What to Consider Before Getting a Puppy

Puppies are beyond cute, cuddly, playful, fun, and adorable. They are also a big commitment. They need lots of time, consistency, and patience. I have 6 kids, and I have to tell you, having a puppy is right up there with the work of a newborn. I will also add, that if you are disciplined and “stick with it” within a few months you will have a well-trained, loving dog that is a pleasure to have in your home and a wonderful companion.

Puppies may be irresistible and very sweet, but they are also terribly time-consuming. They need to eat at least three times a day, and after they eat, they need to go straight outside to eliminate. Tutu Cute Doodles puppies are box trained, so they are already well on their way to being house trained for you.  Puppies do not want to poop where they play, so they are pretty easy to train, however you have to be consistent. Inevitably, puppies will have accidents in their crates

if you are Crate Training, ( which I highly recommend), and sometimes it will seem that all you do is feed, and take your pup outside.

Puppies can cry in the night. They miss their littermates and their mom. Your house is unfamiliar. They could be scared, or they could be bored. Sometimes, they can’t hold their bladder, so they are crying to be let out. 

Puppies can be awfully destructive, which is why crate training keeps them and your house safe! They like to chew on things, and they can be unruly. They need firm, yet loving boundaries, All of this can take time.

Lastly, what does your household look like? Do you have very young kids that could be frightened by the puppy? Do you have other pets that may not like a new friend? Do you have a fenced-in backyard? It’s not essential, but it makes life a lot easier not to mention safer for your dog.

So you’ve decided that you’re ready for a new puppy. Congratulations!!

Now what kind of puppy will meet your needs?

Are you looking for a family-friendly dog? What size dog are you looking for? Are you looking for a low-shedding dog? Low shedding dogs often need more frequent trips to the groomers, which is an added cost.

More than anything you will want a healthy dog. Do not buy from pet stores, classified ads, or backyard breeders who do not health test their dogs. Pet stores are notorious for supporting puppy mills. Find a breeder who is proud of their program, and is conscientious of breeding only the healthiest of dogs. Do not be afraid to ask a breeder if they health test their dogs. Breeders who are responsible will be transparent, and will not take offense if you ask.

Here at Tutu Cute Doodles, all our dogs are genetically tested. We won’t breed a dog if they are not healthy. Other tests that many breeders do are OFA hips, elbows, and even heart and eyes! 

Another pertinent question would be to ask what the parent’s temperament is like and see if that aligns with what you envision your puppy to grow up to be.

Look at the breeder’s website. How do they care for their breeding dogs? Are they in kennels, and doomed for a miserable existence or do they raise them as loved members of their family? We have rescued many dogs from breeders who kept them in kennels all day. They weren’t housetrained, even though they were all nearly a year. These dogs now all having loving permanent homes, and it is so rewarding to see what patience and love can do for a dog.

So, now that you’ve found your breeder, and selected your puppy, what next? You need to puppy-proof your home. If you’ve ever had a toddler, you know the best way to do this is to go down on a puppy’s level and see all the hazards. 

  • Electrical cords that your pup could chew on and electrocute himself
  • House plants that could be poisonous if your pup chews on them
  • Choking hazards
  • Ant and cockroach baits that for some reason dogs love to eat. A bigger dog vomits, but for a puppy, they could be lethal
  • Keep laundry and shoes out of reach. Puppies love to chew anything, but for some reason, shoes are their #1 teething item
  • Make sure that all cleaning supplies and anything that could even conceivably be poisonous out of reach. Watch out for foodstuffs too. That delicious chocolate bar, yes, that can make your puppy really sick!
  • When your pup is outside be really cautious. If you’ve recently sprayed for weeds or fertilized, take your pup to untreated ground. Years ago, a puppy of ours chewed a dandelion. Many hundreds of dollars later, she was fine, but it certainly scared us silly
  • The best way to safeguard your new puppy is to not leave it unsupervised which is why I highly recommend crate training your puppy for its own safety and your sanity. You can’t possibly watch it every second of the day, and to have peace of mind, and time to take a shower, a crate is essential.
So what do you need before bringing your puppy home?
Puppy Supplies

You’re going to need a whole lot, but try to restrain yourself from overbuying, as until you know what your dog likes, you could end up with a lot of balls when perhaps your pup doesn’t like playing fetch.

A collar

Most breeders will send you home with a collar. Your puppy is growing fast and will outgrow it quite quickly. You might end up buying several collars before your pup is fully grown, especially if it is a large breed dog. 

One thing that drives me crazy, especially when I’m trying to sleep is dog tags. They are noisy! To reduce the number of tags your dog has to wear, getting a personalized collar with your pups name is smart.

You can’t beat LLBean for quality collars. I’ve also had these Collars made. Super affordable, and cute.

All our dogs have one of these Dog Collar Bow Tie AND one of these Blueberry Dog Collar Did I just tell you not to overbuy? BUT in my defense, collars are cute and show personality, and sometimes you have to take them off to wash them! Adorable Boy Collars are available too.

A Leash

A 4-6 Foot Leash. If you have a mini, a 4 foot one would probably suffice. I like a 6-Foot Leash for our poodles and doodles. 
Down the road, a Retractable Leash can come in handy, especially when you want to give your pup the freedom to roam, but he hasn’t learned recall yet.

Dog Bowls

I suggest going with either ceramic or stainless steel bowls. Plastic encourages your puppy to chew on it and teeth and scratches can cause bacteria to build up on it.

I use Ceramic Bowls (for girl) & Ceramic Bowls (for boy) for inside and also Stainless Steel Bowl for water outside.
A Pop-Up Water Bowl for the dog park or a day trip is super helpful too! A 2 pack set is great for food-on-the-go too.

A Dog Bed

I wouldn’t go overboard buying a dog bed.https://shopstyle.it/l/btmhj However, a bed that fits your puppy will make him feel secure. He is going to grow out of it eventually if he is a large breed dog, but puppies have a tendency to eat their beds, so it will probably be destroyed before your pup outgrows it!

A Dog Crate

If your pup is a large breed dog, you are going to have to divide off the crate, to limit the amount of room your puppy has. Too much room and they’ll likely relieve themselves on one side of the crate and quite happily sleep on the other. This Crate has over 90 000 reviews. If you are not sure what size your pup will need, make sure to ask your breeder for suggestions. A fully grown dog needs to be able to stand in a crate.

Dog Toys

Most puppies love a teething toy. Something feels good when they chew on it. At Tutu Cute Doodles, all of our pups have had teething toys, rope toys, and plush toys. Different toys are all part of a pup’s healthy development. 

I’d start off with 3-4 different ones and see which ones your pup gravitates to. A Teething Toy that soothes puppy’s gums and gives them something other than your shoes to gnaw on. 

A soft toy that they will likely carry around like a baby. Each one of our pups goes home with One of These pricy yet priceless toys. It soothes and comforts our puppy through the transition from our home to yours. 

Our pups get to play with Lambchop, and they really love the squeaker! Kong Toys are perfect to chew, chase and fetch. Stuff them with frozen peanut butter or another delicious treat and it will keep your puppy occupied for a long time!

Grooming

Last but not least, you’ll need a few basic grooming tools.It’s really important that you expose your puppy when they’re young to grooming and brushing teeth. It’s just like a young child, you get them used to, and set them up to not fuss when brushing their hair or teeth. 

Your puppy will shed it’s puppy coat. Get your pup used to your brushing him. A Slicker Brush is what we use on our dogs, and they are terrific.

Once your pup has reached three months old, you want to start cleaning out its ears. We use these convenient Ear Wipes on our dogs.

You don’t want to bathe your pup too frequently. It dries out their delicate skin and makes them itch. However, when you do bath him, you want to use a gentle shampoo formulated for puppies. We love Burts Bees for our pups. For daily clean-up, we just use these Handy Wipes for a spruce-up. To extend the time between baths, you can use a Deodorizing Spray that makes the world of difference!

Two items that may help keep you sane on trying days: Bitter Apple Spray Completely harmless but nasty-tasting for your pup. Spray on shoes and furniture legs to deter chewing. Angry Orange is the bomb for removing pet odors such as urine and vomit. Great on hard surfaces and carpets. It’s like magic!!

Find a Good Veterinarian

Unfortunately, just like human doctors, there are good vets and not-so-good vets. If you live near your breeder, ask what vet they use. Ask in local Facebook community groups for recommendations. Make sure that as soon as you know when Puppy Take-Home day is, that you call to make an appointment. Most breeders give a certain amount of time for you to get your puppy in for a well-check-up. It’s important that you establish a relationship with a good vet early on. 

Make sure to bring all the paperwork with you from the breeder including the well-check-up paperwork that should have all the vaccinations that your puppy has received so far. Puppy shots are usually given in a series of boosters generally starting at 8 weeks of age, and continuing for 3 more boosters spaced apart.

Pet Insurance

Consider looking into health insurance. There are multiple plans out there, that cover routine as well as emergency care. All of our puppies go home with their first month of coverage because in that first month, so many things could happen, from eating something they shouldn’t to tummy issues brought on by stress.

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Caroline Browning
I take a completely holistic approach to my program. None of my dogs will ever be kept in kennels. They are beloved pets and have forever homes. We take our dogs everywhere, and they are a huge part of the family. I just need to go over some of the blogs. They should have some affiliate links, which I must have forgotten to provide, so I’ll send those on to you too. Many thanks! Caroline

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