Bringing Pup Home
So you're about to pick up your pup, what should you be thinking about and preparing.
Just like when you're having a baby you want to pup proof your house. Look around and think like a puppy, what can you get into, chew, are there any sharp things sticking out that pup could hurt themselves on, basically if it's at pup height, pup will investigate.
Especially be mindful of cables and cleaning products.
In the past I have had hair straighteners chewed, a pair of expensive shoes, a hand bag, hair brush and other bits and pieces. As my mum said to me at the time, If you left it there you're to blame. We can't blame a curious puppy and we can't call them naughty if we haven't given clear instruction of what is off limits.
Check your garden, you want to make sure that your pup can run and play but you want to make sure theres no gaps where they could get out, and no nails or sharp edges that they could run into and catch themselves on.
You may want to think about putting in baby gates if there are areas where your puppy would not be allowed, perhaps stairs or your living room, you want to stay consistent with boundaries and gates can help you.
Make your choices now
I've written a blog on crate training and toilet training which you may like to check out, but in brief think about where Pup is going to sleep ahead of bringing pup home. You may decide you want to make a bed and "place" in the kitchen, or another room in the house etc and thats fine or you may prefer to crate train.
Just considerer in the early days of toilet training pup has a very small bladder and window for going to the toilet, so as soon as they wake up they will want to go to the toilet. Pups don't like to soil where they sleep so crate training makes this easier, but you could also use puppy pads. Choosing a floor that, should pup miss the mark or have an accident, will be easy to clean will make life less stressful in the long run.
When buying a crate choose one that is big enough for pup to turn around in but not too big so that is doesn't encourage them to soil one end of the crate. Look for a dog bed that can be washed just incase there are any accidents, you can find ones that have removable covers which is a life saver not only for accidents but also for dirt dog days and keeping the bed hygienic.
Your breeder will tell you which food your pup has been raised on so far, they may even give you some of the food to take away. Do some research and look at food options you may wish to continue with that brand but you may wish to faze it out to a brand you prefer. I personally like Barking Heads for puppies. There are some good brands out there and not good brands, and different prices, expensive doesn't always equal better for you pup so look at the ingredients, traces of ... compared to 100% ... makes a big difference to the quality of the food.
Look for age appropriate toys for puppies. You don't want anything too big or too small for your breed of puppy, they shouldn't be too small that your pup could swallow. You also want to consider the strength of the toys to ensure they are suitable for puppies and not adult dogs. Take a good look at the toy to ensure there are no sharp edges or loose parts.
For chewing durability toys are best, for example, Kong toys which you can fill with treats will both entertain your pup and last a long time.
Avoid toys stuffed with polystyrene balls or bean beads, your pup is likely to rip the outer layer and this could lead to them swallowing, ingesting or choking on the undesirable filling.
Avoid playing with objects not intended for dogs, you may thing it funny to play tuggy with your sock but you're opening a whole can of trouble as pup will think they can take any item of your clothing, that includes ribbons, elastic and hair bands or even sticks, these can all be harmful to your puppy.
Give your pup a variety of toys so that they don't get bored, rotating them stops your pup getting bored but also means you don't have to buy hundreds of toys. You can get a toy box and give pup a different toy every couple of days and remove another. Buy new ones periodically and check the old toys incase they are damaged or over warn. Don't leave toys outside either so that they don't get slugs on them during the night and keep them clean.
It is important to provide your puppy with a wide variety of toys to provide all-round health and vitality.
Supervise your puppy when they are playing with their toys to minimise accidents. Swap a toy with them so that they feel comfortable and learn not to guard toys.
You'll need a collar to put on pup, you want to get an idea from the breeder of the size that you will need for pup. Order your name tag. I don't suggest you put pups name on the tag, as exciting as it seems, the reason for this is that if your pup does get lost or distracted from you on a walk someone can read your pups name and call them giving them a safe feeling and encouraging pup to leave with the stranger.
Add your surname, phone number, address (optional) or your vets address, you could write I'm lost please call. This is down to choice.
Depending on what age your puppy is when you bring them home and when they will be getting their final jabs will determine how long before you're likely to need a harness and lead, your pup may grow quite a bit before then so you possibly have a little time to look at a lead and harness appropriate for your pups needs.
You'll need a food bowl and water bowl, don't get bowls that are too big for your pup. Non slip bottoms are a really good idea so that they don't slide around the floor, stainless steel bowls are also easy to clean.
Transporting your puppy
So how are you getting pup home? Do you need a crate or travel cage to put pup in, are you putting pup in the boot with a dog guard, or have you decided to use restraints like a seat belt (you will need a harness for a seat belt restraint).