Our Linnea as a puppy in an ad for Target Stores.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
Use the information in this section to prepare your home and family for life with your new puppy.
The Supplies You Need
Before you bring your puppy home, be sure you have the following supplies:
Making a Home Safe
To make your home safe for your new puppy, eliminate potential hazards around the house and pay attention to the following items:
The First Days at Home
The ideal time to bring home a new puppy is when the house is quiet. Establish a daily routine and follow these steps:
Step 1: Before bringing him in the house, take him to the area in your yard that will serve as his "bathroom" and spend a few minutes there. If he goes, praise him. If not, proceed into the house but be sure to take him to this spot each time he needs to use the bathroom.
Step 2: Take him to the room that accommodates your crate—this restricted area will serve as his new "den" for several days. Put bedding and chew toys in the crate, leave the door open and line the area outside of the crate with newspaper, in case of an accident. Let him investigate the crate and the room. If he chews or urinates on his bedding, permanently remove it from the crate.
Step 3: Observe and interact with your puppy while he's acclimating to his new den. This will help forge a sense of pack and establish you as the pack leader.
Special Puppy Concerns
Don't treat a puppy as young as 8 to 12-weeks old like an adult dog. Treat him the same way you would your own infant: with patience, constant supervision and a gentle touch. The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to his socialization. Use these tips:
Meeting Resident Pets
When introducing your new puppy to your resident pet, put your new puppy in his crate, give your resident pet
access to the area. Let both pets smell and touch each other through the
crate. Do this several times over the next few hours, or even days, if necessary, constantly supervising their behavior towards each other. When they're both comfortable with each other, i.e., tails wagging, etc., then allow them to be together. It's best to just open the puppy's crate and let him walk out when he's ready, still constantly watching your older pet's body language. If he/she shows any sign of aggression towards your new puppy, then separate them for a while and try again later or the next day. Never leave your new puppy alone with your older pet until you're sure they've become friends, as he/she could seriously injure or even kill your new puppy very quickly!! If an older pet is jealous, you never know how he/she will react. One trick is to give your older pet extra attention and treats so he/she doesn't feel less loved than the new puppy. If your current pet is also a puppy, just older, he/she will likely love having the companion to play with, however he/she may play a bit too rough for a young puppy. Be sure to supervise their playtime so the baby doesn't get hurt. Once the younger puppy can keep up with the older one and you feel comfortable leaving them alone together, they'll really enjoy having a buddy!! Ever noticed that "Lab homes" almost always have more than one! Once you've had a Lab you'll be addicted too and will soon need another one! Two (or three) really are better than one!!!
Your puppy will have had at least his/her first three puppy vaccinations to help give your puppy a strong start. He/she will also have been dewormed at least three times as well as received a dose of Baycox to PREVENT the Coccidia parasite. We also always give the puppies five days of Safeguard to help prevent Giardia, a very common parasite that almost all dogs and cats carry in their systems. Regular deworming is recommended as follows: Once a month until 6 months of age, then every 3-6 months after that for life. A monthly Heartworm and flea/tick treatment is also recommended. We do not recommend giving Heartworm medication or using flea/tick treatments until your puppy is at least 12 weeks of age. Your puppy will also need additional vaccinations, usually at 10, 13 and 16 weeks, and Rabies at 6 months of age. All of these vaccinations should be repeated again one year later, then once every three years after that. But an annual well exam is still very important even if a vaccination is not required at that visit!