Bringing Home a New Puppy
There is something wondrous about bringing a new puppy home. I don’t think anything quite prepares you for that moment when you carry your new puppy inside. I’ve always been addicted to that new puppy smell and the when they gaze up at you with their big brown eyes time could stand still.
For me, when a new puppy comes into my life it’s the ‘knowing’ that gets me every time. You just ‘know’ that this tiny little puppy is going to bring so much joy and love into your world. He’s going to ride in the car and go everywhere with you. He’ll be your walking partner, your jogging partner, your Friday night on the couch partner. He might even be a tracking or agility champion. You know that the journey you are about to take with the little bundle of fluff cradled in your arms is going to be amazing.
If you’re about to embark on a beautiful love story with your own new puppy, there are a few things you can do to prepare. From puppy proofing your home to stocking up on supplies, I’ll share some of the tips I’ve used over the years to make the transition an easier one.
Preparing to bring your new puppy home. Are you ready?
Before you decide to bring a puppy home, it’s a good idea to consider how they will fit into your everyday lifestyle. Do you travel often or spend long periods of time away from home? Do you work late in the office? Maybe your boss allows dogs in the workplace? You are definitely going to want to spend as much time as possible with your pup to ensure they feel comfortable in their new environment and more importantly so that you create a lifetime bond with them.
Strategies for the working pet-parent
– Ask your boss if you can work from home a couple of days a week until your puppy settles in
– Bring your new puppy in to the office
– Ask friends / family to puppy-sit for a few hours to break up the puppy’s day.
– Finding a doggy-day-care centre.
Serenity can help you with this. Enquire here
If you do plan to leave your puppy in the backyard alone, some useful ideas for keeping them occupied include;
Create a dedicated ‘dig-pit’ for your pup. A paddle pool (designed for children) and filled with clean white sand work wonders.
Food filled toys such as the Kong range
Already have a dog at home?
As an owner of two beautiful German Shepherds, I often think how wonderful it is that they have each other for company. If you’re thinking about bringing a second dog home however, there are a few things to keep in mind. The most important is your dog’s temperament. How do they behave around other dogs? Are they social or standoffish? Older dogs for example, may find it more difficult to welcome a young puppy full of energy into their space. It is a good idea to speak to an experienced person such as the breeder, or even a vet, as some breeds have their own nuances that you should be mindful of before introducing a second dog.
Puppy proofing your home
If you can treat your new puppy the way you would treat a toddler then you have a good chance of surviving ‘puppy-hood’. This means keeping anything potentially harmful (chemicals, certain plants, medicines etc.) out of reach. You should also be mindful of hanging cords or any tempting pieces of furniture that could be chewed by an adventurous puppy.
Puppy proofing your back yard. Does your shed have hazardous chemicals?
If your puppy is spending time out in your backyard, you should always ensure that any possible escape routes have been identified and blocked off. I always double check that the shed doors are closed to keep little noses and mouths away from potentially harmful chemicals. Whilst you are checking the shed, now is a good time to throw out any toxic chemicals such as lawn fertilizers and snail pellets / rat sack, and replace them with dog safe products. Bunnings have a good range of pet friendly gardening products.
Stocking up on supplies
In the weeks leading up to this exciting day, it is a good time to make sure you have everything you need from food and grooming supplies to a collar and leash. Think about where your puppy will sleep, how will you transport him home, where is he going to stay during the day whilst you work etc.
To start with I suggest you make sure you have the following items on hand.
Collar: one for walking and one to wear at home with identification band attached
Leash: I always chose a good quality leather leash.
Bowl for food and water. Stainless steel is best.
Bedding: if your dog will be spending time outside you may like to purchase indoor and outdoor bedding. Outdoor bedding can get dirty very quickly from the likes of muddy paws, wet fur, bones etc.
Crate for transportation
Grooming – I always recommend using a very mild, low-foaming shampoo. The Organic Pet Company Ultra Mild Shampoo is perfect as it is a no-tear formulation and rinses very quickly – perfect for wriggly little bodies.
Establishing a routine
Have you planned where will your puppy be sleeping? Remember, as this is their first time away from their mother and siblings, it can be a period of transition. While it may be tempting to bring a whimpering puppy into your bed, this can be a hard habit to break when they are older! It’s all about settling into a routine that both you and your puppy are comfortable with. A wise old trainer once told me, start all training the way you plan to finish. What he meant by this was to ensure you set the boundaries for your dog early on. Consider if your mastiff puppy will be welcome in the bed when he’s fully grown and weighing in at 90kg.
Be wary of delicate tummies
As they have yet to try a wide variety of foods, your puppy’s tummy will likely be quite delicate. It’s always a good idea to continue with the food they are used to, so their transition is a smooth one. The best thing you can do is speak to your breeder and find out what the litter have been fed. Make sure you buy the same product to have on hand for their first few weeks at home with you. Once that transition has been sorted, you can gradually start introducing changes and monitor how they respond. My favourite ‘old wives’ tale’ products that I like to ensure I have on hand are rice, boiled chicken mince, probiotics and Pedialyte.
Introduce the family
The most exciting part is introducing your beautiful puppy to your family and friends. Try allowing your puppy to approach each person, so they’re not too overwhelmed by new faces. Just remember that most vets will recommend that puppies are not taken to local parks until they have received their last vaccination at 16 weeks of age.
All that is left to say is simply ‘Enjoy’.
Puppies, like children, grow up far too quickly so make the most of every minute you have together.