Preparing for your new family member
Shopping for your new puppy before s/he comes home is fun, but some items will not withstand the first few months. It is advisable to buy inexpensive toys and bedding while your pup is still in the chewing stage.
WHAT TO BUY AND WHERE
Discount stores offer most essential items at very low prices.
Food and water bowls. I suggest metal with non-slip rim on base. (approx. $ 5.)
Bedding. Various sizes with zip-off covers. (approx. $20)
Crate. A great way to start house training. (approx. $50 online) Ask for information about the benefits.
Grooming tools. Also cheapest bought online.
Toys. Tough rubber, or rope chew toys and balls are best. Soft toys are great too, as long as there are no small pieces e.g. eyes, bells etc., which can be bitten off and swallowed. Rawhide knotted ‘bones’ are great to keep puppy amused (and not chewing your favourite shoes) but remove them when the pieces get too small.
Food. This is where top quality is important. Premium foods (e.g. Advance) will cost about $100 for 20 KG, but cheap supermarket foods are full of fillers and are of poor quality.
Premium food provides all the nutrition required for every life stage without the need for any additions or supplements. Only a small amount is required and because it is well digested, produces far less waste.
Your puppy will leave Myamba, having been weaned onto Advance puppy food and should continue on this to avoid tummy upsets.
Extensive notes will be available before puppy goes home, covering feeding, house training, health care, grooming, and obedience training.
Remember to note when appointments need to be made with your vet for the next vaccinations.
THE FIRST NIGHT IN PUPPY’S NEW HOME
This doesn’t have to be a sleepless night for your household!
Although puppy will of course be unfamiliar with the new surroundings, a crate is a great help with settling in. A crate with a comfy bed and a soft toy for comfort will help, and covering the crate with a towel or blanket will make it a cosy den.
A little whimpering is to be expected but if s/he has been to the toilet, and is in bed, do not be tempted to get pup out of the crate for reassurance. Although it is hard to resist, if you relent, you will have made a rod for your own back!
Usually, puppies will settle within half an hour, and if you are consistent, this will only last for a few nights.
House Training. The most important thing here, is routine, which is the best way to help puppy understand what is expected. This training will of course, take time and patience.
After a meal or a nap, first thing in the morning, and at bed-time, carry puppy to where you want the toilet to be and choose a word that will tell puppy what you want. When s/he has been successful, be generous with your praise.
There will be accidents of course, but your vigilance will reduce these, and help puppy understand how to please you. If you see pup sniffing in circles, pick him/her up immediately and go to the toilet spot.
Even if most of it is lost on the way, give lots of praise for the few drops that arrive in the right place! Trying to get pup to walk to the toilet at this point is futile as s/he will just squat wherever they are.
Using a crate is invaluable as puppies will almost never soil their bed, so take pup to the toilet last thing at night, and as soon as you can in the morning, to give him/her every chance to succeed.
Puppies need plenty of sleep and a quiet place to retreat when they need ‘time-out’, and will seek out their ‘den’ during the day for a nap. Choose a quiet spot in the house to make pup feel safe.