Your search is over and you've found the one... that perfect, loveable, little four-legged "furbaby" who will give you years of loyalty and unconditional love, but who might just add a few grey hairs in the process!
So you're excited - you're going to pick up your new family member today. Make sure to head to the pet store to get some essential supplies first. Of course you'll need dog food so you'll want to choose a puppy formula to meet the nutritional needs of an active growing puppy. You'll also need a collar, leash or harness so that you can take Fido out on walks. Next, toys are a very good idea to keep your puppy occupied and away from shoes, socks, and other "people stuff". We recommend hard plastic (like Nylabone brand) or rubber type toys such as Kong brand, which are durable and fun to chew. You can also stuff some of these toys with peanut butter or other treats that will make them even more enticing and keep your puppy occupied for a longer time.
Another great investment is a wire or plastic dog crate. It's good to start getting your puppy used to this from Day 1 as crates can help with the house training process and it's a great place to keep your puppy safe when you are away from home. Be sure to buy a crate that fits the current size of your puppy; dogs are naturally clean and don't want to go potty in a small space. But if you buy a crate that is too large, your puppy will be more likely to have an accident in there. Some pet stores do carry brands that offer adjustable wire crates. Your puppy WILL cry, bark and/or scratch to get out when first put in a crate. Be patient and don't take Fido out until he is calm and quiet. Soon your puppy will learn that barking or crying will NOT open the crate door. You can start by only putting him/her in there for a short period of time and gradually increase. Make the crate a happy, positive place for the puppy - feed him/her in there; put the puppy inside after playtime or at night when it is tired or sleepy.
If you've purchased your puppy from a reputable breeder or adoption center it should already be vaccinated, dewormed and microchipped or tattooed. But if not, then you'll need to take the puppy to a vet as soon as possible to get this done. Puppies generally need 3 rounds of vaccines, approximately 3-5 weeks apart. After your puppy has received its second set of vaccinations, it'll be ready to socialize and attend training classes or daycare. It's very important to expose your puppy to new surroundings, people and dogs at a young age. That way he/she will learn necessary social skills and grow up to be a confident, happy dog.