Welcoming The Newest Member Of Your Family
A guide to bringing home your new puppy.
From the moment you welcome them into your families, your puppy brings wonder and joy to each day. And they are not just a pet – they’re an important member of the family. You want to give them everything they need for a long, happy life.
Whether this is a first-time pet or an addition to the family, there are not only several things you need to obtain ahead of time but also some planning to do. There are whole books written on this subject, so this will by no means be an exhaustive list but here are some important things to consider.
Establishing a Vetrinarian relationship early.
Preparing for your puppy’s arrival.
Bringing puppy home.
Bringing Puppy Home
Your puppy will be entering a new environment – probably for the first time – so they will want to be safe and reassured. By preparing ahead of time your puppy’s transition into a new home will be as stress free as possible.
Before Puppy’s Arrival
Inside: Walk the house from puppy eye level. You’re basically child proofing your home. Check for things they could possibly chew on or get into.
Outside: Walk your yard and garage. Remove any hazardous or toxic materials. Seal off access to any dangerous places.
Arrival: Schedule your puppy’s arrival day when your family will be home all day.
If you have children at home, speak to them before the puppy’s arrival on how to act around the new family member. Children need to learn how to properly play with a dog.
Your new puppy should meet other dogs on a neutral territory on a leash. Before meeting a cat, your puppy should be exercised and calm.
Before bringing them into the house, introduce your puppy to their bathroom area in the yard.
Allow your puppy to explore the house, check out their crate and new toys at their own pace. Reduce exposure to loud noises and frantic activity so they may adjust to their new home.
If your dog is going to spend any time in your home, you are going to need to housebreak them. While it requires attention, housebreaking doesn’t need to be painful. – for you or your puppy. Here are a few simple rules:
- Create A Schedule. When you first bring them home, taking them outside every 30 minutes helps to avoid unwanted accidents. You also want to create a consistent feeding and walking schedule. Feed them at the same time every day and walk them within 15-20 minutes of eating. House training is called training for a reason and keeping to a consistent schedule will get your puppy into a routine very quickly.
- Watch your dog carefully. Pay specific attention to signs such as circling, sniffing, scratching and checking for a good spot. Grab them gently and whisk them outside before they can make a mess.
- If they do make a mess, clean it thoroughly. Have these supplies on hand: a good paper towel, a plastic bag, a mild detergent and an odor remover. You need to clean well and quickly because dogs respond to smell and the smell of feces or urine will tell them this is a place they can relieve themselves.
- Correct, don’t punish. If they do have an accident, correct them during the act, not after. They will not connect the mess and the act of making the mess. A firm no is all that is required.
- Crate training can help. When you can’t be available, the crate can aid in house training as most puppies will not eliminate where they eat or sleep. It should be enclosed on three sides with a wire door to look out and big enough for your puppy to get up and move around, but not so big that they can eliminate in one corner and sleep in the other.
- Reward good behavior. Dogs crave and respond to clear praise. When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him or give him a treat.
Establish a Veterinarian
Before bringing your puppy home, decide on a veterinary clinic or hospital to care for your puppy’s health. Even if you currently have a veterinarian for your other pets, ask when you should have your new puppy examined. Most vets recommended an exam within 3 to 5 days of getting your new puppy to evaluate any health issues. Below is a helpful checklist of what to discuss at the appointment.
- Nutrition Plan.
- Vaccination Schedule.
- Intestinal Parasite Control Plan.
- Preventative medications to control fleas, ticks, parasites and heartworm.
- Health benefits of spaying or neutering.
- Benefits of micro-chipping.
- What to do if your puppy becomes ill.
Preparing For Your Puppy's Arrival
Like you, your puppy requires supplies to stay fueled and hydrated, to keep from getting lost, to feel at home and to stay clean, comfortable and happy. Fortunately, good supplies can be found at your favorite retailer.
Dog Food: Puppies have specific nutritional requirements to support their growth and development. A high quality puppy food will contain a balance of essential nutrients to support the all important start to a healthy life.
Food and water bowls: Puppies typically eat three times a day, so food bowls need to be cleaned frequently. Stainless steel bowls work the best and harbor less bacteria than plastic or glass. Additionally, puppies are not delicate eaters, so a food and water bowl with a wider base will provide additional stability.
Color or Harness: Buy an appropriately sized, adjustable collar or harness making sure they wear it regularly. The collar or harness should be tight enough to fit two fingers between it and your puppy, Remember to check it weekly as your puppy grows and buy a new, larger one as needed.
Leash: Puppies are not born knowing how to walk on a leash, This is an important socialization skill that they must learn., The leash should be 4 to 6 feet long and allow you to walk comfortably with your puppy while still maintaining control.
Pet ID: Remember to buy a pet ID tag so your puppy has proper identification should they get lost. Include your pet’s name, your name and your phone number. A microchip can help identify your dog if they lose their collar.
Crate or Carrier: Dog are den animals. They find comfort and security in an enclosed, intimate space they can adopt as their own. Choose a crate or carrier your dog can grow into a move around in but not so big that they can eliminate in one corner and sleep in another.
Grooming: Depending on your dog’s coat, you’ll need a comb, brush or shedding blade, Routine brushing will keep your puppy’s hair coat clean and shiny and also help you create a bond with your new puppy.
Bathing Supplies: At some point, your puppy will need a bath. You’ll need pet shampoo, cotton balls for the ears, a sterile eye ointment and towels.
Cleaning Products: Even the most well behaved puppy will have an accident in the house. Having natural cleaning products on hand will help with the safe cleanup of accidents. Consider using an enzyme based cleaning product since these will break down pet odors rather than just masking them.
Puppy Pads and Newspapers: Waterproof puppy pads can be useful under bedding in the crate to aid in clean up and help protect the floor but should not be used as a potty training tool in the house. Using puppy pads and newspapers as potty training tools only gives your puppy permission to eliminate in the house – behavior you probably want to avoid.
Chew Toys: Puppies will chew anything in their path. It is a natural exploration behavior, but one that can be hazardous to your shoes, clothes and household. Choose a variety of age and size appropriate toys.
Training Treats: They can make training much easier and reinforce the human-pet bond by using positive reinforcement. They should be small, tasty bites of flavor to reward good behavior and should not be overused as a meal replacement.