Author Topic: Bringing home a puppy.  (Read 327 times)

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Offline Summer

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Bringing home a puppy.
« on: September 25, 2017, 08:13:52 PM »
I am planning to get my future SD puppy from a breeder and i am unsure about a few things. One thing is should i take the puppy to the vet for a check up not long after bringing it home?

I have never gotten a dog/puppy from a breeder before and my dog now was my first dog and he was from a pet store. I don't remember what i had to do when my dog was a puppy it was almost 14 years ago and i have a real bad memory.
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Offline Solace

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Re: Bringing home a puppy.
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 08:28:06 PM »
I brought my puppy to the vet within a few days just for friendly visit.  No shots.  I wanted him to see the vet as a happy, friendly place.  They were super happy to do that.  The vet (ours is unusually exceptional) sat on the floor with him for like 1/2 hour and talked to him.  Our vet thinks it's very important to spend time with each animal.  I am so thankful for her!

I waited a couple weeks to get shots.

It's great that you're asking questions!  I did a ton of research before getting my puppy and it has made the journey sooooooooo much easier.

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Re: Bringing home a puppy.
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 08:39:37 PM »
I really agree strongly with Solace. Don't make every trip to the vet a health checkup. I would bring the pup in just for friendly visits so that the vet's office is associated with playtime instead of shots and being prodded.

Is it okay to bring the pup to the vet just for fun without their vaccines first, though? I would worry about them picking up something from the other sick dogs coming through.
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Offline Solace

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Re: Bringing home a puppy.
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 08:44:40 PM »
They asked that unvaccinated puppies be carried to and from the exam room, just in case.  Same rules as our puppy kindergarten.  I assume they sanitize the exam rooms themselves when needed.

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Bringing home a puppy.
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 10:03:48 PM »
Around here the first visit, just a physical exam to establish care, is free and should be done within 24-48 hours of bringing puppy home.  Why?  If puppy is ill when you bring him home from the breeder, then the breeder is responsible for his veterinary care.  If you wait too long after bringing home to discover he is ill, you won't be able to prove he became ill while in the breeder's custody.  If you're careful about exposing your pup to other dogs before the vet says it is okay, he should be at much lower risk of contracting diseases than he is during the period after weaning and before placement at the breeder's.

For example, Tardis contracted a giardia infection at the breeder's, or at least two of his siblings did, so the breeder treated all of them for it, including Tardis (I agreed).  They got it from playing in a puddle.  During that period between weaning and pup's third set of vaccinations, he's at increased risk of infection because his immature immune system is being made to protect him without support he's had from his mom while nursing.  At the same time, at the breeder's he's meeting lots of new people and he's being exposed to her adult dogs at home.  Unknown people and dogs who may come into contact with feces from unknown dogs can carry viruses and bacteria back to the pups.

So you have a dog at home.  First make sure your existing dog is up to date on vaccinations and has had a recent fecal exam for internal parasites.  Then keep your adult dog away from strange dogs or any dog you do not know for certain is up to date on vaccinations.  Your adult dog can share a little bit of his immunity with your puppy, a process called "herd immunity" but at the same time you need to minimize the risk that your adult steps in strange poop (or rolls in it) and brings foreign poop bacteria and viruses home to your pup.  It's okay to walk your adult, just don't let him interact with strange dogs or with poop.

Don't let friends bring over their pet dogs until your vet says it is okay for your pup to start meeting new dogs.  Then make sure their dogs are fully vaccinated before they meet.

Your puppy will need to avoid physical contact with potentially unvaccinated dogs until he has had is one year booster.  After that, you can treat him like a regular dog.

So how does that affect puppy school?  Again, ask your own vet when it is appropriate for your puppy to start puppy school.  Start it as soon as possible after your vet says it is okay.  Then enroll in a puppy class where puppy owners are required to show proof of vaccination and only allow your pup contact with vaccinated puppies and known vaccinated dogs who like puppies.  (By "known" I mean dogs of friends or family that you know are healthy and vaccinated and that you know are good with puppies because not all adult dogs care for puppy antics.)

Puppy class is very important and socializing your new puppy with vaccinated dogs who are either his peers (similar size and age) or adults who are good with puppies is very important for his social development and the actual wiring of his brain.  Keeping him away from infection is also important.  Your vet can tell you where the balance point is for your area, for your puppy.  By balance point, I mean the point at which puppy's need for socialization outweighs his risk of infection.  I could tell you where this point is according to my vet, in my area, who knows my puppies/dogs and knows the school I take them to, but that wouldn't necessarily be the best time for your puppy in your area with your puppy school.  So that's something to discuss with your vet.

You also need to start pup's vaccinations.  Typically pup will need a series of three sets of vaccinations and a single rabies vaccination at three to four months.  If your vet says it is okay, it's generally better to give rabies at four months, but in some states there is a law requiring it be given at three months.  Follow your vet's advice on when to give the rabies shot, but if he gives you a choice, choose four months rather than three.

Most likely he will have received one set of shots while still in the breeder's care.  Your breeder should give you papers indicating what he has received, when, and where.  The breeder might have given the vaccinations herself or she might have had her vet do it.  Either is okay.

Your breeder may have recommendations on what vaccination schedule you should use.  This is important advice but you should also consult your veterinarian.  I'm assuming this will be a veterinarian you have used for many years since you already have a dog.  Your breeder knows your puppy, but your veterinarian knows what illnesses are circulating in your area.  He may know of an outbreak of something that makes the risk of that illness higher than usual.  Therefore, IMO you should give your vet's opinion a little more weight than the breeder's opinion at least on the shots for the first year.  In my case, my vet, breeder and I essentially agreed on the vaccination schedule so there wasn't a problem.

Before you bring pup home, you will need some supplies, including:
--a crate that is just a little larger than pup, or is adjustable so you can have it grow as pup grows.  If the crate is very much larger than pup, you can wind up with potty training problems.  Pup needs a place to sleep (his crate) that is no bigger than his outline when he lies flat on his side with his legs straight.  If it is bigger than that, he will be able to put poop in one place and sleep in another without ever leaving his crate.  Puppies don't like to sleep in poop, so if you are diligent about taking him out often and if he has a place to sleep that is too small for a separate poop area, he will be much easier to potty train and much more reliable after trained if he hasn't had the opportunity to poop or pee inside his crate or your home.
--a flat buckle collar or regular style harness
--a four foot leash
--bowls for food and water that he can reach into
--some puppy safe chew toys (check appropriate age on label)
--some other toys
--some treats
--a bed or folded blanket or towel to line his crate to sleep on
--poop pick up supplies
--a fenced area where other dogs cannot go in and leave him mystery poop (your adult dog's poop is okay if he's up to date on vaccinations and parasite control)

You might need some baby gates to fence off doorways to either keep him out of areas where he can get into trouble or to keep him in the room where you are.  It's super important to supervise pup carefully while he's young so he can't develop bad habits from getting the opportunity to chew on things or toilet inappropriately.  If your eyes are on him, you can prevent him from practicing bad behavior by interrupting and redirecting him to good behavior.

Pups tend to love having a fixed schedule.  They like familiarity.  They like doing the same things at the same times every day.  This also helps them with potty training and other training.  It helps them to establish good habits.  So think about creating a schedule for when he eats (three meals per day), when he plays (several times a day), when he sleeps (several times a day) and when he is taken outside on a leash to go to the bathroom (after sleep, after meals, when he's about to be physically active, and otherwise about every two hours when you first get him home (the first month).  At three months of age, you can stretch his between potty break time to 3-4 hours, paying careful attention to him so you notice right away if he starts sniffing or otherwise looking like he needs to go out and you whisk him out right away.

Yes, this means you will have to get up in the night to take him out to go to the bathroom, but it is usually sufficient to take him out once, about four hours after bedtime and four hours before getting up time.  So if you go to bed at midnight, pup would need to toilet at midnight, at 4 am and again at 8 am.

Puppies usually need a middle of the night potty break until they are around five-ish months old, so be prepared to do this for him for three months.  It sucks to have to get up, but it pays off for the rest of his life because this is part of what makes a very reliably potty trained dog.  Three months of lost sleep now, and a poop-free house for the next decade.  It's worth it, believe me.  It's also worth diligent supervision.
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Offline Summer

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Re: Bringing home a puppy.
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 07:26:41 PM »
Hahaha kinda like having a baby for a few months except its only for a few months.
Thats very helpfull.  What should i do if the puppy has been sick while at the breeder?
What do i do if once i have the puppy for a year then it starts having real bad allergies?

I have written things what to ask the breeder...
Those questions are..

*Has puppy had any vaccinations?
*Has puppy had any health checks?
*Has puppy been eating regularly?
*Has puppy been drinking regularly?
*Has puppy had any problems?
*Has puppy had any problems with any allergies or any reactions to anything?
*How does puppy respond to sounds and/or movements?
*What food has puppy been eating?
*What food is recommended (what the breeder recommends) for puppy?
*What toys does puppy like?
*What treats does puppy like?
*Does puppy cry a lot at night?
*How much does puppy chew?
*How much does puppy sleep?
*How much should i feed puppy?


Are those okay questions? 

Is there anything else i should ask? Or say to the breeder?

Is there anything i just should not say or ask the breeder?
Shari the Share Bear