Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting event for any family, but the transition will be easier for your new addition if you've taken the time to prepare for his arrival. That means you'll need to buy the right dog supplies ahead of time, including dogs beds, and be ready to deal with something called puppy separation anxiety.
Let's talk about those dog supplies first. One of the most important are dogs beds, particularly chewproof dog beds. Your puppy needs a special place of his own where he can relax. However, when he gets bored or starts teething, it won't be difficult for him to destroy ordinary dog beds. That's why you should invest in chewproof dog beds. Some of them are even designed to be used inside of crates - handy!
Now you may say you don't need to look at dog beds because the puppy is going to be sleeping with you, but that may not be the best habit to get into. A small puppy may make a cuddly bedmate, but a full grown dog is not always so easy to share a bed with! Chewproof dog beds really are a better option.
Of course, you'll need other dog supplies as well. These dog supplies include a collar and a leash (preferably adjustable so it will grow with your puppy), food bowls, and chew toys. Additional important dog supplies include a crate and a high-quality dog food designed for puppies. Remember that if you've brought home a large breed puppy (i.e. a Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Mastiff, etc.) you need to purchase puppy food specifically designed for large breeds since it minimizes the risks of joint and hip problems later. Keep in mind that the dog supplies you buy now will mostly have to be replaced in a few months so don't spend more than necessary. You can always buy more expensive dog supplies when your puppy gets closer to being full grown.
Once you bring your puppy home, you'll need to be ready to contend with some puppy separation anxiety. This is perfectly normal. After all, it's a big step for that little puppy to leave his mother and siblings for the first time.
You can make this transition easier by spending as much time as possible with your puppy. Try to arrange his homecoming so it coincides with a time when you'll be home a lot, such as a vacation or a holiday weekend. During this time, you should start getting your puppy accustomed to his crate so he'll be ready when the time comes to leave him home alone.
Socializing your new addition can also help reduce puppy separation anxiety. Because these early months of life are a critical time for socialization, make sure every new experience and meeting is a positive one. If you have children, work with them in advance so they won't run or jump at the new puppy and possibly frighten him. If you have other animals, let them meet the puppy slowly. You may consider rubbing the puppy with a blanket or towel so it picks up his scent, then placing that blanket around the food bowl or on the bed of your other animals to help them become accustomed to the new puppy's smell. For additional suggestions, browse this article from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.
In addition to positive socialization, you can lessen puppy separation anxiety by not making a big deal out of it. When you hear those sad puppy whines, your first instinct will be to console him - but by rewarding him with attention for whining, you're establishing a pattern that will come back to haunt your family. Any time the puppy wants something in the future, he will whine and use other vocalizations. Initially, it is better to resist the urge to comfort him. Just make sure he has a comfortable dog bed, perhaps a cuddly blanket, and a fuzzy toy. With these dog supplies, he'll eventually stop whining and will start relaxing on his own. And that's the first step to a having a happy, well-adjusted dog.