Your New Puppy
Get ready for your new friend before you bring him home, to make sure the transition will be as smooth as possible. Buy food, treats, a collar and leash, toys, grooming tools and other necessities in advance so your puppy will have everything he needs.
Make a Schedule
You and your family members should decide who would be responsible for food, water, walking, and exercise, clean up and grooming. Post a schedule of tasks in a visible area of the house to remind everyone of their responsibilities.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
Prepare your home before your new puppy arrives. Move breakables or “chewables” to higher ground. Make electrical cords inaccessible to curious paws and noses. Block off any area of the house that you want off-limits to the puppy. Put the lid down on your toilet and your shoes up in your closet. Block access to any house or garden plants that may be toxic to dogs.
Set a Containment Policy
It is essential that you have a secure method of keeping your puppy on your property. Check your fence for spots vulnerable to chewing or digging. If your yard is not fenced, consider a large puppy run or invisible fencing. If your property is not fenced in some way, stress to family members that the puppy must be leashed at all times when taken outdoors.
Get a Collar
Your puppy should wear a flat leather or nylon collar with a buckle at all times, except when in a crate. (The buckle can catch on the crate and cause injury.) The collar should be tight enough that it will not slide over the puppy’s ears, but loose enough that you can fit two fingers between the collar and the puppy’s neck. Check the fit of the collar often, especially if you have a fast-growing puppy.
Make a Bed
Every puppy needs a quiet place to call his own. Create a comfortable area, whether a crate, a mat or a pile of blankets, for your puppy to go to when he needs rest or privacy.
Buy Some Toys
Provide your puppy with a variety of toys to prevent him from playing with your socks and shoes, your morning paper, or your child’s favorite doll. Get some toys that you and your puppy can play with together, such as balls and plush toys, and some things to keep him busy when he’s alone, such as chewies or rope bones. Never leave your puppy unattended with any toy that has small, detachable parts.
Find a Veterinarian
You should choose a veterinarian for your puppy as soon as possible. Have your puppy examined by the vet within a few days of his arrival. Give your vet copies of the puppy’s health records, and set up a vaccination and check-up schedule.
Bringing your Pet home
At last! You’ve made all the preparations, and it’s finally time to bring your new friend home. Give him the best welcome possible. With love, patience and mutual respect, he will feel like part of the family in no time.
Let Your Puppy Adjust
Give the puppy time to adjust to his new home. The puppy is bound to feel insecure and frightened by a change in environment, and a pup may be homesick for his mother or littermates. Show him to his crate or bed, and where to find food and water. Then leave him alone to explore the new surroundings.
Name Your Puppy
Your puppy will need a good name. Your breeder may have suggestions or even requirements for his AKC-registered name, but his call or informal name is up to you.
Introduce your puppy to your household slowly. Many pairs of hands petting him at once may frighten him. Later, introduce him to neighbors, regular visitors and other family members. Give your puppy a sense of who your – and your puppy’s – friends are.
Introduce Other Pets
Other companion animals in your home should also be properly introduced to your new puppy. Don’t expect them to get along right away, and don’t try to force them to play together. Give them time to adjust to one another. Protect young puppies from larger, stronger companions, who may injure them in rough play.
Whichever method of housetraining you have chosen – crate training, paper training or litter box – make sure that all members of the family enforce it consistently. Accidents happen, so have a procedure for clean-up. If possible, take puppies outside frequently to relieve themselves, especially after eating.
Set House Rules
Teach your puppy from the beginning what is and is not appropriate behavior. If something is “OK” today, your puppy will think it’s OK forever. Make sure that every member of the family enforces the house rules. Consistency is the key to having a well-behaved pet.
Go to the Veterinarian if You Must
Complete the puppy’s inoculations at 12 and 16 weeks. You should not have to see a vet again unless the puppy has an accident. Your puppy will need annual leptospirosis shots (as of this writing) but will not need additional inoculations for the usual dog diseases; his immunity is complete at 16 weeks.
Most vets give very bad advice about nutrition, because they were taught nutrition by pet food company representative, supported in vet school by pet food companies, and sell commercial pet foods for profit. Most do not know any better – not entirely their fault.
Feed a Good Diet
No diet is as good as a raw-meaty-bones (RMB) diet. Feeding puppies what they evolved to eat is always the best. Other pages on this web site provide detailed advice on why and how to feed RMB. DO NOT FEED COMMERCIAL DRY KIBBLE OR COOKED CANNED MUSH. You will ruin your puppy’s teeth and gums, create allergic and digestive problems, and set a course for a lifetime of chronic illnesses and early death. I wish I could find a nicer way to say this, but there is no nice way to warn you off commercial pet foods.
.Always provide plenty of fresh, clean water, indoors and outdoors.
Puppies need regular exercise to ensure continuing good health. Take your dog for walks, run around in the yard, throw a ball around – anything to get him up and moving. This will benefit his health and could prevent behavior problems.
Protect Your Puppy from Injury
Be careful not to over-exercise your puppy. Some puppies will play or swim too long and hard to please you and exhaust themselves, which is not good for their health. Overexertion can be dangerous. Also be careful not to let a young dog jump off high places (such as, car or trucks seats, beds), which can injure their joints. Treat puppies under a year of age with the care you would give a baby and toddler.
You can take steps to prevent other diseases not covered by the regular series of vaccinations. In Hawaii heartworm medication must be given 12 month of the year. Flea and tick protection are also advisable in many areas. Medications can be given to eliminate other parasites. Ask me.
Be The Alpha
Puppies need to know who’s boss – and that boss should be you. You and your dog will be much happier together if you establish yourself as the leader of the pack.
Teach Basic Commands
Teach your dog basic commands such as sit, stay, come and down. Training your dog will not only make your life easier, but will also fulfill your dog’s desire to learn and please you. Puppy obedience classes are often fun for owners and beneficial for puppies to socialize with other dogs.
Socialize Your Puppy
Expose your dog to different people and settings regularly. Take him to the park, to the pet store, on a walk through town. Praise him for accepting petting from friendly strangers, and for behaving calmly around other dogs. The more your dog learns of the world, the more comfortable he will be in it.