These are some of the supplies you will need to have on hand to welcome your new arrival. Use these ideas and adapt it to the needs of your home and family

Select a Vet and make an appointment:
I require that you have the puppy examined by a licensed DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) within two days of picking up your puppy, excluding weekends and holidays. The reason for this is to ensure you received a healthy puppy from me and they will put you on a schedule for your pets health care needs.
A veterinarian is your pet’s second-best friend. When selecting a vet, you’re doing more than searching for a medical expert. You’re looking for someone to meet your needs and those of your pet, a doctor who has people as well as animal skills. When selecting a veterinarian for your puppy be sure to use a reputable, ethical professional. Before setting up an appointment call competing vet clinics and ask questions.

This is one of the most important items to purchase for your puppy. The crate will be his “den” His special place to sleep, stay and go to feel safe. Purchase one for the size your dog will be as an adult, with dividers that can be removed to enlarge the crate as the puppy grows. The divider is very important so it is not large enough that your puppy will soil one end and sleep at the other. The crate should have adequate ventilation, but openings should be small enough so your puppy cannot get his head or paws stuck.
Give your puppy a safe chew toy while he’s crated. No food or water should be left in the crate because after eating or drinking they will need to relieve themselves and will have no other choice but to soil their crate. The key to successful crate training is to always use it in a positive manner and never as punishment. Always give them a chance to eliminate before putting your puppy in the crate.
As a general rule, your puppy can safely be left in a crate the number of hours that equals his age in months plus one.
My flight package includes a crate that will be yours to keep. In many cases they will last for several weeks or months depending on the size of crate your puppy is flown in.

Exercise Pen or Gate:
Lightweight exercise pens or childproof gates will allow your new family member to be confined to controllable areas, yet be close to the family’s activities.

Leash and Collar:
When picking up your puppy bring along a leash and a collar. Remember a puppy collar will be out grown quickly, so an inexpensive one is fine. It should be lightweight nylon or leather. For your puppy’s safety, remove his collar while he’s crated.
As a guide if the puppy is between 8 and 10 weeks old there neck will be between 8-12 inches. If they are over 10 weeks old there neck will be between 11 and 14 inches. If your puppy is over 16 weeks of age purchase an expandable one ranging from 14-20 inches.

Never underestimate the importance of toys because they encourage exercise and provide a safe way to satisfy your puppy’s need to chew. Choose toys that cannot be splintered, torn apart or ones that have loose or small parts than can be chewed off and swallowed. Toys provide entertainment, but are also necessary for teething and training. Nylon or hard rubber bones and toys are excellent choices for teething puppies. Stuffed animals, which can be torn apart, should only be allowed under direct supervision. Don’t let your puppy play with old shoes or clothing. To a puppy, this signal that all shoes and clothes are fair game.

Water and food dishes should be non-tippable and preferably made of heavy stainless steel. You might want to put a mat or tray under the dishes to protect your floor from spills. I recommend washing the bowls daily. (A cheap option are the trays they sell for shoes or like items. The ones made for pets are almost the same but cost a lot more.)

Order a bag of Life’s Abundance All Life Stage Dry Dog Food Grain-Free.
It is ideal if you can be consistent with your feeding schedule. Feed your puppy at the same time every day.
The puppies currently eat at 8 am, noon and again at 5 pm. (Older puppies are fed twice a day.)
By feeding complete and balanced nutrition now, you can impact your dog’s lifelong health. Feeding a premium dog food has a great long term value for the health and well-being of your new loved one.
I believe strongly in feeding a balanced diet, so much so, that if you choose to feed your puppy Life’s Abundance I will double the length of your health guarantee.* Click here to find out more.
I recommend Life’s Abundance for several reasons. First and foremost the food is made in the United States and shipped directly to you typically within 6 to 8 weeks of it being made so it’s not sitting in a warehouse for months as they don’t add chemical preservatives like BHA or BHT. The food has NEVER been recalled. It contains no grains, artificial flavors, artificial colors, corn, corn gluten, wheat or wheat gluten.
If you choose to switch brands of food I recommend letting the puppy settle into your routine before switching and should be done gradually, usually over a 7 – 10 day period. Making an abrupt change in a puppy’s food can cause digestive problems. To switch to your own preference of dog food make the change a gradual process to help the puppy adjust, slowly increasing the ratio of food you prefer. Most dog food brands have their own recommendations on how to switch a dog over to their food. You should follow any directions printed on their bag.

Training Treats:
The best training treats are those that can be consumed in one bite or swallowed whole. You want to avoid anything that could crumble as most dogs will want to make sure they get every last crumb off the floor before paying attention to you again. It’s also a good idea to feed them something that will support their overall health. Life’s Abundance has “Training Treats” that I really like.

Treats and Bones I recommend:
I like Pig Snouts, Pig Ears, bully sticks, Kong’s filled with something, ice cubes, and many others. I only buy food products that are made in the USA or other countries with high safety standards for pet products. I avoid anything made in China.
A cheap and easy treat is fill and ice cube tray with puppy food or other treats and then fill with water or chicken/beef broth and freeze.
*I no longer recommend Nylabones or other hard bones. I attended a meeting about dental health in dogs and hard bones do more damage than good. The example I was given is if you were to hit yourself with it would it hurt? If the answer is yes, then it might be too hard for your dog to chew on.

Purchase Supplements:
I provide my dogs and puppies with NuVet Plus supplements every day. These supplements come in a tasty chewable tablet that the puppies and dogs like.
As a quality breeder, my highest priority is the health of the dogs I breed. Part of that responsibility includes doing everything possible to assure their well being after they go to a new home. In conjunction with feeding Life’s Abundance I use NuVet Plus to fill in the gaps. Giving your new puppy NuVet adds an extra layer of protection, especially during the most critical first year of life.
If you choose to provide your puppy NuVet I will double the length of your health guarantee.* Click here to find out more.

Grooming Tools:
It’s a good idea to have basic grooming tools, such as a comb, shampoo, and dog nail clippers. Be sure to read the directions on any shampoo or bathing product to confirm it is recommended for puppies. Furminators are amazing and work great! I love mine. I’ve bought the cheap knock-off brands and they don’t work as well. Most cost between $30-60 but are worth every penny!

Best way to get started:
Life’s Abundance has a starter pack that contains:
• One 18 lb. bag of Life’s Abundance Grain-Free All Life Stage Dog Food
• One bag of Buffalo Bully Sticks, Four 9-inch Sticks
• Two 3.5-oz. bags of Buffalo Meat Strips
• One 4-oz. bottle of Ear Care Formula
• One 12-oz. bottle of Revitalizing Shampoo
CLICK HERE to see all the details

Setting Up:
When you first bring your puppy home, place him in a limited space with easily washable floors. Keep the puppy confined, but close to the family, so he can be supervised yet still feel he is “part of the pack”. A room that usually perfectly fits these criteria is the kitchen. Place his water dish, with fresh water, close at hand. Place his crate, bedding and toys inside the pen.
Pet and talk to him softly and tell him how glad you are that he is with you. Talking to your puppy in a soft, reassuring voice is extremely important. He will get used to your voice and will soon realize that you are there to protect and comfort him. He may not understand the words, but he will appreciate and understand the meaning. However, don’t pick him up every time he cries or barks, or he will soon associate that undesirable behavior with getting a positive response.

Make sure all poisonous household items are securely stored out of puppy’s reach. Look at your house from a puppy’s point of view and remove any hazardous items. Make sure your puppy does not have access to cleaning supplies, paint and paint thinner, fertilizer, disinfectants, mothballs, insect and rodent poisons, antifreeze, medications, sewing supplies (ribbons, pins, buttons, beads, balls of yarn or thread), and hardware (nails, screws, paper clips, etc.)
Move or remove any poisonous plants. Remember to pick up plant leaves that drop onto your floor.
Confine your puppy to a safe area inside and keep doors and windows closed and/or screened securely.
Don’t leave a new puppy unsupervised inside or out.
Keep your puppy off balconies, upper porches and high decks.
Keep toilet lids closed. Puppies may play in or drink the water. They could be hurt by a falling lid. Toilet bowl cleansers are harmful in swallowed.
Keep plastic bags away from your puppy.

Once you decide on a name use it consistently. Be consistent and don’t use nick names. Here is a list of popular names you may want to consider.
Limit visitors for the first few days. After the puppy settles in introduce your puppy to 100 new people in the first 30 days.
DO NOT take your puppy to the store, the local park (This includes Petsmart and Petco) or to other public areas until he is at least 12+ weeks of age. Your puppy’s immune system is not yet developed and you risk introducing them to potentially life threatening diseases every time you take them into public.
Do not leave a new puppy unattended with small children or other family pets until you’re sure everyone is ready.
The best values for pet products can typically be found online! I often find free shipping offers too!, and are a few good site to check out. Petsmart and Petco have some of the HIGHEST prices if shopping in their stores, but often will have better prices online. You can often search for coupon codes and save extra money!

Enroll in a training class:
I HIGHLY recommend enrolling your new puppy with a local dog club for a puppy socialization and training class. The classes are just as important for your new puppy as they are for you. Most of the time a quick search online will lead you to your nearest club. If you can’t find a local dog club Petsmart and Petco can be a good place to get started, but if you plan to advance beyond the basics I would recommend you find and start with a professional dog club.

House Breaking:
This is the typical schedule for a 8-16 week old puppy. As they get older the time between trips outside is less often. I will typically email a current schedule to you once you have purchased a puppy.
We make trips outside as frequent as every two hours. I take the puppies out soon as they wake up and then before and immediately after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We also go out every few hours for the remainder of the day. A typical day shapes up like this; out when they wake up, breakfast, 10am, lunch, 2 pm, dinner, 7 pm, 9 pm, and 11 pm. This is a rigorous schedule but it establishes solid habits and we have great success with house breaking.
As the puppy gets older you will start waiting longer between trips outside, you will know you have waited too long if there is an accident. My policy; if an accident happens it’s MY FAULT; my job is to provide a successful experience. It’s very important that you be consistent with your schedule. If the puppy knows you are coming they will “hold it”.
Your puppy is already going longer between trips out, but it is a good idea to follow this schedule for a couple of days to help the puppy understand that the rules in your house are the same as they were here.
At least 3 hours before the last trip outside don’t offer any food or excessive treats. This will help make it easier for them to make it until morning before having to go outside. Also after this time at night limit the amount of water as well. I typically will pick up the water bowl at least an hour before our last trip outside.

Cleaning Up an Accident:
Accidents will happen from time to time with a new puppy. House training takes patients and consistency. After an accident has happened remove your puppy from the accident scene until you’ve cleaned it thoroughly. Dogs are sensitive to the smell of urine, so preventing them from finding the soiled spot is important throughout the housebreaking process. You will want to clean up all accidents as soon as possible because urine that has a chance to soak into carpet is more difficult to eliminate and often will attract your puppy to the same spot. Rinse the spot with cool water and use a towel to soak up the excess water and urine. You can also use a wet vacuum if you have one. After rinsing with water then use a cleaner. It is important to use a pet urine cleaner because urine is comprised of ammonia. Do not choose a cleanser that has ammonia listed as one of its ingredients. You want to choose a pet urine remover that has enzymes in it to break down the urine and eliminate urine odor.

Introducing your new puppy to the cat:
Have a cat? Here are a few websites with helpful information to help ensure a successful introduction!
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