Welcoming a new pet into the home is incredibly exciting! The cuteness, the tiny paws, the snuggles - but don’t let that overshadow the need to make a plan. With all the excitement there also comes new roles and responsibilities as a puppy parent. There are steps you will need to take to make sure the transition is seamless for both you and your new pup! 

PUPPY CHECKLIST:
Before your puppy arrives you will want to stock up on supplies! This can be a very overwhelming task, so we put together a list of our puppy must-haves: 
 
🐾 Puppy Food
🐾 Food and Water Bowls
🐾 Collar
🐾 Leash
🐾 ID Tag
🐾 Crate
🐾 Dog Bed
🐾 Chew Toys
🐾 Poop Bags
🐾 Brush & Comb
🐾 Puppy Shampoo
🐾 Stain Remover
🐾 Treats

You can find some of these items on our Recommended Products page
 
3 IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:

1. Safety: 
Your adorable new family member will want to explore every nook and cranny of his new home and will want to chew on everything in sight! So you will want to clear the floors of clutter and anything you don’t want him getting into. Invest in organizational items like hooks and covered bins to keep the things you need on hand, but out of his reach. When you take your puppy outside, you need to take precautions there, too. Your backyard is going to be your puppy’s playground (and bathroom), so it’s important that it is also clear of all hazards and keeping him safe by having good fencing.

2. Boundaries:
Equally important as time spent together bonding, is alone time for your new best friend. Expect your young puppy to sleep a lot during this stage. Most 8 week old puppies will sleep about 18 to 20 hours a day to support their fast-growing brains and bodies. Puppies from 8 to 12 weeks old may seem to go from zero to 60 out of nowhere, then suddenly pass out to nap within minutes of being in overdrive. Create a space in the home for him to escape to for naps, solo-play and down time. Once a space for him is established, keep humans big and small out of the den, making it truly his own space.

3. Routine:
Get on a schedule for walks, meals, play and chill time with your dog to create a comforting sense of balance for him. (This is also critical when potty-training.) When your dog knows what to expect, he will not commit instinctual energy to thinking where his next meal will come from or how long it will be until he can relieve himself, leaving him calm and free to enjoy his new life. While we can’t promise there won’t be challenging moments, potentially involving shoes… we can promise that if you are mindful of this new found knowledge, you will avoid countless pitfalls. Congratulate yourself for not only loving him, but going out of your way to prepare and educate yourself to ensure this transition goes as smoothly as possible. You got this!

HEALTH CARE FOR YOUR PUP :
 
Your puppy will go home with his/her vet records, which will include one round of shots. However, we do think it is best practice for you to take your new puppy to your own vet within 72 hours of picking up the puppy for a normal check-up just to establish your relationship with your vet and the new pup (hold your puppy as much as possible, try not to let your dog on the vet floor until he/she is fully vaccinated). Then, your puppy will need 2 more rounds of shots, at 12 weeks and 16 weeks. They will get their rabies shots for their final round at 16 weeks. (then they are good for a year!).

Until your pup is fully vaccinated, it is very important NOT to take him/her to high traffic areas where they could pick up a virus. Parvo has been unfortunately common and it can get passed around very easily. It would be best to avoid dog parks, high traffic shopping centers and restaurant patios, and places like Pet Stores until their last round of shots (unless you can hold them off the ground the whole time). Once they are fully vaccinate, these places are great to take them for training and socialization!
 
Also, young puppies’ bones and joints aren’t fully formed or fused together yet. For the first couple months, be careful not to let your puppy jump off of high places. Also, although some elbow and hip dysplasia can be heredity, it can also actually be caused in this developmental stage by too much physical, or too little physical activity. A good rule of thumb is to only walk 5 minutes per how many months they are; so a 4 month puppy shouldn’t go longer than a 20 minute walk. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING:

Training is essential for dogs and puppies and is the key to them being successful family companions. Once you determine a trainer/techniques you like, read or watch their material to get a basic training plan training for when your puppy comes home. Consistency is KEY for puppy training success and everyone who will have constant interaction with the puppy needs to all be on the same page. If some people are training the pup, ‘OFF’, but others are training ‘GET DOWN,’ it will take longer for your puppy to learn the desired outcome. Talk through the house manners and obedience training techniques you all want to use, then help encourage each other to stay consistent and using the same techniques for maximum success.