Perfect Puppy Care Book – Chapter 4 – Bringing Home Puppy
Chapter 4 – Bringing Home Puppy
The big day has arrived! You are about to bring home your new family member. Are you ready?
The Ride Home
Bring some treats and a toy. Also, bring a spare towel and some cleaning supplies in case your puppy gets carsick or has an accident on the way home.
You may be tempted to cuddle your new puppy on the ride home, but please resist the urge. Just as all your family members should wear their seatbelts in a moving car, your puppy also should be safely restrained—and your arms are no safety guarantee. Would you carry a baby home from the hospital in your lap? Of course not. To transport your puppy safely, use her crate for her first ride home. Surely, your need to cuddle that cute little fluff-ball is not as important as keeping her safe and secure. Getting her used to riding in the car properly will also be one of your first training opportunities.
If possible, have an adult friend or family member go with you so that you can keep your puppy company while the other person drives. Secure her crate in the backseat of your car. Put her in her crate, and give her a treat and the toy. Sit next to her so that you can talk to her while the other person drives. If she’s being good, occasionally give her a treat. Don’t overdo the treats at this time because she could become carsick. You can slip your fingers through the crate door to scratch her instead.
If your puppy is not used to being in a crate, she may whine or cry. Do not reassure her, because this will inadvertently reward the behavior and could make her more anxious. Just talk to her calmly. Try to redirect her attention to the toy. Be strong! Do not let her out of the crate, or you will be teaching her that crying works. Training starts from the minute she becomes yours! Just as you wouldn’t let a small child get out of a car seat because she complained, you shouldn’t let your puppy out of her crate, either. Remember, her safety is a priority.
If your ride home will take a couple hours or longer, you may need to stop to give your puppy a potty break. Avoid areas where other dogs have been because your puppy is very susceptible to diseases until she has had all her vaccinations. Instead of rest stops with designated pet areas, it’s safer to stop at a fast-food place or other store and use a grassy area there. Always pick up after your puppy.
Carry her to the potty area rather than letting her walk. Bring pet or baby wipes with you to thoroughly wipe her paws after she’s been on public grounds. Also, always make her wear a collar with identification, and take it off before putting her back in her crate. If you have an exercise pen, set that up for her as a potty area. If not, always make her wear a leash.
If she’s not used to her collar and leash, she may stop to scratch her neck or react to them. Distract her, and don’t be tempted to take them off if she complains. Safety first!
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