Bringing home a new puppy is incredibly exciting… You have so many hopes and dreams for your fuzzy bundle of joy! With just a little preparing and planning, you can make sure those dreams come true. The first few days can be a bit of a shock for your puppy – He’ll be in a strange new environment and away from his mother and litter mates for the first time, with new people who have different expectations. In order to make the transition smoother, it helps to get your house and family prepared ahead of time.
Put together a feeding and bathroom schedule and delegate responsibilities. Make a list of supplies you’ll need – food, bowls, toys, grooming supplies, bedding, a dog collar and leash, and a crate are just a few of the necessities. You’ll need to puppy proof your home by removing anything within your puppy’s reach that could harm him including plants, rugs, and breakables. Tape electrical cords down or cover them so that they are safe from chewing. Store chemicals on higher shelves and remove any loose articles such as shoes or knick knacks your puppy might want to chew on. Decide what room will be your puppy’s – A nice quiet space with a comfy dog bed for him to relax. Puppies need ample amounts of rest and breaks from playtime. Set up his crate in this space, and put up baby gates to partition this area off. You won’t want to give your new puppy free run of the house right away. This would confuse him and maybe frighten him and could also hinder his house breaking. Schedule a vet appointment within the first 24 hours of bringing him home. This is important because you want to make sure there he has no underlying heath issues and set up a vaccination schedule.
When you pick up your puppy, you’ll want to ask about his feeding schedule and replicate it once you come home. Changes to food and feeding schedule should be made gradually or you could end up upsetting your puppy’s sensitive stomach. On the ride home, the puppy should ride in the back seat either in someone’s arms or in a crate or carrier. When you arrive home, take the puppy immediately to the area you want him to potty in. This will begin to enforce house breaking right away. From this point, you’ll carry out your pre-made schedule for potty breaks, feeding, playing, and napping. Your new pup will need lots of love and attention, but he will also need periods of solitude and quiet so that he may rest. A dog crate is great for this purpose, though your puppy might not think so at first. It’s very likely he will protest by whining and crying, but don’t give in! By comforting him when he displays bad behavior, you are reinforcing that this behavior is okay and will get him what he wants! Rewarding your dog and giving him attention for good behaviors will let him know that those are the things you want him to do. By doing things correctly from the start, you will have a well behaved and happy puppy!
Everybody deserves a party, including your devoted doggie! It could be a birthday bash, a puppy shower, or just because – whatever the reason, invite over the puppy pals and let the good times roll. With so many dog outfits to choose from, it won’t be hard getting your furry friend dressed to impress. You can even let all the guests shine with some party dog hats. Put together party favor bags filled with treats, toys, and bows. Get everybody involved with entertaining dog games. Before saying goodbye don’t forget to share a cake made especially for your pup (yes, there is cake mix made just for dogs!), or invest in a cookie birthday platter to share. Your pooch and friends will have so much fun they will be wondering when the next celebration is!
Adding a new fur baby to the family can be just as exciting as the real thing! What better way to celebrate the new addition than to throw a shower? The cost of adding a puppy to your family can run very high with expenses such as spaying/neutering, training, crates, grooming, food and accessories. Gathering a little help from your friends can go a long way in cutting new puppy costs. You can do this before the puppy arrives, however most find it more entertaining to see the new puppy, and this way your friends can bring their dogs as well to play. If you don’t particularly need many supplies for your new dog, you can always ask your friends to bring donations for a local shelter. Local shelters are always looking for supply donations such as food, collars, leashes, treats, toys, or simply monetary gifts.
Just like any shower, games are a fun way to get everyone involved and have a little fun! At your puppy shower you can play games such as a name contest and have your guests come up with suggestions to name your pup, you can include guidelines such as famous names, matching letters to your name, etc. You can also do a treat treasure hunt for all the four legged guests. Hide different tasty dog treats around your home or yard and have the puppies seek them out. Remember to avoid this game if any of the dogs have food aggression issues. As far as shower food, make sure to have a variety of snacks available for both the dogs and the humans. Just so you don’t confuse people make sure the food is completely separate, and clearly labeled which food is for the dogs. A few whimsical snacks to share could be puppy chow, hot dogs, and anything else puppy themed!
When the party has come to an end, and all the dogs are thoroughly tired out, it’s nice to send your guests home with party favors! Little bags of dog treats and maybe a little plush toy are a nice gift for your dog owners to go home with. For your friends without a dog, consider a personalized bottle of wine or drink of your choice, decorated with a paw print or picture of your new pup.