So, soon, there will be a new puppy in your home. You have already discussed it with your family, weighed all the pros and cons, and will quickly set off to get your little one.
First of all, you need to prepare everything necessary. Let’s go through it step by step.
It is preferable to take enamel or metal bowls with a stand (particular attention should be paid to the rubberized base of the bowl, as puppies love to carry them in their teeth and drop them on the floor with a crash).
They don’t break and are much easier to clean after each feeding. After all, you wash your dishes, don’t you?
So, the puppy’s dishes must be kept clean as well. By the way, don’t forget about the water bowl. It should be more profound than the food bowl, and you must constantly fill it with fresh and clean water.
Dog wardrobe and gear
If you have a small breed dog or a young puppy, don’t go out and buy many clothes for them. Puppies don’t grow by days; they grow by hours. It would be a shame to throw away stuff they’ve outgrown.
A collar and leash, however, are necessary. Don’t go for the flashy ones; choose functional goods for your cherished pet. Rhinestones and decorations easily break off or are chewed by the dog, which is hazardous to their health.
Dog pads, mats, kennels
Decide where your “tail” will rest. The place should not be in a passageway, away from drafts, or near heating devices.
It’s best if the kennel has a removable cover or can be thoroughly laundered in a washing machine, as little ones often get dirty and mess up everything around them simply because it’s fun.
The food is chosen based on the age of the puppy. It can be wet or dry. Premium dry foods are suitable for puppies from 2-3 months of age. A few manufacturers, for example Hills, Canidae, Purina, Pedigree, etc. Not all foods are equally beneficial.
Cheap foods aren’t necessarily bad — they lack the essential vitamins, microelements, and minerals necessary for a growing organism. These nutrients are crucial not only in the puppy’s early years but also in the long run.
Natural food is also a fairly good option, but consider a few aspects:
- It’s not the same food you eat.
- Leftovers from your table are unsuitable for animals because they contain a lot of salt, spices, and sugar — none of which are easily digestible and can lead to serious health issues for your pet.
- Pet food should be prepared separately, strictly following the rations for a particular breed. It can spoil, especially in warm conditions when you’ve left the bowl out and gone about your business, leading to food poisoning.
It’s best if a toy is visually appealing and safe. Remember: a puppy’s sharp teeth will undoubtedly find things to tear off and potentially swallow! Choose toys that aren’t soft and don’t have feathers or beads that can easily detach.
Opt for rubber items that can’t be chewed into small pieces. Play with the puppy and teach them that playing with you is much more fun than being alone!
Before the puppy’s arrival
You must thoroughly prepare. Remove all objects that can be chewed on or carried in the mouth from the “reachable zone” first. A puppy will be interested in everything within the paw or teeth reach. A puppy explores with its teeth in the same way as tiny toddlers do with their hands. Cords, plugs, books, and discs on the floor pose a severe danger.
Chewed items can be swallowed, and then it will lead to surgery! So, it is better to prevent the puppy from eating them. Removing decorative mats and rugs from the floor for toilet training is also advisable. It’s hard to explain to a puppy the difference between them and a pee pad.
All done? Now squat down and look around again.
Can’t reach anything from this angle either? Good. Then the house is safe for the puppy.
The first 24 hours at home
On the very first day, it’s not advisable to overwhelm the puppy with excessive attention. Allow it to walk around, sniff, and explore. Place a carrier in the room and give the puppy time to explore the new and potentially frightening territory independently.
Don’t forcibly pull the puppy out of the carrier or box, and if you brought it in your arms, lay down something soft on the floor and gently and carefully set it down.
Initially, don’t pay too much attention to its presence. Give the puppy time to acclimate.
If there are children in the house, talk to them before the pet arrives. They need to understand that it’s fragile, vulnerable, and scared. It might even try to defend itself (growl and attempt to bite) if it feels cornered, which won’t be pleasant for anyone involved.
Speak softly and tenderly to the little one, call it by name, and stroke it when it finally decides to leave its hiding place and explore the territory.
The puppy might be frightened at night because it can’t see anything, and there are strange and scary smells in the air. If it has settled and played during the day, it will likely drift into a sweet sleep and wake up only in the morning.
If not, it might start calling for its mom — whining. You can take the puppy to bed with you but be prepared to accept having an adult dog panting on your side. Because what the little one gets used to, it’s likely to continue doing as it grows older.
A bit about training
Over time, teach your puppy everything you’ll need to do with an adult dog. Many adult dogs dislike being groomed, having their ears cleaned, nails trimmed, bathed, or dried with a hairdryer.
From a young age, get your puppy accustomed to being brushed, examined, and touched all over its body. Training your pet is necessary from the start; otherwise, you might end up dealing with behavior issues in an adult dog that could have been avoided. This way, you’ll spend far more time and money consulting a dog trainer.
Remember that retraining an already grown dog is even more challenging, even for an experienced dog trainer! And after five years, it’s impossible.
This is the maximum age for animals to perceive and remember new information. Teach your puppy to obey you from a young age! But don’t overdo it with punishments! You’ll have a scared and aggressive dog if you resort to force and shouting.
Punishment should be used, of course, but not through yelling or applying physical force. There’s also a myth that if you hit a dog with an object, it won’t perceive it as punishment from you.
This is a myth. Hitting a dog is not recommended.
You should consult a dog trainer after four months. On your own, you can teach your pet various tricks and simple commands. They love learning.
About potty training
A new puppy won’t naturally understand where, when, and how to go to the toilet. It solely depends on the owner’s skill to determine how quickly and effectively the puppy learns where to relieve itself.
Limit contact with other dogs until after the post-vaccination quarantine period.
You may need to create a safe potty spot inside if you don’t have a secure yard.
Take note of where the puppy first makes a puddle and place a pee pad in that spot. Consider getting washable puppy pads immediately rather than disposable ones.
Watch for signs, and when the puppy starts squatting or sniffing the floor, take it to the designated “toilet” area.
In the first days, urges arise frequently due to physiological needs and out of fear or cold. That’s why leaving the pet unsupervised is not recommended.
No matter how hard you try, maintaining perfect cleanliness in the house during the puppy’s adaptation period won’t be possible.
Don’t get anxious or punish your new puppy; soon enough, it will learn proper behavior and only relieve itself outdoors.
We hope that when the little one comes to you, it has already been dewormed and vaccinated.
If so, the previous owner should provide you with a veterinary passport containing vaccine stickers and clinic marks (doctor’s stamp and signature). We wouldn’t recommend taking their word for it if this is unavailable.
After all, this is such a crucial step toward a healthy and happy life for your pet.
The first vaccination for the puppy should be administered at the age of two months unless the veterinarian provides other recommendations. Before vaccination, the animal should be dewormed (strictly according to the pet’s weight and age and by checking the expiration dates of the product). Approximately 7-10 days later, visit the clinic for the puppy’s first vaccination.
Then, the first vaccine is followed by the second one, which includes rabies. Only after a 30-day incubation period following the second vaccination can you start taking the puppy outside.
Additionally, remember to deworm the puppy every three months and treat it for fleas and ticks once a month, even if the puppy isn’t going for walks yet! The doctor will guide your next steps.
Words of encouragement about your new puppy
From the very first days in our home, a new puppy brings a sea of joy and warmth. They are among the most loyal beings on the planet, and they will surely love you wholeheartedly for a lifetime.
On your journey with your dog, you may encounter various challenges. Still, we believe that you will undoubtedly overcome them and, in return, be rewarded with the most devoted and loving eyes.