The big day is coming, and you need to get ready for this new adventure: a new puppy!
Once you and your family have decided that you are ready to welcome a puppy, make sure to research dog breeds and sizes before you adopt. This is important as you want to ensure the puppy you choose will adapt well and have his needs fulfilled through all of his life stages; some breeds tend to be more active, barkers, snugglers, fetchers, couch potatoes, etc., but overall, dogs always have a purpose and they love to work for it.
Before getting a puppy from a breeder, make sure the pup has been seen by a veterinarian prior to going home with you. Puppies must receive certain vaccines, usually around 8 weeks of age, to ensure parasites and bacteria which can be harmful or transmitted to you and your family (including your other pets) are eliminated.
Make sure the breeder informs you on the health of the puppy and answers all of the questions you may have regarding the gestation, the birth and after the birth of the new pup. This is important as it will give you an overview of the pup’s and its mom’s health as well as an insight of the environment they live in and in which your puppy has spent his first couple of months of life.
You should also visit your local veterinary clinic as they may have a welcome kit for new pet parents. Your vet will also likely suggest making an appointment for an initial check-up for the new family member. This will also be an opportunity to discuss an overview of the year’s vaccination schedule and what to expect during the next few months.
Remember to buy your supplies beforehand! There’s no worse feeling than getting home with a new puppy and not having the basics to care for them. It turns the thrilling experience into a puppy disaster.
- Collar and leash. Opt for a leash that holds your puppy from the chest rather than the neck; this will give you more control and response to corrections while training your puppy during his developmental stage.
- Puppy food. Look for a brand that carries a puppy formula rich in protein for growth and DHA for cognitive development, which are essential for your growing puppy.
- Food bowls. Stainless steel, non-tip bowls are great during the first year, as puppies like to play and may break a fancy dish. When your pup reaches adulthood, and if your budget allows it, you can opt for a fancier version with a holding base that is of the proper height to accommodate the size of your dog.
- Sleeping mat. Try to get something that can be easily washed, as puppies will have accidents during the first few weeks. Once your pet is fully house-broken, you can get them a more luxurious bed or pillow. Try to enforce discipline and have your puppy stay on their mat as much as possible as this will be the path for a fully house-trained adulthood. Remember, consistency is the key to success.
- Puppy toys. Try to get an assortment such as soft and cuddly toys, harder toys to chew on (rubber ones are popular), and a rope toy they can use to pull and tug. Giving them variety will allow them to play endlessly without getting bored and will tire them out enough to put them to sleep right after playing while they are home alone.
- An appropriate-size crate. If you choose to crate-train your puppy, you need to set it up and use it right from the beginning so your puppy learns quickly where to go to retreat. Try to keep the crate in the same location and make sure it is not too big so that your puppy may have accidents inside it, and not too small so that there is not enough room to stretch or sit up. Let your pup have a few chew toys inside the crate to keep him entertained while he’s on his own.
- Local city registration & name tag. Most residential areas require the registration of your pet, which is usually done at your local Town Hall. However, many local vet clinics may also offer the service. Find out where you need to go in your specific area. By registering your pet, you are making sure they can be traced back to you in case they get lost. Its also a way to keep everyone safe in public areas and dog parks, as it ensures your pet has received the necessary vaccinations and its also proof of responsible pet parenting: YOU. A name tag with your email and phone number is also important. If space is limited, email is best as you can access it from anywhere in case you lose your phone.
You are all set for success in this new adventure! Don’t forget to share with us your puppy moments in the comments.