How to Prepare for a New Puppy

How to Prepare for a New Puppy

Use these four steps to make your eagerly awaited puppy's homecoming a success.

By: Wendy Nan Rees and Kristen Hampshire

You’ve been anticipating your puppy’s homecoming for weeks— you picked out your dog well before she was prepared to leave the litter. That gave you plenty of time to puppy-proof the house, prepare her crate with cosy old towels (easy to wash), choose a few small toys, and stock up on the essentials: bowls, a collar and a leash. Thanks to your breeder’s advice, you chose the right-sized crate and are ready to welcome home your new “baby”. Here, we help you prepare for your puppy’s first day at home.

1. Call your breeder first.
Call your breeder prior to picking up your puppy. When you arrive, you’ll be so caught up in the excitement that you may forget basic instructions, such as how much to feed her. Make a quick phone call and set up an appointment to pick up the pup so the breeder can prepare documents, including a brief health record. Ask what type of food the breeder has been using. You’ll want to keep kibble consistent at first. Take notes.

2. Prepare for the ride home.
If you’re bringing your puppy home in a car, be sure to have three or four clean towels with you in case the puppy has an accident or gets carsick from all the excitement and movement. (Your breeder will probably avoid feeding the pup prior to the trip, to prevent stomach upset.)


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Bring a friend or family member with you to hold or watch the puppy in the car. Consider using a crate to transport your puppy, which is safest. Most new dog owners can’t resist cradling their pooch during the car ride. Just be sure the dog is secured.

3. Allow for a potty break.
When you arrive at home, your puppy will need to go outside. Right away, show the puppy a specific spot outside where it will consistently go to eliminate. Consistency is key as you establish a schedule for your new pet.

4. Introduce your puppy to her home.
Now bring your puppy inside and introduce her to the home. She will be exhausted and hungry after the car trip. Set out a small amount of food, and show the puppy where her mealtime spot is located. Do not be concerned if she is disinterested in food. After all, your home is a brand-new environment. She may be scared, or curious and ready to explore!

Excerpted from Dog Lover’s Daily Companion by Wendy Nan Rees and Kristen Hampshire.

Exceptional Canine expert Wendy is an author and entrepreneur who has been involved in the pet industry for more than 25 years. Kristen is an award-winning writer, author and dog-lover.

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