i’m sharing everything you need to know to properly prepare for a new puppy or dog to join your family.
i feel like i’ve been preparing to get a dog my whole life. so naturally, when my moment came, i started researching like crazy. i started researching the things i already knew, you know just fact checking myself, then started researching questions that popped up as i was researching the first things. i took tons of notes and read everything i could find because i wanted to make sure that i was giving our new puppy the best life i could.
we found moose from a breeder, and he was actually already claimed by a family. but i still called and spoke with the family raising him and asked if any of the families that had decided to get a pup couldn’t, to call me immediately and i would swoop in to give them a home. and two days later, she called. a family decided they weren’t ready to bring on a puppy and that’s where david and i came in.
each person was able to pick out their dog via photo and video. so moose, formerly named flipper because of his one white paw, was already claimed as ours. but as i walked up to the playpen where all the puppies were playing, little flipper ran right towards me. he was easy to spot because of his “flipper”. and that moment made everything truly feel like fate. moose was meant to be a part of our family.
getting ready for moose to come home was a little bit stressful, especially considering all storefronts are closed due to covid-19. so we had to rely on getting everything we needed from our local grocery store or online. i only had about a week and a half from the time i got the call letting us know we were getting a puppy to actually bringing moose home. so i ordered everything i could as fast as i could and stayed up most nights researching how to make moose as comfortable and happy in our home as i could.
here’s everything i did to prepare:
things to ask the breeder/foster family/etc…
what is the dogs current schedule?
ask about feeding time, nap time and how often they are taken to potty.
what is the dog currently being fed?
make sure to take home about a weeks worth of whatever food they were feeding the dog. if you choose to feed the dog a different brand, be sure to slowly wean the dog off by mixing the old food with the new food to prevent an upset stomach. we started with 50% new food and 50% old food and slowly decreased the old food. luckily we had no stomach issues.
what time and how much is the dog being fed?
find what their feeding schedule was like so once you bring your new pup or dog home, they won’t have major changes. you don’t have to stick to their original schedule, but you can slowly transition to what works best for you.
what vaccines has the dog had?
make sure to collect all medical data available.
we will be switching these out for rised food bowls once moose is big enough.
be sure to choose different textures, shapes and materials.
we started with variety pack to make sure we knew which flavors moose liked best. turns out, he is not a picky snacker!
we made sure to choose a different color than the ones we already have so they will always be easy to find.
puppy pee pads
we did not train with these but brought them along on the car ride just incase.
read below for how we used this to comfort moose.
***i chose not to splurge on items like collars, harness, etc knowing that moose will grow out of them quickly.
what to do on pick up day
i was so worried that moose was going to be scared and sad when we picked up him so i took a couple extra steps to try and ease the process. i had david and i both lay with moose’s new blanket the night before. on the day we met him i brought his blanket and a cloth material toy with us (his lamb chop).
upon arrival i greeted moose’s mother, the sweetest golden retriever and briefly spoke with the breeder. then, i let moose’s mother and all of his siblings play, lay on and tug the lamb chop and blanket while i finished asking the breeder my questions above.
after about 10-15 of play, and after rubbing the blanket on moose’s moms coat, we picked up the toy, blanket and moose and headed home.
i sat in the passenger seat and laid the blanket on my lap and had moose lay on top the whole car ride home. we stopped every 1.5-2 hours to let moose go potty (he immediately did at both stops) and rode home like the little champ he is!
letting the other dogs play with the toys and blanket allowed for us to bring their scent both in the car and home. dogs have a very strong sense of smell, and i wanted to provide comfort and familiarity to moose on what could be a very scary day for the little guy. moose still LOVES his blanket and his lamb chop is his favorite toy of all.
hopefully these tips and shopping list have you feeling more prepare and ready to welcome a new little puppy or dog into your life!
xoxo | jasmine and moose