How to prepare for your new puppy?
Get the basics.
- a suitable crate
- 6 ft leash
- a snap-on collar
- an abundance of toy; make sure that you are supervising your puppy at play. Most toys will be destroyed by young puppy teeth, and the toys' stuffing is rarely safe for any dog to ingest.
- treats (no raw hide!)
Stay away from well-advertised but ill-suited for dogs merchandise.
Schedule your puppy's first vet's appointment.
Make an appointment with a vet for your puppy's first visit. Make a list of questions to bring to your appointment. You probably will need to find out what is the shots' schedule for your pup's first year of life with you.
Sign up for training classes.
Find a trainer who uses positive behavior reinforcement methods (i.e. clicker training), and sign up for classes. It will be pricey and time consuming, but well worth your time and money. Classes are non-negotiable if you choose to raise a working breed dog in your house.
Research and select a high quality food.
Select a good quality brand of food for your new pet. Stay away from grain based foods like Purina, and look for the brands that have meat as their main ingredient (example: Canidae).
Clear your schedule or find a reputable puppy daycare.
Make arrangements for the weekdays - who will be watching your pup? Crating a new puppy 8 hours a day + 8 hours at night is not okay. Have a plan in place before you bring your new addition home. Daycare, dog walkers, and dog-loving relatives are all possible solutions to this dilemma.
Get some sleep.
Your first few nights are likely to be a little rough. While an 8 week old puppy is ready to go to a new home, it is still a frightening experience for a young pup who is leaving his mom and siblings to come to a new family. He is likely to be scared and lonely, and will require some extra love and patience on your part. You should consider placing the crate next to your bed, to reassure the new puppy that he is not abandoned, and to have an easy access to the crate at nighttime, in case of an accident. Expect to be taking your puppy out every 3 hours, including nights, to establish good potty habits, and not to cause damage to young puppy's bladder.
Look for support on-line.
Find a supportive on-line community for quick questions that are bound to arise as soon as you get home. Having a Rottweiler at home, I frequent this forum.