Planning for taking your new pup home and its first days is essential, in the excitement of getting a puppy, being prepared, will make the initial first few days much more enjoyable.
Along with the usual feeding and water bowls, stainless steel or ceramic are best as some plastic bowls can cause allergies. A grooming brush, nail clippers, collar and lead, with blankets for bedding can all be purchased in readiness.
House rules need to be agreed with the rest of the household to where the pup will sleep, if it will be allowed on the furniture when old enough, or upstairs. If you are getting a basket or cage, a play pen is a very good idea, to be able to pop your pup in with some toys or hard biscuits and know it is safe while you are busy is very helpful.
The breeder should give a diet sheet and the pup should be kept on the same diet for a few weeks before you decide if you wish to change it, if so this should be done gradually over a few days.
Advice on worming, inoculations, grooming should all be known in advance from the breeder,
Take a towel or blanket and leave with the breeder, this can be put into the pups new bed and the familiar smells may help it settle.
Try to collect you pup early in the day so it will be able to have time for it to settle in before bed time. Take a towel or paper as pups are usually car sick on their first journey and let the pup relieve itself when arriving home.
Check for any escape holes in fencing as pups love to play out and will find a bolt hole, a secure gate is also essential.
On arrival at its new home after the initial trepidation, the pup will start to explore, so make sure anything hazardous is removed, electric cables are safe and out of harms way.
Any children in the household should be taught how to pick up the pup gently and leave it alone when tired, asleep or feeding. Young children with pups should be supervised at all times, with sharp teeth and nails that pups have this is essential.
Rough games as tug of war type should be avoided as this can create dominance behaviour, pups love to chase and running after balls or toys to retrieve them helps the pup to learn to come back to you happily.
A trip to your vet for a health check and inoculations should be carried out as soon as possible.
Most puppies cry for the first few nights, being on its own and it takes a strong will not to keep going to comfort it. With a warm blanket and secure place it should settle.
Most pups are very clean if able to get out to relieve themselves and taking it out on waking and after feeding and frequently throughout the day it will soon learn and prefer to go outside. The occasional ‘accident’ will happen for a while, with patience pups will get the message.
Dogs are creatures of habit so starting off the pups first few days with good guidance, care and attention for its well being, plenty of praise for good behaviour, it will learn to fit in with your family life and give you years of affection and loyalty.