Of course you're thrilled about bringing home a new puppy. She, too, will be excited - curious enough to gambol about your house, poking her nose into everything. But before you bring home your new puppy, spend some time puppy-proofing your home and gathering the supplies you'll need to start your relationship on a happy, even keel. Your puppy is a baby Bulldog. Like all babies, he needs lots of love and cuddling, rest and sleep, lots of good, nourishing food and more love.
Moving to a new home, leaving his mom and litter mates and the only people he has ever really known is a very difficult experience for the puppy, so try to make the move as easy as possible for him. For the first weeks, try to change his life as little as possible.
Stock Up on Puppy Supplies
Scout out your neighborhood for pet supply stores and establish a relationship with them. Think ahead to bad weather or times you'll be really busy. Are store hours convenient?
Here's a basic list of what you'll need to get before the pup arrives:
Bowls for food and water. Glass and ceramic can break; plastic is chewable and can harbor bacteria. Stainless Steel is sturdy and easy to wash and the best choice. You'll need a bowl holder, too, so your puppy doesn't learn the neat trick of pushing her dinner all around the kitchen.
A crate to serve as her den. Wire is more portable than Plexiglas and allows for better ventilation in warmer climates. Since your puppy will grow, you may want to buy one that can be sectioned off to allow for expansion. Or, be prepared to buy a new one in several months.
A bed and accessories. For most dogs, especially at the beginning, a washable plastic bed padded with washable towels or blankets, as well as a tee shirt or old bathrobe that carries your scent, is just fine. Be sure the bed will fit inside the crate. You might want to have a hot water bottle on stand-by. A ticking clock and a sturdy, baby-proof stuffed toy may also keep her company the first few weeks.
A soft, adjustable collar with identification tags and a leash. ( we also suggest you talk with your vet about getting puppy micro-chipped).
Safe toys. Don't buy too many at first, but have enough to keep her distracted from chewing your shoes and furniture. Check the labels and look for quality, same as when you buy toys for children. Be sure that parts won't break off. Buttons, plastic shards and small balls can lodge in her throat and block air passages. Most rawhide products should be avoided. Balls should be softball size to be safe. Nyla bones, greenies, sturdy tug ropes and things that will spark interest is the best choices as is a hard ball.
Grooming tools. Brush, Shampoo, scissors, desitin diaper rash ointment, baby powder will all be great to have. Also a dremil or nail clippers and some Q- tips plus cotton balls. A mustard plastic bottle (like you use to squirt the mustard out of) is great to fill with baby powder and to squirt it into the hard to get to wrinkled areas and under the nose rope.
In addition, Peroxide is another thing to have on hand and an anti-biotic ointment, plus A good rectal thermometer, Clear Eyes, visine, etc. for irritated eyes, Benadryl,(capsule) - Use this if the dog is stung by a bee/insect, and has minor allergy, Pepto Bismol for minor stomach upset and Kaopectate for minor diarrhea. You should also have Vaseline and lemon juice on hand in case your bulldog gets choked up put a squirt in his mouth and use Vaseline for his nose daily. You will also need a tooth brush made for puppies. A good book or two is always nice to read and of course we have tons of information on this site www.bulldogsworld.com
Baby gates. It will be some time before you can trust your puppy to roam the house alone. Baby gates, vetted for safety by consumer organizations, protect her and your belongings. Use them to block off stairways, carpeted rooms and other forbidden areas.
Puppy food. Ask your breeder what brand your pup is used to. Changing her diet abruptly may cause stomach distress. If you want to change foods, phase them in by mixing them with her old brand for a week. In addition, puppy should be slowly changed over from puppy food to adult food around 4-6 months. We suggest Royal Canin for best health as it has been formulated for our breeds special needs.
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Put Away Poisons and Precious Possessions
If your home, garage and yard make for a puppy wonderland of chewy sneakers, enticing power cords, sweet-smelling antifreeze, warm and fragrant flower beds, dolls with button eyes and hanging drapes with tie-back tassels, sweep through and put them away NOW. Digestive tract X-rays of sick dogs have revealed all sorts of unusual things, from ribbons, spoons and dominoes to knives with blades six inches long.
Look at your home as your puppy sees and smells it. You might want to keep your kids' rooms off limits for a while. Close closet doors and be sure that cabinets are secured. Hide electrical cords under carpets. Put knick-knacks out of reach. Lock up anything chemical, from soaps, waxes and cleaning solvents to medicines and cosmetics. Certain human foods and plants such as English ivy and tiger lilies are poisonous, too. You can also check out our list of Poison plants and foods for more details. If in doubt, use caution and assume its bad and don't let her get around it.
Puppy-proof the contents of your garage. Put away ethylene-glycol antifreeze and other automotive compounds, fertilizers, pesticides, paint, nails and anything else that may cause trouble if swallowed.
Make sure your backyard fence is in good repair, so your puppy can neither jump over nor dig under it. Fence off flower beds and trees and check for a long list of poisonous plants, including boxwood, bulb flowers, hemlock and sage. Watch out for uninvited milkweed, poison ivy, oak and sumac, too. Make sure to pick up objects like shovels, small rocks, kids toys, trash or other things she may want to eat including any type of plastic bags.Rehearse Your Family's "Puppy Speak"
Agree on a game plan for keeping the puppy warm and calm during her first days with you. Your puppy will want to please you and will be eager to learn how, but she'll also be nervous. Every member of your family must give uniform commands. "Sit," "stop," "down," "kennel," "come" and "stay" must have the same meaning, no matter which family member uses them.
Write up the schedule you'll use for your pup's first few days home. The puppy needs you to be regular and consistent. Don't invite the neighborhood over to welcome your new dog. Brace yourself now, so you don't yell at the pup when she soils the carpet or bites off Barbie's head. She won't know any better at first.Have a Vet to Turn To