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A New Puppy's First Nights

Getting a new puppy is very exciting! Whether this decision was a long time in the planning, or she just "happened," you can both look forward to a lifetime of adventure and companionship.

These are the pet supplies you will need to have on hand to welcome your new arrival:

1. Dog Crate: Purchase one for the size your dog will be as an adult, with dog crate dividers that can be removed to enlarge the crate as the puppy grows. The crate should have dog bedding, such as a sturdy cushion or dog crate pad.

2. Exercise Pen: 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.

3. Dog Toys: Be sure to choose toys that do not have loose or small parts that 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.

4. Dog Bowls: Water and food dishes should be non-tippable. A stainless steel dog bowl or a sturdy ceramic (stoneware) dog bowl works best. Make sure fresh water is always available. You might want to put a mat or tray under the dish to protect your floor from spills.

5. Dog Food: Check with your breeder or vet to see what to feed and how often to feed your puppy.

6. Dog Collars and Leashes: You probably will need a training dog collar and a everyday leather dog collar. Ask your breeder or veterinarian for recommendations.

7. Dog Grooming Tools: It’s a good idea to have basic grooming tools, such as flea comb and dog nail clippers. Needs vary from breed to breed.

8. Be sure to Puppyproof your home!

9. Name and number of a good veterinarian, if you don't already have one.

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.

Observe his actions and reactions carefully. Handle him frequently and briefly. Don't let him get tired or over-stimulated. Supervise children's activities with the puppy and keep those activities within common sense. Children must be made to realize that the puppy is a little baby and needs to rest often.

You have to understand that your little puppy is just like a human toddler. He has been taken away from his siblings and parents, or if he is from a shelter, he has undoubtedly undergone a lot of stress. Don't be surprised if he keeps you up by crying for a night or two (or three!). Visit him often during the night. He will get used to your smell and will soon realize that you are there to protect and comfort him. Puppies also like to be held next to your skin where they can feel your heartbeat and your warmth. Put a hot water bottle, an indestructible stuffed toy or a windup, ticking clock wrapped in a towel in his crate for comfort.

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 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.
 


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