Many people get a puppy around the holidays so I will be writing about bringing a new puppy home over the next few days. Here are some things you should have so you are prepared:
- A crate is an invaluable tool when housebreaking a puppy. It also provides your young dog with a sense of security when you are busy or away. However, never leave a puppy in a crate for longer than 4-5 hours. If you must leave your puppy for longer periods of time, you need to have a plan for long-term confinement vs. short-term confinement.
- Bedding should be thick enough for comfort and sized appropriately for the breed. Be aware that some puppies that are left unattended for too long may chew their bedding.
- Baby gates serve as a great training tool to block off “restricted” areas of the house and help to teach your puppy what areas are off limits. If you have a very open floor plan, an X-pen is a good idea so you can confine the puppy in a larger space when you know you will be distracted or need a break.
- Dog-appropriate toys, like the puppy-sized Kong, are the smart choice. Never use old clothing or shoes as toys; a puppy cannot differentiate between your old and newly bought items. Stick with size-appropriate toys for your breed. Depending on your puppy’s size, the Bark Busters Game Changer is a great toy to keep the puppy busy for long periods of time. https://www.facebook.com/gamechangerdogtoy
- Two dog bowls – one for fresh water and one for quality dog food. I always recommend the web site www.dogfoodadvisor.com to clients to research dog food and sign up for recall alerts.
- A well-fitted collar and leash are a must for training and safety during outdoor excursions. Avoid chain leashes and collars.
- A bitter spray – this is something you can spray on anything the puppy should not be chewing. Bitter Apple, Bitter Yuck and Fooey are all good ones.
- A pet ID tag allows your puppy to find his way home should he roam. I personally provide a FREE Bark Busters WaggTagg to all of my clients. https://www.waggtagg.com/
- Brushes and dog shampoo will eventually be needed for every breed.
- An odor and stain eliminator is a cleaner you will want on hand for those inevitable toileting accidents. Natures Miracle, Fission and Eco 88 are all good ones.
- A veterinarian should be researched and chosen beforehand.
- Pet insurance is a great thing to have in place right from the start. You never know what will happen once you bring your puppy home. Bark Busters recommends Trupanion. http://trupanion.com/
I am often asked when training should start with a new puppy. My answer is always As Soon As Possible. You don’t want you and your family, or the puppy, to form bad habits that will need to be undone later. Tomorrow I will provide tips for the first day and night with the new puppy.