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BRINGING PUPPY HOME CHECKLIST

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DDW BLOG Post #0007

It is quite an exciting and memorable event to bring home a new family member of the furball genre!  The event itself can be quite overwhelming where we may forget to consider or just be unaware of all of the needs of the pup. DDW put this very reflective checklist together to utilize for your convenience which involves awareness, resources and amazing products. 

NOTE: If you still are figuring out which breed that would best fit your lifestyle, or how to go about finding one that would thoughtfully not support the puppy mill epidemic, please consider also reading the previous BLOG post, "How to Find and Pair the Right Dog With Your Family"

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Most important to do before we go over other needs:  Research and interview local vets; find a local emergency vet and have them on speed dial especially for after hours, etc. 

Please observe your new pup closely and familiarize yourself with the signs of Hypoglycemia and Parvo. They can both be deadly, but Parvo is also a contagious disease if not treated immediately.  According to AKC.org:

"Part of what makes the virus so dangerous is the ease with which it is spread through the canine population. The virus spreads either by direct contact with an infected dog, or through feces, and an infected dog can begin shedding the virus four-to-five days after exposure — often before the dog starts exhibiting any clinical signs of infection. The dog will continue to shed the virus while he is sick and for up to 10 days after he has recovered. This means that accurate diagnosis and quarantine are essential for the health of your dog and of other dogs, as well...Young dogs between six weeks and six months old, unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated dogs are most at risk for contracting parvo. "

1. Health Insurance: This is a "must" to implement right away in order to take the fullest advantage of it.
"Accidents happen" that is why they call them accidents When they are small and untrained, anything can happen.  Also, get coverage before "pre-existing conditions" become relevant.  It takes time for the policy to take effect. I recommended Healthy Paws and you can read the DDW BLOG post entitled  'Pet Insurance and Financing High Vet Bills'  to learn how I chose this carrier. If you prefer another, remember CAP is extremely important when choosing. Otherwise...what are you paying for?

pet insurance and financing high vet bills blog ddw doggydawgworld.com2. Wellness Policy: As a humane pet owner, you are also expected to keep up with the wellness check and shots/vaccines. A regular vet visit could cost $75 and that would not include shots, vaccines, preventative medicines, testing needed, neuter/spay, anesthesia...the list goes on! A decent wellness plan is especially beneficial in the first year of your pet's life as everything needs to be done possibly including spay and neutering. Read more in the DDW BLOG post entitled  'Pet Insurance and Financing High Vet Bills' .

nutri-cal
3. Nutri-Cal: In my opinion, this is better than any of the alternatives (maple syrup, Karo) because Nutri-Cal is made of a thicker substance and would be easier to force down in an emergency. If they do not like the taste, you can easily place an amount at the roof of their mouth. I recommend this product as it has saved the life of my small pup two times who went into hypoglycemic shock. Small pups are susceptible to this; be ready if you have to revive them.  You can also give this to a small pup every two hours to maintain their sugar levels in addition to its purpose in the product description.  I suggest every owner having this great product on hand wherever the pup is at all times.
4. To Crate or Not to Crate:

Crating: There are many considerations and even options for this concept. Puppies can be very destructive.  Their flight or fight syndrome is likely to take over when placed in a small enclosed space.  Getting them used to a crate can be very involved and would take a lot of your patience.  I suggest dedicating a few days to a week to help the pup get used to crating.  Crating is also not recommended for more than four hours at a time.
dog playpenCrating option: Build a barrier space that would include a crate, bedding, wee pad along with food and water. Leave a lot of puzzle or chew toys so they don't get into mischief and leave the TV on for comfort. 
crate for big destructive dog**Practice leaving your pup for short then to longer periods so they understand that you are coming back.  Remember, they may develop anxious behavior if this training is not handled properly. They have a pack mentality, so it may be expected that they bark endlessly or destroy the area they were left in. For more information on how to set your pup up for success with crate training, read DDW BLOG post: "Dogs and Managing Their Anxiety".
**You do not typically have to worry about a smaller dog destroying a crate but, a big dog most definitely has the can destroy one. If you have a pup that is going to grow large,  you will need a really good one. Click on the above images for CRATES sold at Amazon and offered for both small and large dogs.
pet gate dog5. Gates:  Gates are great when used to keep from family dinner so they do not learn to beg and as barriers for safety from stairs or special rooms to be kept off-limits. Gates are especially helpful when used to limit free roam in the house. Allowing free roam is not an option if you want a well-behaved dog. In the beginning, you want to keep an eye on them like you would a baby so as not to miss out on any opportunities to correct bad behaviors. Remember, if they are tiny, you do not want to buy a gate that they can fit through!
6. Collar and/or Harness:  I always recommend a harness over a collar for any dog (DDW has great harnesses in our shopping section).  For the smaller dogs, they are a must, especially, if you have a small pup as you do not want any pressure on the dog's neck. This can cause a collapsed trachea. The collar is good to have to use for an ID tag which you can have made up in any Petco or Petsmart. 
Finally, for the really tiny puppies, both a kitten collar and a kitten harness can serve a purpose. It can be a challenge finding each of these small enough made for dogs. The kitten collars typically have bells on them and at any time you can hear when they are moving around and know where they are. The collars are also easily detachable and do not put the pup in danger if they got caught on something. Do not get anything too embellished; you would be surprised at how much extra weight that puts on a tiny baby's neck. The harnesses should not be left on and should be removed when not being used for safety purposes.
7. Bed or Blanket or Both: I like both, but some dogs will rip and shred bedding. In this case, I recommend the blanket; here you have to take your chances to see what happens. DDW has the largest bedding selection you have seen.
8: Food and Treats:  There is so much CRAP out there! Please do your due diligence while figuring out good food that will promote healthy living and a long and deserved quality of life! My rule of thumb is if it is found in a grocery store: BEWARE! Dogs get sick off of these foods. Google reviews and ingredients! Personally, I have had a bad experience with a popular brand found in a supermarket that I was just using for a wet food treat.  All of my pups started throwing up.  Start your research online and/or talk to your vet. Remember one thing...Please, ween the puppies off of their previous food while introducing them to another.
I use an organic dry food call Healthy Extensions.  I also leave the food down to let my pups graze all day.  When they are puppies, I believe they need their strength and I suggest choosing to do this in the beginning.  The following article can help you choose your pup's food called "How To Choose The Best Dog Food" , or you can go directly to the source: AKC.org
DDW offers great organic treats.  Carrots, apple seem to be popular with the pups and are very healthy for them.
kong toy for dog9.  Toys: Play encourages stimulation, healthy curiosity problem solving and sometimes includes exercise. This is great for their overall mental well being. If pups do not have these outlets, they can develop anxiety which leads to bad behaviors. You especially want teething toys. DDW offers a toy collection and you may want to look into puzzle toys to keep the pup busy. A good brand is called KONG and you can find a big selection of KONG toys at Amazon like the red toy image on the left. These toys have a great reputation for being durable even with the strongest of teeth.

seresto collar for dog10.
Flea and Tick Preventative: You definitely want something to help avoid flea infestation on your home or a bite which can develop into heartworms or Lymes disease among several other diseases.  All are serious nightmares and can get to be costly and dangerous. I use the Seresto collar sold here at DDW on sale in the shopping section. There are all-natural or alternative options, as well on the same health page dedicated to flea and tick preventatives for you.

fresh breath for dogs tropiclean11. Dental and Breath Products: I highly urge you to consider the next recommended product.  People are always complaining about their dog's breath, but more importantly...the expense of dental care.  Consider how painful it is for the pup, too. Get into a healthy routine with your dog DAY 1 with  'FRESH BREATH' BY TROPICLEAN - Advanced Whitening Oral Care Water Additive, sold here at DDW.    It would be difficult to introduce this product later on because your pup may not appreciate the difference in the taste of their water with this additive. It works AMAZINGLY!  Dental chews like the ones DDW sells called: Whimzees Alligator Dental Dog Treats by the Bag are a great addition to the dental maintenance; I would do both.
DoggieLawn blog12. Wee Wee Pads, Washable Chucks or The DoggieLawn : It has been my experience, the disposable Wee Wee Pads are perfect for the hard floors.  If you have rugs and you find the dogs are gravitating towards using the rugs to pee on (Read another DDW BLOG "Wee Wee Pad Dilemma"), use Washable Chucks (the key to cleaning washables is Vinegar).  The Washable Chucks would give the same idea of texture that the pups are attracted to and similar to the rugs. The DoggieLawn is an exceptional product and comes from a great company, it does not work for every finicky dog, however. According to DoggieLawn, "Our REAL grass has none of the drawbacks! Natural grass neutralizes odors. Low maintenance! Lasts weeks, not hours! Green-bin friendly, great for the planet, and our standard size is CHEAPER than the competitors!"..."Our standard lawn is LESS EXPENSIVE. We also deliver more bang for your buck! Complimentary gloves in all grass orders, poo bags and a training kit for first-time subscribers, and a donation to an animal shelter with each new signup."  These companies are my kind of companies!
dog car carrier13. Car Carrier: Have you ever had to stop short in yourseatbelt for dog tether vehicle to avoid an accident? Have you ever been in an accident? My point is, it happens often enough and your pets deserve to be protected, as well. I highly recommend a car carrier (Click for DDW favorite) or you can even get a tether like the one we at DDW sell you can see on the right to attach to the seatbelt. This keeps them from propelling in the car. It is also a better idea to get them used to this early on.  If you do not, they may protest every future car ride by crying or wining.

**WARNING: Do not buy anything from China including chew toys, food or shampoos, flea and tick prevention, etc.  Most products would not fit into our US regulations which ensure the safety of our pets.  Do not buy anything from dollar stores or the like for your pets, there are too many deaths related to numerous products sold at these places.

FINAL WORDS FROM DDW

Whether you do or you do not yet have a pet, it is great to take more time to consider your options to support the needs benefiting the pet's overall health. You will, also, will be more equipped to manage the financial demands of maintaining their health.  Ultimately, you never want to feel burdened in any way as it is a pet's right to live its best life and your home will deservedly be the only home the pup will ever know.  Too many pets get re-homed due to poor planning and this IS NOT healthy for pets.

Many dog experts say that a dog that is acting out or has bad habits is not the fault of the dog, but the owner.  Please educate yourself as a dog owner, in the long run, you will have a happy house and a well-adjusted dog always eager to please.

Finally, keep an eye on your dog while training just like you would a mischievous child.  This way you can be consistent with your training.  Give high praise when the pup is doing well and a firm NO when he/she isn't.  Please do not hit your pups, your dog should not fear you!

Remember CONSISTENCY and PERSISTENCE....Best of luck, Kimberly

DDW


 

2 comments

  • Thank you, very good information! It’s been nine years since we had a puppy (got a Christmas pup!) and we never had such a small dog (3-1/5 pounds when we brought Corky home) We have had crates for all of our dogs, no matter what age they were when they joined our family. To this day, our three older dogs who are 6, 8 and 9, still like to go into their crates for naps. The gates are left open unless I want them to stay in their crates for some reason. Also, for puppy Corky, we got a large playpen to use besides his crate and filled it with toys and hard chews so he is happy and occupied while I get some housework and other things done. He will be five months old on March 9, weighs 7 pounds and is getting neutered and microchipped on March 11. From day one, our vet suggested a few different brands of puppy food and we went with NutriSource for small and medium breeds. He will stay on this food until he is is 8 months old, as our vet instructed. We also feed our dogs baby carrots and I bake peanut butter (the safe kind!) and pumpkin dog treats. Very important to feed your dogs good food and create a very safe environment as they grow and learn the rules of the house.

    Denise Connolly
  • Awesome information for a new mom. Thank you for sharing this great information!!!

    Kathy Lorentz Custer

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