Yay! We know, it is a super exciting time, but there is a lot to do when your new puppy joins your family. We already know that you are going to love them and keep them safe, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this! You need to truly understand that you are responsible for everything from socializing to training and so much more. We assume that you have read this basic home safety note here.
They grow up very fast so time is of the essence. You are going to need a few things at first so let’s get to that.
A baby gate helps to set up a confined environment for your puppy so that they are safe when you can not be there to supervise.
Puzzle and chew toys are important for the dental growth and mental stimulation. Talk to your local pet store about things to avoid at this young stage (such as rawhide and plastics). Consider that pretty much anything that you put in their mouth – they are going to eat.
A dog harness and dog leash. We are not talking about choke collars, collars with prongs, and absolutely not an e-collar at this stage. As much as you want to give them an element of freedom, we recommend standard dog leashes and not retractable or flexi leashes.
There will be messes. Oh my, will there be messes. Nature’s Miracle makes a fantastic cleaner that also removes leftover pheromones. This is important because it avoids turning that “accident” spot into a “favorite” spot for potty accidents. You’ll also need some wee wee pads for potty training.
Get a collar, ID tags, and a microchip. A note about collars. Over time, a collar is something that most dogs are going to miss if they are not wearing it. While their own personality is not quite defined yet, we think that it is best to determine the material and size, instead of the design at this point.
ID tags are important. You should register your puppy with your local county as well. A simple ID tag should have your name and phone number easily visible in the event of emergencies. It takes a couple weeks for the license tag from the county to come in. When it does, just attach that to the collar as well. A microchip is critical in terms of identification and more. The technology has come a long way and they are not as bad as you may think. It is a radio-frequency identification transponder that carries a unique identification number, and is roughly the size of a grain of rice. This must be done by a licensed Veterinarian, so this is a good time to find the perfect Vet that you will work with long term. There are a series of shots and other things that they will need over time.
A note about puppies and Veterinarians… Simply put, there are some bad ones out there. Think predatory lending industry type of bad. You are vulnerable right now, but you are not dumb. If something does not sound right, you are more than likely correct. Get a second opinion, a third or fourth opinion if needed. Go to a dog park (not with the puppy) and get some opinions and referrals. If you start hearing one Vets name more than others, that is the place to start.
We want to keep this post simple. Come back later for week 2 tips with a new puppy.