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Congratulations! You’re thinking about bringing home a new puppy for Christmas. I mean seriously who can resist those sweet cuddly, warm, roly poly little babies.
Oh and the puppy breath! Who doesn’t love that sweet little puppy breath. I love puppies!
Have you had a chance to meet Callie? My new puppy? She’s an adorable pill of a Labrador Retriever. She’s already spoiled rotten. I just love her so much!
Callie is 3 months old now. I wanted to share with you my tricks and tips for bringing home a new puppy.
Preparing for Your New Puppy
Bringing home a new puppy for Christmas can be an exciting time for you and your family.
It can also be a frightening time for your new puppy.
Your puppy will have just left the safety and security of their mother and littermates.
For a new puppy all those new sights, sounds, and smells can be a scary for a new baby.
When I brought Callie home she had her big sister, Ruby to help her with the transition.
However the preparation for having Callie was the same as if she was brand new.
Choosing a Veterinarian
It’s important to have your initial checkup as soon as possible after picking up your new puppy. I knew what day I was picking up Callie and had scheduled an appointment in advance.
You can read my full blog post on Choosing the best Veterinarian here.
Choosing a Veterinarian before bringing your puppy home can save time and if there’s an emergency you’ll have all the information you need.
Distance to Your Veterinarian
Ideally you’ll want to look for a Veterinarian’s office that is fairly close to your home.
I have a Veterinarian’s office within 20 minutes of my home that I love. I love their staff and Veterinarians.
Having a Vet’s office close is not only for convenience sake, it’s also handy in the vent of an emergency.
Important things to Consider when Choosing a Veterinarian
The most important factor in choosing a Veterinarian is to check out the facilities.
I immediately as questions and make mental notes:
1. Are the Veterinarian and Staff friendly? – I prefer an office that will take the time to say “Hello” to myself and my pets.
2. Will I be seeing 1 or 2 of the same Veterinarians or will I be seeing various professionals? – This was important to me. I’ve had it both ways.
One hospital I called and very rarely saw the same veterinarian twice. The turn over of Veterinarians was huge. It turned out to be a Corporate type of Veterinarian who simply wanted to up sell me on foods, tests and procedures.
My current and favorite Veterinarian is a smaller two person Veterinarian office.
Every member of the staff knows my dogs. Both my dogs are happy to see the Veterinarian. I enjoy the personal care.
Recently I had an emergency with Callie. She got into something she shouldn’t have and her vulva had become swollen.
My small Veterinarian’s office put a surgery on hold so they could personally deal with my puppy. Now that’s service!
VETERINARIAN NEEDS FOR THE NEW PUPPY
Veterinarian’s Hours of the Office is Open
The first 5-6 months you’ll be visiting the vet’s office at least once a month to get vaccines.
It’s important that your veterinarian’s hours coincide with your schedule.
A lot of veterinarians have evening and weekend hours available.
Making your Home Safe
Preparing for a new puppy is like getting ready for a brand new baby.
You literally have to get down and make sure there’s nothing a puppy can get into. It’s amazing to me what Callie has found being home.
I highly recommend getting down on your knees and crawl around.
1. Are there any exposed electrical cords that your puppy can chew on?
2. Can the puppy get stuck somewhere? Or fall?
3. Check the yard you’ll want your puppy to go potty in.
4. Are there any holes that your puppy can escape? I have a picket fence and Callie literally fit through the slats. I had to put up a mesh wire to keep her in the yard.
5. Remove any fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from the yard.
6. Check for poisonous plants. See my list of poisonous plants here.
Things your New Puppy will Need before Coming Home.
Every puppy will need the same basic items when coming home. Here’s what I found most useful.
Food and Water Bowls
The best water and food bowls you can get are stainless steel food and water bowls. They are durable, don’t rust, break or chip off.
Teething puppies cannot chew through stainless steel.
Stainless steel is also more sanitary than plastic.
Leash and Collar or Halter
A leash and collar are an essential item for any new puppy.
By starting them early with a collar, they’ll learn the feel of having a collar as well as how to walk with a leash.
I use a regular collar up until I notice the puppy is beginning to pull.
Once a puppy starts pulling I switch to a halter, it’s better for there throats. I don’t want a puppy pulling on his or her throat causing a collapsed trachea.
Most cities have laws that require you to keep your pets on a leash. Especially when walking in public places.
My absolute favorite leashes are the Sleepy Cotton leashes. They are light weight. Great for puppies. Plus, even better, they come in fun colors.
FOR A 10% DISCOUNT ON THE BEST LEASHES ( SLEEPY COTTON LEASH ) USE MY DISCOUNT CODE: RUBYDOODLEDOG10.
Brush and Comb
You’ll want to start off by teaching your puppy that grooming is an essential part of daily life.
It helps teach them to be handled by people. Especially if you have a puppy that will need regular grooming.
Stainless Steel water and food bowls are durable compared to plastic bowls. They don’t rust, break or chip with teething puppies.
In addition, stainless steel bowls are more sanitary than plastic bowls.
YOUR PUPPY ESSENTIALS
Must Have Items to Help Puppy Sleep Through the Night
BUY A SNUGGLE PUPPY AND AN AMAZON DOT TO HELP SOOTHE YOUR PUPPIES FIRST WEEK AT HOME.
Seriously if I could tell you this twice I would…Buy a Snuggle Puppy and an Amazon Dot. It will save you at night.
The Snuggle Puppy has a heartbeat that simulate a mother’s heartbeat. Inside the snuggle puppy is a little heart. You press the button and it last for hours.
To this day Callie loves sleeping with her Snuggle Puppy.
It’s the cutest thing to see her put her head on the Snuggle Puppy when she goes to bed.
The second best thing is an Amazon Dot. When you put your puppy away you simply ask Alexa to play music. It will play for up to 4 hours.
The noise is soothing to newborn puppies, along with the snuggle puppy, you’ll have a few less sleepless puppy crying nights.
A comfortable bed for the new puppy is a must have. Mine loves the round snuggle beds.
Other Play Toys for the New Puppy
Everyone wants to buy a new puppy stuffed animals and balls. Both of my dogs have baskets full all over the house.
One of the issues with stuffed animals and balls when they are babies are those sharp teeth. They can easily pull out the stuffing and squeakers out of those toys. It’s best to always watch your puppy when they are playing with stuffed animals and balls.
Rubber toys are always the best thing for puppies. Plus it gets them used to using those for puppy teething early on.
The most indestructible dog toys tend to be the rubber toys. Kong’s are fantastic for helping with training. Fill them with peanut butter that’s safe for dogs and it will keep them entertained for quite some time.
Introducing Kids and other Pets
Kids are always excited to play with a puppy and don’t realize how very careful they need to be with a small puppy.
When you first come home with the new puppy, it’s a great idea to have kids sit down and let the puppy come to them.
I always explain to kids that should try not to scare the puppy. Remember the puppy is already afraid coming into a brand new environment.
Teaching kids to stay quiet, not make sound noises and let the puppy come to them will help the new puppy settle into the new home with kids.
Explaining that simply sitting on the floor, the puppy will probably want to climb all over them anyway.
TIPS FOR KIDS MEETING THE NEW PUPPY
Introducing Dogs to the New Puppy
The best place to introduce a new puppy to another dog is outside of the home.
Even the nicest dog can become territorial. Being outside is a neutral ground for both dogs to meet, play and become pals before moving into the house.
Introducing an Older Dog to the New Puppy
If you’ve had an older dog for quite some time, they can have a hard time adjusting to a new puppy with all its energy.
An older dog may not want to share his or her toys. He may even be unhappy to see a new puppy and growl or try to hurt the puppy.
Or you can have an older dog that is pretty easy going with a new puppy. Has been well socialized among other dogs and have no problem having a new puppy.
Until you know how your older dog is going to react, always keep a careful eye on the dogs.
Some dogs become friends right away, others simply take time. Ruby and Callie are great friends, until someone is petting Callie!
Then Ruby’s jealousy comes out and she may growl. She’s never hurt Callie, she’s just letting everyone know they need to pay attention to her too.
If your older dog is not reacting the way you’d like to the new puppy, do not yell at the older dog.
Give him or her plenty of time to get used to the new puppy in short intervals.
Keep the older on a leash to control the dog while interacting with the puppy.
Dogs have their own language. The older dog will eventually let the younger one know the rules for playing with him and her.
Over time they should become friends or at the very least tolerant of each other.
Supervising your Puppy
For the first six months you’ll need to constantly supervise your new puppy. You wouldn’t let your two year old wander around the house alone.
You’ll want to choose your space for your puppy. You can’t let them have run of the entire house and not have an accident.
I always work with an area in the main living room and as the puppy training progresses I allow more and more space in my home.
I take my new puppies out every 30 minutes when first coming home.
It’s also wise to invest in enzymatic puppy spray because I know there’s going to be accidents no matter how much I supervise.
Here’s a good article on puppy training.