I’m not a fluff kind of person – everyone has busy lives, so i’m going to save you time, by getting straight to the point. Making it a concise, yet comprehensive guide on how to prepare and live with your puppy or newly adopted dog.
Viel Vergnügen! 🙂
Getting your new furry family member
Adopt a dog
We as pet lovers recommend to adopt a dog (maybe also a senior dog) from the shelter. Our best dogs in our lives were rescues and wonderful family members – and they are actually super appreciative for you to provide them with a loving home and show it through their relentless loyalty. Puppies are available in shelters as well! A great resource for finding a dog to adopt petfinder.com
Buy a puppy from a Licensed Breeder
If you are opting to get a puppy from a breeder, please make sure to find a licensed breeder. A licensed breeder will make sure the dogs in his care are well taken care off, treated humanely and you both are a good fit for each other.
Prepare for your puppy to come home
Following is a list on all the things to buy or research before your puppy comes home:
Find a vet. As soon as your puppy comes home, you should take him to a vet for examination, proper vaccinations, de-worming. We also strongly advise to microchip your dog.
Buy healthy food and prepare to use filtered water. Your vet will be able to tell you how much food to feed your puppy. BUT unless you have a vet who is heavily studied in dog nutrition (usually they only get about 2-4 hours of nutritional training during their entire veterinarian studies) please research healthy food for yourself. We have found that dogs are generally healthier when fed mostly wet food, not just dry food. Think about it, their ancestors were eating fresh raw food, not kibbles.
In regards to the South Orange and Maplewood water quality – i’m not going to comment on it, but good Rule of Thumb: If you don’t drink it, don’t give it to your pet. Use filtered or bottled water please!
Buy a Food and Water Bowl. Stainless Bowls are the most hygienic, safe and will last long. Another option are porcelain bowls.
Buy a dog bed. Who doesn’t love to sleep and cuddle up into something comfy.
Buy a crate. Preferably one which you can expand as your puppy grows like this one. Just make sure you are buying the right size and you always give your dog enough space and adjust as he grows.
Buy a Collar, ID Tag, Leash and Harness.
- Collar: To wear when your puppy is outside, so you have a way to attach the ID Tag and Rabies Tag. A Rabies Tag is provided by your vet after receiving a rabies vaccination – it’s the law ; alternatively you can also attach the ID – and Rabies Tag onto his harness
Do not use a Collar to leash up your dog, as the pressure that it causes when your dog pulls, could cause behavior problems due to pain and injury, thyroid issues (the collar could damage the gland), and ear and eye issues from neck pressure.
- Identification Tag: Include Pet’s name and Phone Number. You can get it at the PetSmart in Millburn or buy on amazon right here.
- Leash: Do NOT use a retractable Leash – they are simply a hazard to you and the dog.
Get a simple 6 ft. Leash – nothing fancy needed, your dog will thank you. A tip: If you have 2 or 3 dogs this leash coupler works wonders.
- Harness: For puppies and very small dogs this Lil Pals Harness is a comfy, easy to put on option.
Once they grow taller we have had great experience using the Freedom No-Pull Harness , but since every dog is different you might have to experiment and see what works for your pooch and you. Either way always make sure it’s tight enough, so they are not able to slip out.
Toys. There are so many options out there, but a few things to consider are:
- opt for strong, durable, well-made toys
- should be sized appropriately
- if the toy gets destroyed, immediately throw it out – any toys where their inner workings/stuffing are exposed, torn-off or strands are frayed can be ingested
Living with your puppy
And so the fun begins!
Create a feeding schedule. Your puppy will need to be fed 3 times/day for the first 3 to 4 month and then 2 times/day. Good times to feed are around 7 am, 12 pm, 5 pm.
Create a potty schedule. Just know that you won’t be able to sleep through the night during your first few weeks together – you will see 🙂 Once your puppy wakes up during the day, bring him outside to his pee spot immediately. During the day a good rule of thumb is that your puppy will need to pee every so many hours as old he is in months.
2 months of age = potty every 2 hours
3 months of age = potty every 3 hours
up to 5 months and then dogs shouldn’t be left without peeing for too long anyway.
That’s where we, Silver Hound Dog Walking, will come in and save your day! 🙂
We do not recommend using pee pee pads inside – it will nip you in the butt later on as it’s hard to un-train such a learned convenience!
Crating. Puppies might need to be crated for the first few 3-4 months while you are at work. As she grows remember to adjust the crate’s size to it’s size. Your goal should be to trust your puppy enough to let him roam around in one room or the entire house when you are away – as soon as possible.
Walking. Only walk him on the street and bring him into the big, open world after he has received all his vaccinations.
Socialize your puppy. Your pups should be around a lot of different people regularly and once vaccinations have been given play dates with other dogs are fun! Be aware of dog parks. A lot of times their owners are not paying attention about what their dog is up to; don’t know what to do if a fight starts or bring their poorly socialized (borderline aggressive) dog there to become socialized (really?!).
Training. Training a puppy is really not that hard, if YOU stick to the routine. The puppy will happily interact with you and be rewarded for it – let it be with treats or pets. There are various guides on the internet, but i prefer and use the methods that Victoria Stilwell teaches. Scroll to the bottom of this page to learn how to teach the basics to your puppy.
If you have adopted a dog, he might already know the basic commands. If you have noticed any behavioral problems, seek out a Trainer that makes sure to find out the root cause of the dogs behavior and make sure he gives you a plan of action – a NOT punitive approach, but a gentle, unterstanding and positive approach. How would you feel, if you were abused and neglected in the past only to find a new family and then someone comes a long and punishes you for your fears?
Children. I was 9 when we welcomed our first Beagle puppy into our family – he was my very best friend. And it will be your child’s best friend as well. In regards to younger children: Talk to you child about how to treat your dog. It might not be so obvious to a 2 year old, not to pull the dog’s tail etc.
Very Important: If you want your dog to grow into a healthy, kind, well-balanced dog, treat your dog kindly at all times. Never do anything that could instill fear into your pup. Never.
Now enjoy the time with your newly added family member to the fullest!!!