With just two days to go before we pick up our new Labrador puppy from the breeders. I am beginning to puppy proof the house and get some supplies ready for the trip and our new arrival.
First I went out and bought a dog crate and will have the crate on hand when we pick her up. I have a car that will accommodate a crate very well. I picked out one that will be large enough for an adult Labrador however some come with a divider that can be moved as the pup grows and if I remember correctly it will not much too soon when that divider is out of the crate. We crate trained out last two labs, house training went quickly and most of our things made it through the adolescent months.
We picked up some puppy toys, mainly safe chewing type toys. Specifically some Kong brand puppy toys that can be loaded with treats and are a softer rubber for teething puppies. A toy that can be frozen for teething relief although I have heard a damp sock frozen will do well also. Our yellow Labrador made me the object of teething relief and although it was 15 years ago I remember too well those needle teeth. I am well prepared to provide new little miss some alternatives to fingers,hands and heels to chew on. In addition a couple of toys to start honing those retriever instincts, a Frisbee and a Wubba (canvas covered Kong) both specifically designed for puppies.
Finally a couple of puppy toys supposed to help with those nights all of the sudden alone. These are fleece stuffed toys that one has a simulated heart beat device in it and the other is a fleece toy that can be heated in microwave to provide warmth both simulating some aspects of a litter mate or Mom. We are going to take these with us and rub on Mom to get her sent on as well. In addition I hope to get a towel with familiar scents on it to bring back with us.
We already have supplies from our previous pups but you will need bowls for food and water. Make sure the the bowls are shallow to guard against accidental drowning. We need a small dog collar and lead, something light. Smaller breed puppies can even have a cat collar. The little bell is not a bad thing those first couple of weeks when you are watching every move as you house train.
We will need some food and will continue to feed her on whatever the breeder is feeding at this time. I will probably switch foods at a later date but I’m going to get through the initial puppy shots before I even think about switching food. If the breeder feeds a particular brand I might have to call around to find I will ask them for a day or two of food to take with us.
I then worked on the house. All house plants that are harmful are taken out. The most complete list for all pets is on the ASPCA website.
Next all cleaning products, plant foods or insecticides are made inaccessible. Usually, as in our case, this means cabinets or just put them up higher, outside is preferred. Cleaned and vacuumed the whole house. Amazing the items you find when you get under the couch, chairs, entertainment centers. I found tacks, plastic tabs, chocolate pieces, etc all potentially harmful to our new puppy.
After a couple of days they start exploring and getting into areas you thought not possible. We’re getting a large breed puppy and I know I will be doing some additional cleaning once I see where they start exploring. To finish off the prep I crawled around on hands and knees putting up extension cords, electrical cords and anything else I could see that would be tempting and potentially dangerous.
Speaking of puppy shots I went by our Veterinarian today and made an appointment within a day of bringing puppy home. I had to be reminded that we are bringing a baby home barely two months old. Her immune system is not strong yet and an initial puppy wellness exam right away is essential. I have questions for my vet that has to do with the shot schedule, when can I start taking her for walks and take her around other dogs, what food do they recommend.
Two full days before we take a two hour trip up to the breeders to pickup our new little Chocolate Labrador puppy. We are excited and as most pet owners we are well aware of the responsibility we are taking on. We hope we can do the best and raise our puppy Labrador to become a good dog citizen.