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Getting Ready for a New Puppy

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Getting Ready for a New Puppy



Getting a new puppy, especially for first-time owners, is almost as exciting as welcoming a new baby into the household. However, as is the case with a human baby, you should be sure to make preparations for the canine baby. If you have prepared properly, the puppy will have a much better chance of adjusting to the home quickly.

 In order to prevent digestive upsets in your new puppy, it's a good idea to continue using the food he or she has been eating already. The breeder will generally give you a small supply with the pup and will provide you with the brand name as well as where you can get it. If you want to change the food, do so gradually, starting out with only 10% of the new food, and gradually increasing it over a period of about 2 weeks. This will allow your puppy's digestive system to adjust to the new diet without causing diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting.


 As with most things, you will get what you pay for as far as puppy food goes. Choose a premium brand that has a meat product as the first ingredient. Rice will be much less likely to cause allergic reactions than wheat or corn, so check the complete ingredient list. Use puppy food rather than adult dog food as it contains a higher proportion of protein to help with good growth.


 You will need food and water dishes, also. The most practical kind is probably stainless steel - these are easy to keep clean and nearly indestructible. Our puppies chewed up their plastic food and water bowls when they were teething, despite having access to chew hooves and toys. Make sure you have clean water set out at all times, and do not leave canned food out. If the puppy leaves some of the wet food, either throw it out or refrigerate it; spoiled food will make the puppy ill.


 Although some people still recommend putting the puppy into a cardboard box with a hot water bottle, and a towel, there are better ways to handle your new companion's sleeping arrangements. If you try to put yourself in the puppy's place, you will realize that he or she has just be separated from their mother and siblings, with whom they have been sleeping since birth. It's no wonder puppies cry for nights on end if left alone in a box. There are two humane approaches to the pup's sleeping arrangements, and the one you choose will depend in part upon personal preference and in part upon the adult size of the dog.
 One way to handle your new puppy's sleeping arrangements is to put a dog bed right next to your bed. In this way, it will be much less likely that the puppy will feel lonely and afraid. You can speak to and pet the puppy during the night to reassure it, also. If the house is cool, make sure that you have a blanket in the bed to cover the puppy with.
 The other alternative is to take the puppy into your bed. When we got our two French Bulldog girls, who were 12 weeks old at the time, this is exactly what we did. They settled down under the covers without a fuss and never whimpered once. Another nice benefit was that they slept through the night without having to relieve themselves in only 2 weeks - it was winter and they didn't want to leave that warm bed. They never soiled the bed, either.


 First-time pet owners will want to choose a veterinarian before they bring the puppy home. It's a good idea to arrange a visit to the office to meet the vet, simply to see if you feel comfortable with the person. If you don't, go somewhere else.


 You should bring your new puppy in for a health check within 2 or 3 days of bringing it home. Your vet will make sure that vaccinations are current and answer any questions you may have. A good veterinarian will always take the time to explain things completely.


 Regardless of any other preparations, you will be making, remember to push up your patience level, too. Puppies of any breed are extremely active and lively. They will run around nonstop for hours, they will chew anything they can get their teeth on, and they will urinate and defecate where you don't want them to. If you get into the habit, right from the start, of taking a philosophical view of your puppy's behavior, both you and the pup will be a good deal happier.


 A puppy should never be struck, either with the hand or an object. In most cases, it's best to distract the puppy who is being mischievous. Treating your new puppy with kindness and understanding will create a strong bond between you, and you will be rewarded with a loving and faithful companion.
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