Bringing home your new puppy makes for an exciting and busy day. Your new pup will be eager to explore new places and bond with his or her new human family. With all of the excitement you may quickly find that you need to take some precautions in your home to keep your furnishings and puppy safe. This checklist is designed to help you to get together all of the information that your vet will require, the supplies necessary for your new puppy to quickly settle into his new routine in addition to tried and true puppy proofing advice to keep him and your home safe and sound.
Necessary Information to Gather From Your Breeder or Adoption Agency
Once you have selected the day you will pick up your new puppy, you should schedule an appointment with your vet for his first physical exam, to test for parasites and to setup his vaccination schedule. Most breeder's contracts allow for a 72 hour return period in case the exam turns up a potentially life threatening condition. Therefore, if you are picking your puppy up on a Saturday, have an appointment scheduled for Monday to have your puppy examined.
Find out from your breeder or rescue organization these facts:
- Date of Birth
- When was the puppy wormed and with which wormer was he treated. (Your puppy should have been wormed several times prior to 8 weeks of age).
- Has the puppy been vaccinated, and if so, on what date and with which vaccine (manufacturer and diseases vaccinated for, for example Vangaurd 5 way puppy vaccine).
- When was the puppy weened. (If the puppy was still nursing when vaccinated, the antibodies in mother's milk can interfere with effectiveness of vaccination. This can be important information for your vet in setting up his vaccination schedule going forward).
- Which food is your puppy currently eating. You will want to have some of that on hand even if you have another food you plan to switch him to. Whenever you are moving a puppy or dog to a new food, you will want to make that change gradually, over the course of a week, to prevent stomach upset.
Supplies to Have On Hand Before You Bring Your Puppy Home
These pet supplies are essential to have on hand before you pick up your new puppy, especially if you have a long drive ahead of you. If you do have a long drive ahead of you, plan to stop once ever two hours when he is awake. If he has been sleeping for a couple of hours and wakes up, this is a good time to stop for a potty break.
- Adjustable Collar with a tag with at least your name and phone number on it.
- 6' Leash - we prefer nylon or leather to the flexi-style leashes. Flexis give you very little control over the erratic behavior of a pup that has not yet been leash trained, especially in high traffic areas.
- Carrier or Crate that will fit into your car and sit level.
- Water bowl that can attach to the crate or carrier.
- Newspaper or old towels to line the crate or carrier in case of accidents (for long drives bring spares).
- Chew toy to keep the puppy entertained and from eating the news paper or towel you have included as a liner.
- Puppy's food.
The Naughty Paws Puppy Teething Survival Kit has many of the items you will need to get through the first few months of your puppies welcome home and teething phase.
- A crate that will accommodate the full grown dog, with movable divider. Set up the puppy's area so that there is enough room for his water and food bowl and for him to be able to stretch out while lying down, stand up and turn around comfortably. You do not want to give the puppy so much room that he can stake out a spot to eliminate in with another area to sleep and eat in.
- If you don't have a fenced yard or have large gaps in the fencing that a puppy can easily escape through, you will want to invest in a portable playpen for unsupervised outings. Playpens allow you to let the puppy out in the morning to potty, while you get ready for work.
- Gates (child gates or pet gates) or an indoor play pen to keep puppy away from wires and beloved possessions while unsupervised.
- Various chew toys and stuffing free squeaker toys to keep her entertained.
- Small moist training treats to reward good behavior.
- Urine cleaner. You are going to have accidents, that cannot be avoided, so have a spray bottle on hand to clean up the messes. We find that a solution of 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water is good for cleaning up and neutralizing urine odors. White vinegar is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal-and anti-microbial, and it is very inexpensive.
- Stainless steel or ceramic water and food bowls with a heavy weight to them or rubber bases to keep them from being easily pushed around. Plastic can harbor germs, especially if a teething puppy chews on the rim of the bowl.
- Poop bags and dispenser to keep your yard and your neighbor's clean.
- Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is an old Amish remedy for Coccidiocis. Coccidia a single cell parasite is found in the ground of many kennels; health adult immune systems deal with it effectively. However puppies under stress from a change in environment or travel can succumb to coccidiocis, resulting in soft or runny stools with mucus and foul odor. As a preventative, add 1 tablespoon of cottage cheese to your puppy's food at each meal for the first week. The cottage cheese changes the PH balance in the puppy's gut to make it inhospitable to the coccidia organisms, it tastes yummy and is high in natural calcium.
- Nail Trimmer for small breed puppies you can use a human nail clipper to trim of the sharp ends of the claw. It's good to start this early to prevent struggles at a later date.
- Dog Shampoo and Conditioner.
- Pin brush for double coated dogs or boars bristle brush for short coated dogs.
- Toothbrush and enzymatic toothpaste (start your puppy young and you won't have trouble with him resisting you when he is older).
Puppy Proofing Your Home
These products and precautions will help keep your home and puppy safe in his new environment.
- Grannick's Bitter Apple chew deterrent spray. Spray this on windows sills, furniture legs and stair case banister rungs that your pup will have access too. It only takes a minute for puppy teeth to do permanent damage to wood if you are momentarily distracted.
- Remove all electrical cords within her reach. Puppies are drawn to shoe strings, leather straps (like the ones on your sandals) and especially to electrical power cords as well as computer cables keyboard and mouse cords. If your puppy does bite into a live electrical cord, she probably will get locked onto it. Your best course of action is to kick the cord out of the electrical socket with a shoe to avoid electrocuting yourself too.
- Keep all closet and bedroom doors closed until your puppy has outgrown the teething phase.
- Erect gaits to keep her out of areas with expensive furnishings.