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  • Writer's pictureLisa Evans

Preparing for your puppy

You've done your homework and now you need to get ready for the arrival. There are countless online resources to help you prepare for a new puppy and here's one more:

Top tips:

Have everyone who lives in the house to decide on the rules so everyone is on the same page and consistent. Consider how you will safely integrate this land shark with your current animals, young children included.

It's a puppy now...but you are coaching them to become the dog you want - why did you get a dog/this breed and what sort of things do you want to do with a dog? e.g. do you want a super focused dog who sticks by you or a bit easier going than that? No wrong answers (unless you want a lazy border collie - genetics are powerful!) Some things to consider:

  • A bed, somewhere warm and safe for your puppy to relax and sleep.

  • Complete balanced puppy food. For a start, exactly what the breeder is feeding. There are a lot of changes for a puppy when it leaves the litter and on top, a sudden change in diet can cause upset tummies. If you want to give a different food to their current diet, allow for settling in time then transition to the new food to help avoid the upset.

  • A food bowl or puzzles

  • A water bowl - saucepans or rice cooker pots are great because they are easy to clean and have a sturdy flat bottom (less easy to tip over and not as nice to chew)

  • Crate - Crates are great for puppies as it gives them a haven and also makes house training easier. Or a pen, baby gates - think of management systems. Not many puppies arrive 100% toilet trained.

  • Toys - provide them with a range of appropriate toys including chew toys to assist with teething. Speaking of which - get down to their level and have a look around your house. If they can reach it, it's fair game and the people's fault for leaving it out for the puppy to wreck.

  • Collar and lead/harness

  • Poop bags, training pads - Poop bags, enzyme based deodorising cleaner and training pads make clean up easier, because expect accidents.

  • Grooming products - Shampoo, conditioner, brushes, combs and nail clippers - start grooming early so when it needs to happen it's not such a big deal.

  • If you've gone with a high maintenance coat, check out groomers in your area asap. The great ones can be booked months in advance.

  • Register at a vet clinic - get puppy records entered. Become familiar with vaccinations needed and how to keep them safe.

  • Consider puppy preschool classes - they can also be booked out with waiting lists.

  • Animal Control requires all dogs to be registered/microchipped by 3 months old. Get familiar with your local council's dog regulations.

  • Flea and worm treatments

  • Some time off work or flexibility to pop home for lunch - share the load between the members of your household.

  • Patience

If you would like more advice or support, send an email or check out the Facebook page The Dog You Have NZ.

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