Are you brining home a new puppy?? Are you stressed or nervous? Do you know what you need??
Check out below for helpful tips to make things easier on you and your pup.
1. Set up a Pick up Day with Shelter or Breeder and Plan Ahead
Get on the same page with the shelter or breeder and set up a day and time that works best for both of you. You will want to be able to spend the first two to three days with your new puppy uninterrupted, so plan ahead with work to take a day or two off. My suggestion would be to pick up your new puppy on a Thursday or Friday so you will have those days plus the weekend off to spend time getting better acquainted. I don’t think a full week off from work is necessary- you will want to start getting back into your regular routine as soon as possible. These first few days you will be teaching the pup the rules of the house and making the change from shelter/breeder to home life easier.
2. Begin to Purchase Supplies
It is really important that you are fully prepared when you bring puppy home. You won’t want to spend one minute of time away from your pup to go pick up an odd or an end. Take your time when picking out items- I found it to be a very enjoyable and fun process. Also, don’t limit yourself to just buying from pet stores. You can find a lot of cute, unique and quality items at TJMaxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, amazon.com, Walmart, target, even Dollar Tree. Other great places to look are farm and outdoors stores., like Big R, Tractor Supply, Bass pro, Cabalas and others. An ultimate list coming soon of all the items you will need to buy. Now with a puppy things get chewed on, especially leashes, don’t spend top dollar on everything. Also remember, puppies grow quick and the collar you buy now will most likely not fit in 2-4 months so don’t spend top dollar on a collar until they are abut a year old.
3. Talk to the Shelter or Breeder About Your Future Pup’s Current Daily Routine
Understanding what your future puppies daily routine is crucial to having a smooth transition home. Things you should discuss in detail with the shelter or breeder are:
- What is a full day like for my puppy? Does he have a daily routine?
- How often is he currently being let outside to do his/her business?
- What is night time currently like? Is he being let out during the night to do his/her business?
- How often and how much is he being fed?
- What food is he being fed?
- How much and what type of exercise is he currently getting?
- Is he at all crate trained? If so, to what extent?
- What commands or words are currently being used to train him?
- Does he know his own name?
- At what stage is he with his puppy shots and vaccines?
- Are there any other heath concerns specific to this puppy?
Knowing all of the answers to these questions will help you to continue the pup’s daily life in your own home and cause minimal disruption. Remember, you are essentially taking a baby away from the only thing they have ever known. He is going to feel unsure in the new environment of your home with people he doesn’t really know. Continuing his daily routine and training will help him feel more at home and will make your life easier. Also bringing or shipping a blanket from your house to be with the puppy the last 2-3 days he is at the breeder/shelter will help your pup recognize your sent as good because you are introducing it at his current safe place. When you pick up your pup make sure to bring the blanket back with you because it now has smells of his original safe place which will also make the transition easier.
4. Puppy Proof Your House
You will want to create a safe environment for your new puppy when he comes home. Some of my suggestions for puppy proofing are:
- Taping down or concealing wires and cords where puppies cannot reach them (my dogs loved cords!! Especially phone chargers and laptop cords.
- Research and remove any houseplants that are toxic to dogs, ex. palms and Cala Lilys
- Start getting into the habit of picking clothes and shoes up off the floor where your pup cannot reach or putting them in a room that will be off limits
- Getting into the habit of closing the toilet seat if you don’t already
- Rolling up and storing area rugs so your pup cannot chew the edges
Taking these precautions will keep your pet and your belongings safe.
5. Discuss with your Household who will be Responsible for Puppy Chores
If your puppy will be the family pet, I think this is one of the most important steps- discussing with you family who will be responsible for what when it comes to the new pup. Outline with your household all of the chores associated with the dog- walking, feeding, training, letting him out to go potty, etc. and decide who will be responsible for these.
Also consider the middle of the day, who will come home from work and let the pup out and who will wake up in the middle of the night to let the pup out. As your pup gets older this is not a problem but until that point there needs to be a plan.
6. Learn a Little About Dog Training
If you are a first time puppy owner or you have not had a new puppy in a long time, it would be a great idea to brush up on training basic commands, crate training and potty training. There are so many great videos on YouTube that teach you how to teach your pup all of these things.
7. Set-up Pet Insurance
Something to consider when having a pup is to get pet insurance. This can be a helpful tool to use when you run into an unexpected illness or if an accident were to happen. Vet bills can add up quickly and you can protect yourself from these unexpected costs. Most employers offer pet insurance if you already have health insurance through them- it can be very cheap too, about five dollars a week. This is just something to consider but is not required.
8. Seek Out Local Vet and Make Appointment
If you do not already have one, find a local vet and set up an initial appointment for a few days after you bring your puppy home. They will do a check up and make sure he is in good health and administer any shots or vaccines that are due. If you have any health concerns about your puppy this is a great time to ask your vet.
This is also a good time to do a Google search for your nearest animal hospital for your future reference.
9. Set-up Puppy Things
About 3 days before you bring home your new pup you should start to set up all of the supplies you have gathered. This would include setting up your crate if you are going to use one, taking the tags off everything and putting away all other supplies so everything will be readily available when you need it. I say 3 days because this way you can decide and move things around before the pup gets home. If your like me you set everything up, your significant other comes home and moves everything then you have to compromise on where things are going to go. Also a good idea to go o the store and get cute baskets and everything for your pup. You will also want to set up a “DOG” folder. In this folder you will store all important documents pertaining to your pup. Vet appointments, make sure you get a print out of everything the doc did. Keep all shot records, bloodline papers, extra dog tags (for the case that your dog breaks his collar and loses his tags) all microchip paperwork, basically everything important.
10. Prepare your Vehicle for the Puppy Voyage
Congratulations! You have managed to maintain your sanity awaiting the fateful day you would bring home your new best friend 🙂 You will now need to prep your vehicle to bring home baby.
Prepare your vehicle, bring towels to clean up any messes, treats, the leash and collar in case you need to make a pit stop on the way home to go potty. If your car is large enough to fit a crate in the back, set it up and line with towels and throw in some plush toys. This is a safe and easy way to transport the dog home. If your car cannot fit a crate and your dog is small enough, bring a large laundry basket and line with a towel and plush toys. This is a really easy way to transport the pup- I would recommend someone sitting in the back with the basket just in case.
Put your dog where you want him to sit from now on. Enforcing rules as early as possible will make things easier later. I saw a post on facebook yesterday asking for advice because this guys GSD pup sits in his lap when he drives, knowing this dog is not going to stay this size he now wants to do something to fix it. Don’t let it get that far, set boundaries from day one and enforce them everyday.
11. Enjoy your pup while they are little, while enforcing rules. Have fun and play games with your pup. Check out Indoor Brain Games for dogs, Indoor Brain Games for dogs 2, Indoor Brain Games 3, Indoor Brain Games 4 for all kinds of games and activities to do with your pup.
I hope this helps yall. I am putting together a list of supplies you will need when bringing home your pup and will be posting it tomorrow. I hope you all enjoy.
If you have any questions feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org