You have decided it is time to add a new puppy to your family. After you have done your homework and found the perfect puppy the big day comes for you to bring home your new furry friend. Are you prepared? There is a lot to think about when you add a new puppy to the home.
General tips to be prepared for your new puppy:
- If buying from a breeder, don’t bring home the puppy before it is 9 weeks old and preferably 12 weeks old. The longer the puppy stays with its siblings and mother the better socialized it will be. A good breeder will not let you bring home the puppy before 9 weeks.
- Whether you adopt from the shelter/rescue group or buy a puppy from a breeder, make an appointment with your veterinarian to have a well puppy check. This should be done within 72 hours of getting the puppy.
- Have a crate for your puppy as it does several things:
- Keeps your puppy safe when you can not watch him
- Helps with the potty training
- Prevents chewing and other destructive behaviors
- Gives the puppy a safe place to rest (your pup should view it as his den)
- When using a crate there are several things to keep in mind:
- A good rule when crate training is the age plus one, so a two month old puppy can stay 3 hours in the crate, three month old puppy 4 hours, four month old puppy 5 hours etc.
- If you work away from home having a professional pet sitter come in mid-day to give the puppy a potty break, exercise and attention is essential.
- The crate should be big enough for the pup to stand in and be able to turn around and lie down. It should not be bigger than that. You might have to buy a new crate as your puppy grows depending upon the size.
- Don’t use the crate for punishment. It should be a good place, a safe place.
- Having a schedule for your puppy is imperative. Every time the puppy wakes up from a nap it should be taken out to potty. The puppy should be given lots of play time and attention.
- Puppy proof your house and yard.
- Diet is important for puppies. You might want to switch from what the breeder feeds but the process should be done slowly. Your puppy is already under stress being in a new home, new routine etc. and its body needs to adjust to the new food. If you are going from a kibble to raw diet you want to prepare your puppy’s digestive system for the switch.
- Your new puppy needs to learn how to wear a collar and walk on a leash. Start early with the collar and introduce the leash as they get older.
- Plenty of toys are needed to occupy the puppy and aids in the development of your puppy. Toys should be durable and the puppy will need to have chew toys they can not destroy or eat.
- Remember bringing a puppy into your home requires time from you for training and socializing. Be sure your life is at the stage where you have the time to give your new addition.
- Don’t plan vacations until the puppy is at least 6 months old or older.
- Realize puppies will cost money for veterinarians, pet sitters, toys, food etc.
Enjoy the puppy stage as a puppy will grow into an adult dog fast.
However, they never outgrow the need for you!