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Oh, yay! Today’s the day! The breeder, shelter or rescue has approved your application! You have a travel crate, a harness or collar, a leash, maybe even a small toy for your new puppy.
The house is prepared. You have puppy-proofed your place to the best of your ability. You have made sure that all cabinets or doors where you have household cleaners and chemicals are secured, and those products are out of reach. Your house plants are non-poisonous, or high up so the puppy can’t chew on them. Electrical cords are taped to baseboards or the floor, shoes are in the closet where they belong, and that expensive Oriental rug is temporarily rolled up until you know for sure accidents are not likely.
It is a good idea to get a puppy’s eye view of your place—get down on the floor and take a look at what you see. If there is anything that you have overlooked, now is the time to take away any and all temptations before those sharp little puppy teeth start gnawing away.
Make sure you have the kitchen ready for when puppy comes through the door. A heavy water bowl filled with fresh water, a food dish with a little food so he will know where his meals will be served, maybe a baby gate to keep him in the kitchen when you want him sequestered away from everyone and everything else, and a comfy bed if that is where he will sleep.
Depending on how old your puppy will be when you adopt him, he may be teething. Puppies have 28 baby teeth and they are just like little children who are teething. They will need something to chew on, other than your household items! There are a lot of choices out there, and there are even some that you can put in the freezer and they will stay cold for a long time. It soothes their gums and makes the puppy less frantic. So make sure you have plenty of chewy things on hand until this phase is complete and his 42 permanent teeth are in place. This phase can take anywhere from four to six months, until the puppy is approximately eight months old.
Whatever you do, never ever give your pup a toy that looks like a real thing. No plastic squeaky shoe, cellphone, or anything else that looks like a household or personal item. His little brain will not be able to tell the difference between the toy and the real thing which could lead to trouble fast. Speaking of teeth and chewing, it is a good idea to pick up a puppy tooth brush and toothpaste. If you start out brushing his teeth while he is very young, you will not have problems brushing his teeth when he is fully grown.
Be sure the trip in the vehicle is a pleasant experience for your pooch. While you may love ear-blasting, bass-thumping music, you don’t want to scare the puppy to death by the barrage of noise, so tone it down. He has most likely not been exposed to loud noises like music or TV yet so make those introductions a little at a time.
Enjoy your new puppy baby and be sure to document everything in your The Puppy Baby Book!