bringing your puppy home

At last, the big day has arrived. The waiting is over, and it is time to collect the new addition to your family. The day that you bring home your puppy is a momentous occasion. You are about to begin a new chapter in your life, and you are bound to feel excited, and perhaps just a little anxious. Make sure you are well prepared when going to pick up your puppy, so you both have a relaxed journey home.

Collecting your puppy from the breeder.

OK, there are a few things to think about in relation to while you are actually at the breeder’s home.

Keep in mind that, with all the excitement of collecting your new puppy, especially if you have young children with you who have been looking forward to this day, you may forget points that you wanted to raise so … take a cheat sheet with you!

You have, of course, already asked the breeder if your puppy will come with some food, haven’t you?  Haven’t you?

If you haven’t and your puppy doesn’t ask for a few days’ worth of the food that the breeder has been feeding to the puppy.  Puppies have very sensitive tummies, and it will greatly help the transition between his current home and his new home if he is able to stick with the same food.

Collect any necessary paperwork from the breeder.

Don’t forget the scent-imprinted blanket that you left with the breeder previously.  If your puppy needs comforting on the homeward journey, you can use it in the car – otherwise, save it for bedtime.

The Journey Home

Hopefully your breeder has already taken your puppy on a few car trips but it’s worth pointing out at this stage that some dogs can become quite fearful of cars and travelling in them, especially if they get car sick. 

You will, most likely, be making use of car trips with your dog for trips out, visits to the vet, holidays and so on.  It will be a lot easier, therefore, for all concerned if your dog is happy with car travel.

So, take some time to get your puppy happy with being in your car.  Let him have a good sniff around.  Talk to him.  Offer him a few treats (not too many – you are about to start a car journey remember).

Don’t be in a rush.  Be calm, be relaxed, be happy! 

If you are stressed your puppy will sense it and also become stressed.  Which will increase your stress.  Which will further increase your puppy’s stress. Which … you get the picture.

So, what do you need to think about for the journey?

Well, ideally, you should take somebody with you – trying to focus on driving and watching your new puppy at the same time is not a good combination!

The safest approach for the journey home is probably to have your puppy in a crate with an old towel in the bottom, or place in the footwell of the car with your partner in crime keeping an eye on him.

If it is a long journey factor in some scheduled pee breaks (for humans as well as canines!).

You should also take some drinking water for longer trips too.

Bring your collar (with an identity tag attached) and lead just in case.  If you stop for a pee break and, by some misfortune, lose your puppy, or if you are involved in an accident and your puppy escapes, then you will be glad that he has your contact details on his tag.

Remember not to let your puppy wander around during the pee break – he hasn’t yet completed his full course of vaccinations!

If you absolutely must have in-car entertainment playing on the journey home (and I know that some people seem unable to live without it!) – keep the volume down to conversation level.

Welcoming Your Puppy Into their New Home

From the time your puppy enters your life, you will be teaching him new things every day. The first few days together are exciting, as everyone enjoys getting to know each other…

it is indeed a very special time! Your puppy is young and vulnerable and craves nothing but your affection and attention. What your puppy needs most is stability, safety and routine. It is very normal to want to show off your new family member to your extended family and friends. Take it easy for the first few days and let your puppy settle in with you first.

You want your puppy to bond with you and feel safe and comfortable before inviting people over or exposing your puppy to too many new experiences.

Enjoy your new family member and these whirlwind puppy days…they grow up way too fast.

Ensure that you give your pup time to investigate his new home and settle in. This includes showing him where he is going to sleep, where his water bowl is going to be and what toys he can play with. Your puppy is likely to be hungry from all the excitement and new experiences. After he has finished investigating and is happy running around, you can offer him his first small meal. A breeder usually includes a bag of food with your puppy, and it is recommended that you use the same food that that he has been raised on and keep changes to a minimum for the first two weeks.

The combination of a new brand of food, feeding routine changes and a new environment can often be too much for a young puppy and cause upset stomachs.

Remember, your puppy will be away from his litter for the first time, and everything will be new and scary for him. Take it easy and make sure you don’t invite too many new people over to say hello. Give your puppy time to settle in and adjust to his new life before you get your friends and extended family to come over.

Enjoy your new family member and these whirlwind puppy days…they grow up way too fast.

After all the excitement of the first day, your puppy will be exhausted and will need a good rest. However, remember that he wlil be away from his mum and littermates for the first time and might become restless at night. To help your puppy settle into his new life with you, it is recommended that you place his bed or crate next to you at night at the start. Over time, you can move your puppy to his permanent sleeping spot, away from you if you wish.

Don't Forget

You’re in luck! GRCWA has got you covered with all the essential equipment you’ll need for your new puppy. Make sure you’re fully prepared before bringing your furry friend home by reading our informative article on puppy equipment.