Everything you need to think before the arrival of your new family member.
A puppy is exciting for every family. You have to think about many things and the preparation is not easy, this starts even before you decide to get a puppy. Our puppy checklist can help you prepare for a puppy. We have put together an article that can help you decide to get a puppy before you bring the puppy home and the first few days with the puppy
Do you really want a puppy?
There are a few things to consider carefully before deciding to bring a puppy into your home.
What does a puppy cost?
Make a list of the possible costs associated with a puppy. With this you can immediately determine your budget. Our advice is to set this amount aside for a few months in a row, so you know for sure whether you can afford the costs. In addition, it may be wise to already make a savings bank for unforeseen circumstances.
The costs of a dog include food, vet bills (vaccinations, calamities), if preferred pet insurance, council tax and other costs (such as buying collars, toys, a pillow or crate and poop bags).
Our advice is to calculate the costs generously. After all, it can happen that your dog develops health problems, such as epilepsy or kidney problems. With a bit of bad luck, your dog will have to take medication for life. It is also possible that your dog has food allergies and special food is recommended. You would rather not think about it, but it is still wise to map out whether your financial situation allows this.
Does a puppy suit your lifestyle?
A puppy is a lot of work. Very much work. Especially in the beginning, a puppy needs a lot of attention. You will learn the house rules and you may need to practice potty training the puppy. And yes, this also means getting out of bed at night for a pee. After the first few weeks, it is a good time to teach the lively and stubborn puppy a few commands. A good recall is worth its weight in gold. It is normal for a puppy or adolescent to push boundaries. The brain is developing and it is very important to be consistent. You will benefit from this for a lifetime (dogs).
What breed are you interested in? Does this breed suit your lifestyle? For example, a border collie is not enough for a tour of the neighborhood, while other dogs are fine with this. Are you willing to train and mentally challenge your dog for years? Long walks in the woods and throwing a Frisbee for hours? Look beyond the looks and beautiful eyes of a dog and check if the breed really suits you and your family situation.
After puppyhood, you should also consider how to combine a job, maybe children, and social activities with a dog. Some dogs can live up to 13 years old, a lot can change during this time. Are you ready to always consider a four-legged friend?
Is your home suitable for a puppy?
Have you just gotten a new sofa? Or a living room on the second floor? An enclosed garden or a safe balcony? Do you have room for a crate or dog cushion? Basically, what do you need to adjust to make your home puppy-proof?
The right vet?
Our advice is to find a good vet before the puppy arrives. A vet can give immediate advice about worming, vaccinations, any health problems that are common with the breed and other questions. It is also a good idea to do a health check when you finally have the puppy at home.
A good vet is invaluable. Many dogs fear the vet. My dog is a traumatized ex-street dog and anxious in closed spaces, he also does not like being touched by strangers. The vet sat on the floor for 45 minutes on the first visit to gain his confidence. This is the best start he could have, vet visits are no problem despite his trauma.
What is a good breeder?
That cute little litter online could have a less cute background. Puppies that are too young regularly come to the Netherlands with a forged passport from Eastern Europe. Besides the fact that this is not good for the socialization of the dog, these puppies often have health problems. We understand that you would like a puppy quickly and do not want to be on a waiting list for 2 years, yet our advice is to only buy a puppy from official breeders. Stay away from puppy farms. Are you unsure whether a breeder is reliable? Then contact an official breed club and Google until your brain gets foggy to make sure it is not a well-known puppy farm.
Teckel Klaasje (4 months), wearing our Tiger Dog Bandana.
How do you prepare for a puppy?
Once you have decided to buy a puppy and found a good breeder, you can start preparing. After all, good preparation is half the battle. This is a list of supplies:
- A crate and/or dog pillow
- Food bowl and water bowl
- Complete puppy food (we recommend to consult with the breeder and/or veterinarian)
- Collar and possibly a name tag
- Dog leash
- Car crate or seat belt
- Good quality toys (puppy teeth are sharp!)
- Poop bags
- A brush or comb that matches your puppy's coat
- Dog shampoo
You can make this list as long as you want. For example, a clicker can be useful for training the puppy and you may want a dog blanket to put on the couch. In addition, puppy pads are an option if the puppy is not yet house trained. Also ask the breeder for a list of supplies.
The place to sleep
It is important for a puppy to have its own quiet place to sleep. A crate can be a safe place, others choose a dog cushion. Regardless of what you choose, the most important thing is a quiet, comfortable place, with blankets or pillows to keep the puppy warm. A place where you don't constantly walk past so that the puppy can sleep undisturbed.
Food and water
Where do you put the food and water bowl? Choose a place other than the sleeping place to avoid disturbing the rest.
Decide where in the house the puppy is allowed to go and where the puppy is not allowed to go. Consider putting in a gate if there are areas of your home that the puppy is not allowed to enter. Discuss this with everyone in your family and set clear boundaries. After all, nothing is more confusing for a puppy when something is allowed one day and not the next.
Puppies are often real biters. Check the entire house and make sure there are no cables, cleaning supplies, jewelry or other things for the puppy to chew. Slippers and socks are also popular, you have been warned!
Make sure your yard is fenced and check that there are no gaps for the puppy to escape. Some puppies are true postures and squeeze through every hole. Not sure if the puppy can pass under the fence? Or between the bars? Our motto is better safe than sorry. Place a piece of chicken wire and remove it when the puppy is bigger. Also check that there are no poisonous plants in the garden or in the house.
Would you like to follow a puppy course? Look for dog trainers in your area and find a trainer that is right for you. Despite the fact that many courses are similar, the training style of one trainer may suit you better than the style of the other trainer. Register on time for the course and avoid being left out.
Prepare for the puppy's socialization. How do you get a puppy used to new sounds, environments, people, animals and situations? Coming into contact with different stimuli is crucial for the development of the puppy, so we advise you to read up on this process. This phase cannot be made up later either. That is why it is very difficult for a country dog to get used to the hustle and bustle of the city at a later age. Look for a good combination of stimuli and rest to avoid counterproductive effects.
*Teckel Klaasje (4 months), wearing our Flower Fall Dog Bandana.
The puppy is here, now what?
Congratulations! The puppy phase is intensive, but so much fun to experience. Take the puppy to the vet for a health check-up and to schedule the remaining vaccinations. Set a reminder for future vaccinations and keep microchip data up to date.
The real work, educating, toilet training and setting boundaries begins. Go through all the steps of the preparation again and check if everything is clear. Is the puppy allowed to sit on the couch or not? And in the garage? The clearer the rules are to you, the clearer they are to your puppy. Start socializing your puppy. The puppy is now in the most important phase of his life in terms of socialization, so start quickly - but in moderation - with exposing your puppy to stimuli.
Make sure that all workouts are consistent and that everyone adheres to the same rules. If you don't, your puppy can become confused and frustrated. Then it is more difficult for the puppy to learn something. By rewarding good behavior, you encourage good behavior!
After all, a puppy sleeps a lot, a lot. On average between 16 and 18 hours a day. It's great fun playing with a puppy and showing it to all your friends and family, but it's important to give a puppy plenty of rest. Also, don't wake a puppy while it's sleeping. During sleep, the brain can process new information. It is therefore very important to give a puppy enough rest in a quiet, warm place.