Homecoming: Bringing your puppy home.
It is often said that one of life's greatest joys is the bond between friends and the moments they share. That's how we know you're already dreaming of the bundles of licks, fun, and love you're going to receive from your new buddy. Hold up for a second, what happens before and after you introduce your buddy to his new home?
In our previous article, we listed everything you need to know before buying a puppy. In this simple guide, we'll help you with the necessary preparation so you can focus on building a strong bond between you two.
Puppy-proof your home
Prepare your home before the puppy arrives by removing all chewable items from your puppy's space. This includes sneakers, electric cables, breakables, rugs, food items that are toxic to dogs, medicines and certain plants. Perform a final sweep, go down a puppy-eye level and look around for items you may have missed while in a standing position.
Get your pup insured
At some point, your curious –and mischievous- pup is going to snack on something it shouldn't, or it may have underlying conditions you had no idea of. Provided you get the right policy, an insurance cover reduces the financial strain of a pet's emergency medical bill as well as the worry associated with not being able to afford such care. We recommend getting your puppy insured; it's actually cheap for young animals.
Shop for puppy supplies
- Crate: A crate is a great way to help a new pup adjust. Crates provide dogs with a sense of security by offering them a domain that is totally their own, a safe place they can hide when they just want to be left alone.
- Puppy food and bowl: When you go shopping for your new pup's food a good rule of thumb that minimises stomach upsets is to stick with the brand your pup is currently eating (you can get this info from the breeder). Budget for stainless steel, non-tip food, and water bowls.
- Beds: Place a fresh blanket on your puppy's bed so that it has an easier time adjusting to its new home.
- Chew toys: Puppies love to explore and will chew on anything in sight. Puppy-proof dog space and get the right sized chew toys to prevent choking hazards.
- Grooming tools: Dog shampoo, nail clipper, toothbrush, and paste are a great way to introduce your pup to grooming habits.
- Collar and leash.
- Puppy treats
- Get an appropriate stain remover for when your dog accidentally soils.
Find a vet
It is super important to get your pup to the vet's office within 48 hours after you collect him from the breeder. Not only does a vet exam ensure your pooch is in good health, many purchase contract entitles you to return the puppy if he develops a serious illness, congenital or hereditary defects. A vet will be in a good position to recommend medications specific to your dog's breed.
Look over paperwork
It's exciting when you actually pay for the puppy you want, but make sure you get your pup's papers before leaving the kennel or breeder's place. Every responsible breeder will give you a puppy pack containing important documents – some you may need to act on ASAP:
Contract of sale: A brief and clearly laid out contract that sets out the conditions under which you could get a full refund should you wish to return the puppy, and recommendations to get your puppy checked within a given duration. It may also include an undertaking by the breeder to accept and care for your dog should you be unable to, due to changes in circumstance or lifestyle.
Health certificates and Veterinary paperwork: Your dog's health will depend, in most part, upon responsible breeding practices. Your pup's parent should have been tested for any hereditary disease, and it is very important you view the result of these tests before agreeing to purchase the puppy. If your dog has been vaccinated, then you need to have a copy of those too.
Chip Information: It is a legal requirement in the UK to have all puppies chipped before they leave the breeder. Your puppy's paperwork should contain a slip that has your dog's personal chip number and a reference number with which you can change the ownership of the dog online. Chips are very helpful for finding your pet should he break off while on a walk.
Payment receipt: This one is really straight forward, you cannot claim ownership of something you don't have a receipt for can you? Ensure your receipt of payment holds all the proper information that can be linked to you.
Pedigree Endorsement: If what you want to purchase is a purebred dog, then your breeder should be able to prove your pup is one by including a pedigree endorsement. A pedigree is simply your pup's family tree; it shows ancestry dating back four or more generations with details of the dogs on each level.
As with every relationship, your first few moments with your puppy will very well influence the depth and direction of the relationship. It will be a period of adjustment for you and mostly your pup, but you can make this transition much easier if you prepare well.