Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preparing Puppies for New Homes!

Hi Everyone,

I've been very busy with puppies and trying to get everything ready for them to go home to all of you.  I have received the emails from each of you sharing your plans for when you want to pick up, and it looks like pretty much everybody is planning to pick up on Saturday or Sunday.

As you prepare to bring your new puppy home, you will need to start assembling supplies.  The most important item you will need to purchase will be a wire crate.  I recommend a Medium-sized crate with dimensions approximately 30” x 19” x 21” with a wire divider that allows you to make a small space in the crate for while puppy is little and widen the amount of space in the crate as puppy gets bigger.  I really like the MidWest iCrate, which can be found at most local pet stores and is perfect for crating a beagle from puppyhood to adulthood.

As for a few other essential items, I will get you started by sending each puppy home with a nylon collar and leash (pink for girls, blue for boys), 1-2 toys (squeaky and rope toys), and a T-shirt or blanket that has the scent of mom and littermates.  All puppies will receive enough Purina ONE puppy chow to last for a week and I will send instructions for feeding and for transitioning to a new diet, should you decide you would like to switch to another puppy food.  Puppies will also have paperwork accompanying them, including a print-out of their pedigree, their AKC registration form, and their health record, which will document any exams, treatments, and vaccinations the puppies received while they were with us. 

The Big Day: Bringing Puppy Home
The day you finally get to bring your puppy home is an exciting one – you’ve probably been eagerly making plans for the big day and running those plans over and over again in your mind.  Just keep in mind that your new puppy is totally unaware of all the great things you have in store for him or her and will be easily overwhelmed by all of the new sights, sounds, and sensations he or she is about to experience.  Hopefully the following information will help make the transition from our kennel to your home as easy as possible.

The Car Ride
When you come to pick up your puppy, you should make sure at least two people come along for the ride – one person to drive and another person to hold the puppy.  This will make sure to keep the driver from being distracted and allow the passenger to concentrate on the needs of the puppy during the ride home.   If you are going to be traveling a relatively short distance, this will be the one time when you will hold the puppy for the entire car ride to help keep him or her feel safe and secure.  If you are going to be driving a distance of over an hour, you may want to consider bringing a carrier along and having the puppy stay in the carrier during the drive.  Either way, make sure to bring at least two towels – one for wrapping the puppy up in or lining the carrier, and another as a spare, in case the puppy has an accident.  You might want to also bring a plastic bag to put soiled towels in and baby wipes to aid in clean-up.

For a short drive, the puppy is unlikely to have an accident if he or she is allowed to use the bathroom before getting into the car.  For a longer drive, the puppy obviously is more likely to have an accident.  This time only, in the event of puppy’s first trip, resist the urge to stop off at a rest stop to allow the puppy to relieve him or herself.  You don’t want to potentially expose the puppy to infectious diseases at a time when he or she is both under stress and does not have full immunity.  If puppy has an accident, merely change out the soiled towel and provide him or her with a fresh one.  Potty training can start once you get him or her home.

Bathroom accidents aren’t the only mess your puppy is likely to make in the car.  It is not uncommon for puppies to get sick to their stomachs when they travel in the car due to the unfamiliarity of everything, not to mention the overwhelming sounds, vibrations and other sensations.  To help make the trip a little easier on puppy stomachs, we will withhold a puppy’s food in the hours prior to the car ride home and you can feed puppy once he or she gets home.

Finally Home!
To start things off on the right foot with your new puppy, you should plan to set aside plenty of devoted time to spend with him or her,  Once you get home with your puppy, take him or her directly to the area you have selected as the designated potty area.  Once he or she uses the bathroom (probably just urine), praise puppy and bring him or her inside your home.   Initially, you will want puppy to get limited access to the house.  (Allow him or her to get acclimated to an area before expanding access little by little over a period of days.)  Introduce puppy to the crate.  The crate should be placed in a location where the family spends most of their time and should be covered with a blanket (except for the opening) to make it cave-like.  Place the t-shirt or blanket with his or her mom’s and littermates’ scents inside, along with a toy or two.  Let puppy explore the crate, but don’t lock the door behind him or her.  You can also offer a few kibbles of food or some treats in the crate to begin to form a positive association.  Now you are off to the right start!  Please refer to other resources to get more details on proper crate training.  (I will send pdf copies of some of my favorite articles to each of you in the very near future.)

**If you noticed an email from this blog with no message, this was because when I post video with no written content, the video is not automatically included in the email.  Please find the video on the blog entry marked Saturday, October 15th.
Blue Boy - "Quill"
Dark Green Boy
Lime Green Boy - "Darby J"
Purple Girl
White Girl - "Lucy"
Yellow Girl - "Daisy"
Pink Girl

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