New Puppy Checklist
Are you thinking about buying/adopting your own puppy? Getting a puppy can be exciting, but it also involves a lot of dedication and long-term commitment. It can depend on your preference and lifestyle, and you need to know exactly what to do in order to find a puppy that will suit you best. However, getting a dog isn’t simply going to an adoption agency/breeder and finding one that you like. If you are planning on getting a new puppy, here are a few things you need to consider carefully
Assess your lifestyle and do some research
- The first thing to take note of when you are bringing a puppy is to take a look at your lifestyle. Do you want an energetic dog that likes to have long walks? If you do, then you might not want to get yourself a lapdog. You can also research on various types of breeds and the temperaments and health issues or concerns that come with them.
- Do you have enough time for a puppy? Especially while they are young, they will need plenty of company and ongoing training during the day. If you work fulltime, you may need to consider day care options. You’ll need to look after your new puppy for as long as they live, so if you’re planning any big lifestyle changes then make sure you’ll be able to accommodate a dog too.
- Is your home dog appropriate? Do you have a secure garden/area for them to run and play in and enough space for them to have separate eating and sleeping areas? What will you need to adapt to make it puppy proof?
Make sure you have the budget for it
Have you budgeted to make sure you can afford all the costs associated with getting a puppy?
- Having a puppy isn’t all about fun. Your puppy needs proper nutrition, care and routine preventive health checks and treatments. Owning a puppy will cost you quite some money, so make sure that you are prepared for the expenses that come with buying food, toys, and other necessities — and for paying any vet bills that may pop up.
Ask for recommendations
- It is always wise to consult a veterinarian before getting a new puppy home. They will be able to provide you with a better idea of the potential needs the dog you are planning to buy will have. This will also help you decide about what type of breed you want to have.
Find a reputable breeder or pet store
- In case you have decided to BUY a pup and if you end up buying a puppy that is poorly bred, you may find yourself encountering genetic problems in the future. Make sure that you can tell the difference between reputable and unethical breeders. A reputable breeder or pet store gives importance to their puppies. If you are buying from an ethical breeder, he or she may ask you about your lifestyle, along with your future plans for the puppy.
Questions to ask the breeder/Pet store BEFORE you go and visit
- Did they breed the puppy and were the puppies born at home or in a kennel space?
- Will you be allowed to visit the puppy at the place where they were born?
- How many were in the litter and will you be able to see the littermates?
- Will you be able to see at least the puppy’s mother? (Breeders do use stud dogs so you may not always be able to see the father)
- Were the parents health screened for any hereditary conditions relevant to that breed and what were the results?
- Has the mother had any health issues?
- What is the mother’s temperament like?
- Have the puppies had any health problems?
- Have the puppies been regularly wormed?
- At what age will the breeder let the puppies go to their new homes? (This should NOT be less than 8 weeks!)
- Will the puppy have its first vaccination before it goes home?
- If the puppies are vaccinated before going home, ask for vaccination certificates with the veterinarian’s stamp and signature.
- Are the puppies registered with the kennel club of India. If yes , will the breeder provide a valid certificate and microchip.
- What brand of food are the puppies eating and are they eating well?
BUY THE NECESSITIES
Once you have ensured that you have the budget for your puppy, it’s time to buy the necessities. It is important to be equipped with the right items before bringing home your puppy. Below is a checklist of some the most basic items you will need as you welcome your new puppy to your home or family:
- Dog crate – Having a dog crate will make sure that your puppy remains safe and secure. This also helps you bring it with you when you travel. Crates can also be helpful when training your puppy, because you won’t have to worry when you have to leave them unattended. Make sure you get a crate that is big enough for them to stretch in.
- Bed – Your puppy needs a comfortable place to sleep in, so it is advisable for you get one that will be big enough for your full-grown dog.
- Collar – You can easily choose a collar that fits the breed of your puppy. However, make sure that it isn’t too tight; you should be able to fit two fingers underneath the collar easily. Get ID tags, as well, so that if your dog gets lost someone will be able to contact you.
- Grooming tools and Bathing essentials – Make sure you have basic grooming tools like a grooming brush/comb, bath gloves, towels, dry bath solution spray/doggy wipes handy.
- Bowls – Make sure you have separate bowls for food and water.
- Toys – Toys are vital when it comes to developing your puppy’s skills. Make sure you buy something sturdy that they can chew away safely during their teething phase. Treats are a good incentive for training
- Toilet training – Pee pads, poo bags & poo scoopers, puppy safe floor cleaners, disinfectants and odour removing agents also are very handy.
Dr Saloni C Joshi
MVSc (veterinary surgery and radiology ) , PGDDUS (Chennai)
Dr Joshi’s vet clinic , Pune