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So You Are Thinking of Getting a New Puppy!

Puppy love

Selecting a puppy:

Select your new family member with your lifestyle and living situation in mind. Primary considerations in addition to personality include temperatment, size, and coat. Some breeds have traits that may be objectionable in certain circumstances, such as hyperexcitability or a tendency to bark. Dogs originally bred for specific purposes tend to retain these characteristics and may require additional training and patience. Your veterinarian is a valuable resource and should be consulted before you acquire a puppy (or a pet of any kind).

Before bringing your puppy home:

Prepare your house for your puppy's arrival. A special place should be designated for it to eat, sleep, and eliminate. Obtain any necessary accessories (eg, collar, leash, ID tag, crate, and dishes) before you bring your puppy home. You will need to puppy-proof your home just as you would child-proof your home to avoid accidents. Harmful cleansers, plants, electrical cords, and breakable objects should be kept out of reach. Open windows should be screened.


A crate is a combined sleeping area, housebreaker, and preventer of bad habits; basically, it's one of the best investments you'll ever make for your puppy. Select a crate that is large enough to house the dog when fully grown, and insert a divider to make it smaller for housebreaking. The reduced area should be small enough so that the puppy can't eliminate in one end and sit/sleep in the other. To make the crate a friendly place, appropriate bones (choose carefully and consult your veterinarian) can be placed within it and the puppy can be fed inside of it. Puppies should only be left in their crates for short periods initially, so that they learn that they will not be confined in them permanently.

Information provided by: Gail C. Golab, DVM, PhD

More information on caring for your new puppy...

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