleander and English ivy among others.
- In the garage, be sure engine lubricants and other poisonous chemicals (especially antifreeze) are safely stored.
- If you own a pool or hot tub, check the cover or the surrounding fence to be sure they're in good condition.
- If you provide your puppy with an outdoor kennel, place it in an area that provides sun, shade and shelter in the pen; be sure the kennel is large enough to comfortably accommodate your puppy's adult size.
The First Days at Home
The ideal time to bring home a new puppy is when the house is quiet. Establish a daily routine and follow these steps:
Step 1: Before bringing him in the house, take him to the area in your yard that will serve as his "bathroom" and spend a few minutes there. If he goes, praise him. If not, proceed into the house but be sure to take him to this spot each time he needs to use the bathroom.
Step 2: Take him to the room that accommodates your crate?this restricted area will serve as his new "den" for several days. Put bedding and chew toys in the crate, leave the door open and line the area outside of the crate with newspaper, in case of an accident. Let him investigate the crate and the room. If he chews or urinates on his bedding, permanently remove it from the crate.
Step 3: Observe and interact with your puppy while he's acclimating to his new den. This will help forge a sense of pack and establish you as the pack leader.
Special Puppy Concerns
Don't treat a puppy as young as 7 to 12-weeks old like an adult dog. Treat him the same way you would your own infant: with patience, constant supervision and a gentle touch. The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to his socialization. Use these tips:
- Don't bring home a puppy while you're on vacation so you can spend a lot of time with him. Instead, acclimate him to your normal, daily routine.
- Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him regularly.
- Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom, then take him outside immediately.
- A young puppy has no bladder control and will need to urinate immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping or playing. At night, he will need to relieve himself at least every three hours.
- Don't punish an accident. Never push his nose in the waste or scold him. He won't understand, and may learn to go to the bathroom when you're out of sight.
- Praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom outside.
- Feed your puppy a formula designed for puppies. Like a baby, he needs nutritious, highly digestible food.
Meeting Resident Pets
Keep resident pets separated from your new puppy for a few days. After your new puppy is used to his new den area, put an expandable pet gate in the doorway or put your puppy in his crate. Give your resident pet access to the area. Let pets smell and touch each other through the crate or pet gate. Do this several times over the next few days. After that, give the resident pet access to the den area with your new puppy out of his crate. Supervise their meeting and go back to through-the-gate/crate meetings if trouble arises.
Your puppy will have had at least his first puppy shot, and will have been dewormed at least 3 times. Regular deworming is recommended as follows: Once a month until 6 months of age, then every 3-6 months after that for life. A monthly Heartworm and flea/tick treatment is also recommended. We use generic Ivomec and Pyrantal 50 (the active ingredients in "Heartguard Plus") to prevent heartworms, and Frontline Plus spot-on to prevent fleas and ticks. Both of these items are available over the counter from a vet's office, or you may order them online from most pet supply sites. We administer both of these products once a month. Your puppy will also need additional vaccinations, usually at 10 and 14 weeks, and Rabies by 6 months of age. All of these vaccinations should be repeated at one year of age.