This is one of the most important items to purchase for your puppy. The crate will be his “den” His special place to sleep, stay and go to feel safe. Purchase one for the size your dog will be as an adult, with dividers that can be removed to enlarge the crate as the puppy grows. The divider is very important so it isn’t large enough that your puppy will soil one end and sleep at the other. The crate should have adequate ventilation, but openings should be small enough so your puppy cannot get his head or paws stuck.
Give your puppy a safe chew toy while he’s crated. No food or water should be left in the crate because after eating or drinking they will need to relieve themselves and will have no other choice but to soil their crate. The key to successful crate training is to always use it in a positive manner and never as punishment. Always give them a chance to eliminate before putting your puppy in the crate.
As a general rule, your puppy can safely be left in a crate the number of hours that equals his age in months plus one.
Exercise Pen or Gate:
Lightweight exercise pens or childproof gates will allow your new family member to be confined to controllable areas, yet be close to the family's activities.
Leash and Collar:
When picking up your puppy bring along a leash and a collar. Remember a puppy collar will be out grown quickly, so an inexpensive one is fine. It should be lightweight nylon or leather. For your puppy’s safety, remove his collar while he’s crated.
Never underestimate the importance of toys because they encourage exercise and provide a safe way to satisfy your puppy’s need to chew. Choose toys that cannot be splintered, torn apart or ones that have loose or small parts than can be chewed off and swallowed. Toys provide entertainment, but are also necessary for teething and training. Nylon or hard rubber bones and toys are excellent choices for teething puppies. Stuffed animals, which can be torn apart, should only be allowed under direct supervision. Don’t let your puppy play with old shoes or clothing. To a puppy, this signal that all shoes and clothes are fair game.
Water and food dishes should be non-tippable and preferably made of heavy stainless steel or sturdy stoneware (ceramic). Make sure fresh water is always available. You might want to put a mat or tray under the dishes to protect your floor from spills. I recommend washing the bowls daily.
It is ideal if you can be consistent with your feeding schedule. Feed your puppy at the same time every day.
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If you choose to switch brands of food I recommend letting the puppy settle into your routine before switching and should be done gradually, usually over a 7 – 10 day period. Making an abrupt change in a puppy’s food can cause digestive problems. To switch to your own preference of dog food make the change a gradual process to help the puppy adjust, slowly increasing the ratio of food you prefer. Most dog food brands have their own recommendations on how to switch a dog over to their food. You should follow any directions printed on their bag.
It’s a good idea to have basic grooming tools, such as a comb, shampoo, and dog nail clippers. Be sure to read the directions on any shampoo or bathing product to confirm it is recommended for puppies.
When you first bring your puppy home, place him in a limited space with easily washable floors. An exercise pen, spread with newspaper, is ideal. Keep the puppy confined, but close to the family, so he can be supervised yet still feel he is "part of the pack". A room that usually perfectly fits these criteria is the kitchen. Place his water dish, with fresh water, close at hand. Place his crate, bedding and toys inside the pen.
Pet and talk to him softly and tell him how glad you are that he is with you. Talking to your puppy in a soft, reassuring voice is extremely important. He will get used to your voice and will soon realize that you are there to protect and comfort him. He may not understand the words, but he will appreciate and understand the meaning. However, don't pick him up every time he cries or barks, or he will soon associate that undesirable behavior with getting a positive response.
Make sure all poisonous household items are securely stored out of puppy's reach. Look at your house from a puppy's point of view and remove any hazardous items. Make sure your puppy does not have access to cleaning supplies, paint and paint thinner, fertilizer, disinfectants, mothballs, insect and rodent poisons, antifreeze, medications, sewing supplies (ribbons, pins, buttons, beads, balls of yarn or thread), and hardware (nails, screws, paper clips, etc.)
Move or remove any poisonous plants. Remember to pick up plant leaves that drop onto your floor.
Confine your puppy to a safe area inside and keep doors and windows closed and/or screened securely.
Don't leave a new puppy unsupervised inside or out.
Keep your puppy off balconies, upper porches and high decks.
Keep toilet lids closed. Puppies may play in or drink the water. They could be hurt by a falling lid. Toilet bowl cleansers are harmful in swallowed.
Keep plastic bags away from your puppy.
What you need to know:
It's important to remember that pets do not have the same digestive systems as humans and that we need to keep certain foods away from them. Dogs should never eat chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, macadamia nuts, walnuts, tomatoes, avocados, nutmeg, coffee, tea or breath mints. All of these are toxic and can cause severe health problems or even death. All pets should avoid foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar, bones that are likely to splinter (such as chicken bones) and alcohol. Meaning do not give beer to your dog, even if you think it's funny. If you are baking, keep pets away from yeast dough or bread dough, baking soda or baking powder - ingesting these ingredients can cause serious problems. The seeds, leaves and stems of many kinds of fruits and some vegetable can be toxic to pets. Don’t let your dog eat the pit of a pear, plum, peach, apricot, or apple. Also make sure to keep all tobacco products away from your pet and don’t leave the filters where the dog has access to them.
Once you decide on a name use it consistently. Be consistent and don't use nick names.
Limit visitors for the first few days.
DO NOT take your puppy to the store, the local park (This included Petsmart and Petco) or to other public areas until he is at least 12 weeks of age. Your puppy's immune system is not yet developed and you risk introducing him to potentially life threatening diseases every time you take him into public.
Never disturb a sleeping puppy!
Do not leave a new puppy unattended with small children or other family pets until you're sure everyone is ready.
Environmental enrichment is an important part of daily life. Dogs require more than food, water, and a clean home to stay healthy. Animals need to be physically as well as mentally stimulated. For more information about Environmental Enrichment ideas Click Here.