Preparation for your new arrival
As soon as I knew about my wonderful gift of Nell I started my preparation mentally knowing just how massive a commitment Nell was going to be I had to give thought to:
- Events that were in my calendar; such as already organised events that would take me away from home for a few hours or even days. I would need to ensure that there was someone responsible to be available to care for Nell at these times. A puppy MUST NOT be left for long periods.
- Puppy classes– These are vital to ensure that your puppy gets off on the right foot. Researching your trainer is very important and word of mouth is a good measure. Visit websites and ask around new puppy owners who are a valuable source of information. I knew the trainer of the classes I wanted to attend with Nell and as she gets busy I booked up her slot in advance. Ask the trainer questions and don’t be afraid to go and check the classes out before taking your puppy!
- Food: The breeder informed me that the puppies were being weaned onto Pedigree chum wet food. I want to give Nell the best start in life I am able to so I opted for a raw food diet, using Nutriment complete raw dog food. I will need to consider how to switch her over once she comes home. But for her first couple of meals I got some Pedigree in. (try not to change too much at once, your puppy is starting its new life in a new home with new people/dogs and its very scary for a new puppy, keeping normal patterns of routine such as feeding for the first week can be very important.
- My pet dogs have always slept in my bedroom if they so wish (not in my bed) so I bought 2 new dog beds one for upstairs and one for down. New puppies can be very fretful at night so I like her not far away so I can whisper comforting words when needed.
Waiting for your puppy to be ready to come and live with you is the longest wait something like those last 10 days of a pregnancy! This is a good time to go ‘puppy shopping’ I compiled a list so you can see the things I thought I would need. It is sensible to note that some items can be bought second hand or borrowed. I borrowed a large pen for Nell I only intend to use during her very early weeks.
- 1. Insurance: Some puppies come with a free 4 weeks of insurance some don’t, it’s of highest importance that you have you puppy insured. Insurance companies will cover for 3rd party liability and some cover for behavioural issues if they did ever arise. Look through the small print and don’t be taken in by the first good deal that comes along. You will want life-long cover for your pooch some insurance only cover for a year per condition!
- 2. Bed: your puppy will need somewhere comfortable to sleep
- 3. Crate/pen/stairgate: if needed to separate the puppy from time to time
- 4. Collar and lead with ID tag: it is against the law to not have your dog chipped and wearing a tag on their collar.
- 5. Bowls for food and water
- 6. Toys: You will need these for play time, stimulation and distraction toys to prevent your puppy from chewing household items.
- 7. Blanket to leave at the breeders around 1 week before collection which comes to the new home with your puppy.
- 8. Food and treats: find out what the breeder is feeding and stick to that for some time, but research diets ask vets, nutritionists and there is a vast array of dog groups on Facebook now that have many professionals offering sound advice and experience. I always find that homemade treats work really well, you know exactly what is in them!
- 9. Kongs and treat dispensing toys for entertainment and training
- 10. Vet bed to act as a settle mat
- 11. Clicker for training
- 12. Treat pouch to store treats in for training and walks
- 13. Safe transportation: crate or dog guard for the boot of your car
- 14. Poo bags
- 15. Puppy Classes
- Dog care: you may not work and may be at home for your puppy however, it’s a really good idea to get to know your local pet care company to provide you help if you would ever need it, from a pet carers point of view it’s so much easier looking after a dog that already knows you and is used to you. Start researching and going to see or speak to local walkers and boarders in case you should ever need them. Check insurance, licences, police checks and their general knowledge of behaviour/animal care.
- Vets: Start looking into your local vets, go in and speak to them and get a feel for the practice. It is important that you feel very happy with the vet you are leaving your dog with. We use highcroft vets in Bristol who provide 24 hour care in their Whitchurch hospital in Bristol and in Midsomer Norton. You may be able to get signed up for puppy social sessions before your puppy has arrived and start looking in to other services the practice can offer you and your puppy.
- Parks: Have a look at your local parks and open spaces, so you are familiar with the areas before taking your puppy to them
- Garden: make sure your garden is secured for a small puppy to prevent any escape and make sure there is nothing in your garden that could cause your puppy harm. (ponds should be covered up or sectioned off).
- House: puppy proofing the house, Make sure any items that could harm your puppy are away and up high out of reach. Even household items such as paracetamol, raisins, grapes and chocolate these are all toxins and if ingested could make your puppy very poorly.