Everything I know, I learned from dogs. – Nora Roberts
BOOK ONE of the A Life with Dogs Blog Series has been dedicated to all those who have never owned a dog, have always wanted to, or are about to introduce a new puppy, OR dog to their family. Maybe you've owned a dog but feel you need a refresher; another perspective, or an opportunity to see what's new (or not).
Topics such as 'The right time to get a dog? What type of dog might be right for you. Tips on Buying, Adopting and Fostering a dog.' No matter whether you shop, adopt, or foster; dog ownership is special. So let's discuss how to prepare for your beautiful new Puppy.
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting occasion for the whole family; but it is not one that comes without a fair amount of work and consideration. Never fear, Underwater Dogs brings you the ultimate Puppy hand book; the quintessential, 'things you should know' to help prepare for one of the most amazing experiences your family will ever share. To avoid racing out to the store multiple times after you bring your new puppy home (like I did), be prepared.
Here's it is...
UWDOGS Top Must-Have's for bringing home your new Puppy
If purchasing your puppy from a breeder, find out ahead of time what type of food your new dog is eating and stock up. Your breeder will lead you in the direction they feel is best for your pup, so take this on-board. If deciding to change your pet’s food in any way, make sure you do so slowly, as the only thing worse than driving to a pet store in search of a tummy-friendly dog food, is running out to find cleaning supplies to take care of a sick puppy’s messes.
While eating out of Tupperware containers may be easy and convenient for you, it looks far more pleasing to the eye to provide your pet with ceramic food and water bowls. Purchase ones that will last and are the appropriate size for your puppy’s intended full-grown size. Of course, this does not mean that you free-feed your puppy. What, and how much he eats will have overwhelming influence with their on-going health.
Where your Puppy eats will also help establish good meal-time manners moving forward. And, try to be consistent with where you place their bowl as they will be more than happy to accommodate with “best manners” when waiting for a meal to be served?!
Training a puppy is essentially a 3 Month game of “eat this, not that,” and high-value treats make potty training, obedience training, and crate training infinitely easier. Do your research, naturally derived new puppy treats will be best for their new-born status.
Unless you really don’t like your favourite pair of sunglasses or that leather briefcase, it is in the best interest of every pet owner to provide a new puppy with plenty of appropriate chew toys. According to both the American Kennel Club, and the Australian Kennel Club, teething puppies should have hard rubber, hard nylon, or thick rope toys; not toys with stuffing, thin rubber squeaky toys, or cooked bones. Dogs explore the world with their mouths, and giving them proper toys to play with is far more constructive than expecting them not to chew.
The Kong Company is synonymous for producing pet-safe, built to chew rubber toys for dogs, and dogs love Kong. The way it bounces keeps them engaged and ready to play. They also have a soft mouth feel for a satisfying chew and, of course, they’re super durable.
Like human children, your new puppy will be masterful in finding ways to make a mess - oops! Make sure you stock up on plenty of cleaning supplies, such as a handheld vacuum cleaner for when plants get knocked over and enzymatic spray cleaners for puppy accidents around the house.
Collar and Leash
A dog is not a part of the family until he or she receives a proper collar... According to our hero Miss Lady, in Lady and the Tramp...
Why Miss Lady, you're wearing a collar...
The greatest honour man can bestow. A badge of honour, and respectability!"
So, make sure your pet has a collar (with identification) ready to go when it arrives to its new home, as well as a leash.
Keeping a puppy looking squeaky clean isn’t exactly the easiest job, so you should be sure to stock up on all the grooming essentials, including a soap-free and pH balanced shampoo and conditioner like Underwater Dogs Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner.
We're proud of what we do and recommend our extra-mild, naturally moisturising puppy product for both brand new skin, and or for those who have sensitive, dry, itchy or allergy-prone skin. Start out the way you mean to continue with good quality products (not your own hair shampoo), grooming brushes, ear cleaner, nail clippers, and an absorbent towel (like microfibre) will be a great start.
Before you bring your puppy home, make sure you have already decided which veterinarian you will be taking your puppy to when it is time to have vaccines, be spayed or neutered, and receive a wellness exam. Your choice of Veterinarian can make all the difference to your dog over time, and both dog and owner must feel comfortable with the services, and personal relationship that abounds.
Trust us on this one – having the information for a training facility on hand will save a lot of hassle when you’re searching for your phone that has been buried in the back yard or, typing on the laptop that has muddy paw prints across the screen!
Victoria Stilwell, one of the world's most recognised and respected dog trainers says, "Puppies need to be gently guided into making good decisions, allowed to investigate their environments and given reinforcement for the good behaviours they do, as well as being redirected from indulging in behaviours that you don’t want. All puppies need boundaries, but these must be given in a humane way so as not to in-still fear."
If you intend to use a crate as a training tool, purchase one before you bring your new puppy home. This will help you avoid putting off the task until your puppy is nearly full grown, when he or she becomes more difficult to crate train. Crate's do not have to-be-seen-as-time-out or jail... They can be part of the furniture.
Before you pick up your puppy you should create a schedule with your family to determine your new puppy's daily routine - like... When you will be walking, and feeding -and who gets to go on late-night potty outings. Don't all volunteer at once now!
If dogs have taught us anything, it’s that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. To be best prepared, have emergency information on hand such as canine poison control, and the number for a 24 Hour veterinarian in your area.
Bed - Yours or their own?
Even if you intend to co-sleep with your new baby puppy, make sure to provide him or her with a bed of its own. Pro-tip: a dog bed that is comfier than the couch not only shows how spoiled your dog is, but leads to less dog hair on the upholstery!
Ultimately, bringing home a new puppy is a joyous occasion, one that is not without the necessity of having a little bit of humour when it comes to all the surprises that puppies bring. When prepared with the above items, you will find you can spend more time bonding with your new puppy than finding yourself frustrated at being unprepared.
Now brace yourself for BOOK TWO ‘Puppy Essentials.’ Chapters covered include:
Chapter 8 - Choosing a Name
Chapter 9 - Teaching your Puppy it's Name
Chapter 10 - How to Feed your Puppy
Chapter 11 - Food Puppies Should Never Eat
Chapter 12 - Crate Training
Chapter 13 - Potty Training
Chapter 14 - Spay or Neuter
Chapter 15 - Introducing your Dog to other Animals
Chapter 16 - Socialisation and your Dog
Chapter 7- New Puppy Woohoo
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"Managing a super curly Cavoodle coat can often be quite difficult, no matter how much care you take to avoid knots it is sometimes inevitable with daily activities and Melbourne’s constant changing weather conditions. We noticed a huge difference in Ollie’s coat literally after the first wash. His ears felt like silk, and his fur was like velvet, so soft and knot free. He also smelt absolutely divine. We also purchased the detangling spray which not only smells great too, but is also a great detangler. We recommend these products to everyone."
Carmela Katselis & Ollie, Melbourne