The Phone Rings… “What precautions should I take when bringing my new puppy home?” Part VIIII

Rottweil Xpress / September 1991

Many new puppy owners have questions about how best to prepare to bring home their new family member.
The first thing a new owner should realize is that the new puppy is very fragile – it’s almost like bringing home a new human baby. The puppy is now being exposed to a new environment and a new way of life. Therefore he is under a great deal of stress. When the stress level is up the immune level is decreased which means he is more susceptible to infections and diseases. Therefore, keeping the stress level to a minimum is of utmost importance.
Most new owners want to bathe the new puppy the first day he arrives. This is another form of unnecessary stress. It is recommended not to bathe the puppy until about one week after he has settled in. If the puppy is soiled from a flight a slight cleaning with a damp wash cloth is sufficient. You can make him smell cleaner by applying a little baby powder.

It is very common for the puppy to become lonely when people are not around. Remember, he has been around his littermates and was used to never being alone. And the comfort of another living thing is what a puppy needs to keep him confident, playful and avoid depression. When arrangements are made to receive the puppy try to schedule it when someone is around him as often as possible. If possible, schedule the pup’s arrival to coincide with your vacation from work, or when the children are home from school. The younger the puppy is, the more difficult time he will have adapting to being alone, which will mean all that more attention and love will be required.
Sometimes it is good to acquire two puppies at the same time. This way he will have a playmate at his critical moment of need. This is great if you were planning on having more than one, but do remember – one puppy is a lot of work – a second puppy might be too much to handle. There are schools of thought that feel that having two puppies together will reduce the strength of bond between dog and owner; although there may be some truth to that, I do not feel it is a factor at a very young age. The pups will find security with each other. They will tend to copy each other, and become more daring and inquisitive: Soon you will see them become more confident and then not need each other as much, and this is the time when you start to bond with your new pups individually.
If you do not plan on acquiring two dogs at the same time it is not advisable to have a friend bring his dog over to play with yours. When he is a little older it would be fine but not until he is fully vaccinated against diseases and viruses to which he may be exposed. After this stage it is highly advisable to socialize him to as many people and other dogs as possible – this way he does not have any fears or aggression against them.
One thing new owners must always keep in mind is that a puppy needs a great deal of rest. The excitement of the new addition leads some people to plan too many activities (taking him to see friends, etc.). Remember to schedule just as much nap time as play time.
When taking him to the veterinarian, avoid bringing him into the office if possible. Do remember that sick animals go to the veterinarian and you would be exposing your puppy to many things for which he has no immunity as yet. find a veterinarian that will work with you and come out to your vehicle to give the checkups or vaccinations necessary. If this is impractical, wait outside in the car until your appointment time, then go right on in. Do not let him lay down on the floor or sniff around the other animals in the waiting room.
The most important thing is to observe your puppy’s behavior. If you notice anything peculiar, contact your veterinarian or your breeder. Watch his stools closely to make sure all is normal. Encourage him to eat and drink well. It is advisable to have him on an antibiotic when he first comes home, just as a precaution.
And always remember, the more. stress he is exposed to, the more susceptible to disease. He needs the love, attention, and rest that any baby requires. Simple precautions and common sense will start him on the road to a happy, well-adjusted life.
Until next month, rrrrrrrring!

Article written by Evie Lynn