Bringing home a new puppy
You’ve chosen your favorite puppy and are now waiting for the day that you’ll be able to pick it up. As you count down the days, you want to make sure everything is perfect for your puppy’s new life. With some good pre-planning, bringing home a new puppy will be a smooth and pleasant experience. Here are some of the steps you should take.
Gather the basic dog supplies
While it’s not necessary to outfit your puppy like Paris Hilton, a few basic dog supplies are necessary:
Collar and leash
We recommend an easily adjustable, leather collar and a standard 4-foot leash. Remember that retractable leashes may make it difficult to control your dog which makes these less appropriate to train your dog.
Water and food bowl
You will need a set of bowls that is easy to clean, big enough to hold the amount of food that your puppy will eat (and which will change over time!) and small enough so that your puppy can get his head in comfortably. Water bowls that come with 5-gallon reservoirs are helpful because they keep you from refilling the bowl every day. They do however tend to make a gurgling-glunk noise as the water disperses, which some dogs will find startling.
Automatic feeders are also handy, but they take away the ability to control your dog’s diet and don’t let the dog know that you are responsible for his food.
Blanket or bed
An old quilt or baby blanket will work just fine, as long as it is easy to clean and doesn’t have decorations that can be chewed off. Giving your pup his own blanket helps him feel secure and relaxed when you are away.
Other things you may want to consider are a dog crate if you are choosing to crate train your puppy and a dog seat-belt for the car. You will also want to pick up some throwing toys and chew toys since they will entertain both you and your puppy.
Laying down the law
One of the most important things when bringing home a new puppy is to have a conversation with all the members of the family about the boundaries to be set for the dog.
Decide where the puppy will sleep and where the puppy will be allowed to play. It’s important to be specific and congruent with these rules. If one person for example allows the puppy on the couch, then the others should allow the puppy there as well. If one person does not allow it and one does, this will confuse your puppy.
Agree on who will feed the puppy, who will housebreak him and talk about which disciplining rules will be introduced. Just like with children, presenting a united front is vital.
The Big Day
An important decision which you’ll have to make is about ‘when’ you’ll bring your puppy to his new home.
When bringing home a new puppy, it’s best to do it when nothing exciting is happening in your house and when you can be there for an extended period of time. However cute those typical Christmas puppy photos may be, Christmas Day would for example not at all be a good day to bring your puppy home, as there would be way too many distractions going on that day!
You want to be able to calmly introduce the pup into your home and give him a chance to explore his new surroundings with all his senses.
You also want to be able to spend the first few days with your puppy so that it begins to see you as the leader of the pack.