Tips & Advice
New Puppy Owner’s Checklist
A puppy requires a lot of care and attention, so it is a good idea to plan ahead and buy the things you’ll need before you bring him or her home. Here’s a checklist of some basics to get you started:
- Food designed specifically for puppies
- Treats for training
- Food and water dishes
- Crate (to be replaced by a bigger one as he grows)
- Crate bedding (at least 2 sets)
- Puppy house-training wee-wee pads
- Dog gate(s)
- Soft, adjustable collar (and new ones as he grows)
- At least one 4-to6-foot leash, leather or webbed (an additional longer lead useful for training)
- At least 5 or 6 safe chew toys (the more the better — toys can be rotated)
- A brush the breeder recommends for your puppy’s coat and sturdy metal comb
- Gentle puppy shampoo
- Good-quality dog nail trimmer or Dremel made specifically for dogs
Bringing Your Puppy Home
Picking up your puppy from the breeder, hands down, is probably going to be one of the best days ever for you. However, for your puppy, it's an exciting but difficult day. For the past few weeks he's been living comfortably nestled next to his mother and numerous siblings, and now he's about to be taken away from that. Sure, your puppy is getting ready to go to a nice new home, but it's still a dramatic and potentially traumatic change from what he's used to. Here are some tips to help make bringing home your puppy the best experience possible.
- Bring your puppy home on a long weekend or when you know you'll have time to focus on him. This will give you both a chance to get properly acquainted with each other, as well as help the puppy get used to his new home.
- Before you pick up your puppy, give the breeder a small blanket to place with the puppy and his mother. When you pick up your pup, take the blanket, and it will comfort your puppy and make him or her less likely to whine and be anxious.
- The puppy will bond the most with the family members who go to pick him up to be brought home, so make it a family affair.
- On the way home, make sure that someone is either holding the puppy securely in her lap, or the puppy is in a crate.
- Be sure to pack paper towels, plastic bags, and odor neutralizer, in case the puppy has an accident.
- After picking up the puppy, go straight home. It may be tempting to share your new little bundle of joy with a few friends, but it's important that you get your puppy home and settled as soon as possible.
- Once you're home, take the puppy outside so he can do his business. Calmly walk him around his designated bathroom area. And make sure your yard is puppy-proofed ahead of time.
- Make sure that everyone is calm when the puppy arrives home. The best way to get your puppy to warm up to you is to be calm and relaxed. Too many loud noises or voices will likely frighten your puppy.
- If there are other pets in the house, don't be in a rush to introduce the puppy to them. Make his first day home all about him. There will be time for him to get acquainted with the other pets.
- Set the puppy down inside and let him explore. He may decide to run around a bit, or he may hide under the couch and stare at you. It's been a long day. Just give him some time and make sure you have rules and a schedule in place for when he gets settled.