Once you have chosen your puppy, it is important for you to make plans for his transition to your home. This will help reduce any extra stress caused by his new surroundings and give him the best start in his new life. Here are some basic guidelines for you to follow.
* Decide on a name for your new puppy. This will be one of the first things he will learn.
* Decide where your new puppy is going to sleep and have a suitable bed ready with a blanket or an old jumper. Many people choose to place the bed in the kitchen, where the floor is easy to clean and the area is free from draughts.
* Some puppies may have been brought up to use an indoor kennel or puppy playpen and they soon realise this is their own area where they sleep and keep their toys. A puppy will quickly learn not to make a mess in the cage, providing he is given plenty of opportunity to relieve himself.
* Ensure you have all the necessary equipment such as a feeding bowl, a water bowl, newspaper, a couple of safe toys, suitable grooming equipment for the coat type, a lead, collar and name tag, and a supply of food he is used to (ask the breeder or rescue centre beforehand).
* Ensure the home environment is safe. “Puppy proofing” is wise to avoid any unnecessary accidents. Remove anything that you would not wish to be chewed, particularly electrical flexes and also ensure that garden fencing and gates are secure.
The puppy’s first days:
* If the puppy appears unwell when you go to collect him – DO NOT take him- arrange to return another day.
* Request a written agreement that purchase is subject to a satisfactory examination by your veterinary surgeon within 48 hours.
* When you collect the puppy, it is best for two people to make the journey so that someone can hold the puppy in the car. it may be a good idea to take some newspaper in case he is travel sick.
* If you have bought a puppy from a breeder make sure that you get all the relevant paperwork- such as worming and vaccination details, the Kennel Club registration forms, pedigree certificate, dietary advice sheet – at the time of collection.
* If your puppy has come from a rescue centre, ensure that you listen carefully to any instruction given by the staff. If your puppy has already been vaccinated you should receive a certificate, as well as details relating to any medical treatment that he may have received.
* For the children in the family, this will be a very exciting time. It should be explained that the puppy is not a toy and that he needs to sleep undisturbed. This is a good opportunity to teach your children about responsible dog ownership.