This is Sharda again for another West Highland Terrier Puppy newsletter.
Today let’s talk about the needed West Highland Terrier supplies for your Westie’s pup’s homecoming!
It is very exciting to get a new puppy and to be able to bring him or her home. Often people are not aware of how challenging this process can be.
It is important to plan for the arrival of your new Westie to avoid frustration, damaged items and to provide the safest possible environment for your puppy and family.
Spending a few hours to puppy-proof your house and to insure the proper introduction of the puppy to the home will set the tone for your relationship with the puppy.
While there are several things that you need to consider, one of the first aspects of bringing a puppy home is to have the correct supplies.
In addition to the supplies, you’ll need the right attitude to work with the puppy, a space that is designed for the puppy to stay in, as well as a schedule for feeding and exercise. You should also have a basic idea of the training methods you are going to use with the puppy, as well as a good grasp of how you were going to start this process.
Before bringing your Westie puppy home it is important to have all the basic supplies to make the puppy feel at home. Talk to the breeder or the previous owner if it all possible, to determine what type of food the puppy was eating and any special dietary requirements that the breed may have. The basic supplies are:
- A good book on Westie puppy health, care and training methods. Check with your breeder to see if they have a particular book or author that they recommend. If the puppy has begun a training method, make sure that it continues as much as possible with the already established commands.
- A wire or plastic dog crate that is the correct size for the Westie puppy that you have purchased. A small dog will require a smaller crate than a larger dog, naturally.
- Good quality bedding material for inside the crate that cannot be easily chewed or destroyed. It is important that this material be washable, as there will be times when it will meet to be cleaned.
- A special puppy collar that is of a soft fabric or woven material. The collar should have a buckle fastener and should not be too tight for the puppy’s neck. You should be able to easily insert two fingers between the puppy’s neck and the collar. If you cannot, the collar is too small and a larger size will meet to be purchased.
A good lead will also be needed when walking the puppy. Many people use a retractable lead to make walking the dog much easier.
- Purchase an identification tag that can be put on the caller. A Westie puppy purchased from a breeder may already be microchipped or tattooed with identification. While this is an excellent way to identify the dog, it is also important to have an easy to read tag in the event that the puppy wanders away or becomes lost.
Make sure your phone number and name is on the tag.
- You will also require any grooming supplies that the dog may need. A shorthaired dog will require a simple brush, comb, or soft cloth, but a long- haired dog will require more grooming, and you may wish to purchase clippers to be able to trim the coat.
- It is important to talk to the Westie breeder to find out at what age you can begin to clip your dog. Most dogs do not get their full adult coat until after 10 months of age and it is important to not clip prior to the time. Check with your breeder, groomer or veterinarian to understand the specifics for your breed.
- To keep your Westie puppy busy and entertained when you’re not able to play with them, it is important to get some puppy toys. They should be hard plastic and without any parts that can be chewed and swallowed by the dog. Remember, if the puppy has toys to play with they will be less likely to chew on household items.
- You will need to have good quality dry puppy food ready when the puppy arrives. Ask the seller what type of food they have started your puppy on, and begin feeding that at your home. You can then gradually change over to a different kind of food, by combining the new food with the old food until the puppy adjusts.
This will prevent sudden shocks to the puppy’s digestive system that could result in diarrhea or other stomach concerns.
- One stainless steel or heavy plastic bowl for water and one for food. Make sure that you buy a bowl style that cannot be easily tipped over. Puppies will need clean water at least twice a day. Some people choose automatic dispensing feeders and water bowls. While this does make it easier for the owner, it is not essential.
- If you have stairs in your house or you would like to keep the puppy confined to one area, you may wish to consider purchasing baby gates. These can be used to prevent the poppies from being able to enter or exit different rooms of the house.
- You may also wish to consider purchasing a spray-on no-chew product. These can be purchased commercially from any pet store. If you wish to use a homemade spray, you can mix one part of apple cider vinegar and one part of water.
Be careful with this spray as it may cause discoloration to furniture. It is also important to test the commercially available products prior to spraying.
Just like having a new baby in the house, it’s important to make sure that the home environment is safe for the puppy. Puppies are very inquisitive by nature, and often get into all kinds of things around the house.
Even something as simple as a cord hanging from a set of draperies can be a safety hazard for small puppy. It can become wrapped around the puppy’s neck, or stuck in the puppy’s teeth. When puppy-proofing your home check the following:
- Pick up all strings or cords. A small string can easily be swallowed by a puppy and cause digestive problems if it becomes wrapped up in the intestines.
- Remove all small objects that the puppy may swallow.
- Check houseplants to make sure that they are not poisonous. If they are, remove them to a room or area that the puppy does not have access to.
- As much as possible, keep electrical cords away from the areas the puppy is in. If the cords cannot be removed, try treating them with a no-chew spray or rub them with laundry soap to make them unpleasant to the taste.
- Keep the puppy confined to the kennel, crate or puppy safe room when you are not home or able to watch the puppy.
If the puppy has been living with its littermates and mother up to this time, it will feel lonely coming to a house where it is an only dog. Try having a hot water bottle, stuffed toy or ticking clock in the crate or kennel with the puppy.
Using a crate will really help the puppy feel that this is a space of its own, and will help you be able to confine the puppy at night or when you are not home. In addition, you may want to place a piece of clothing that you have worn in the crate or kennel with the puppy. This will allow the puppy to adjust to your scent.
The best way to have a positive attitude when bringing your Westie puppy home is to be knowledgeable. Read a book; ask friends, breeders, groomers and veterinarians any questions you may have before bringing home the puppy. The internet offers many suggestions and breed specific information for preparing for a puppy.
Schedule walks, exercise, feeding and play times as much as possible. This will help your puppy adjust, plus it will also make sure that the puppy is cared for properly.
If there is more than one person caring for the puppy, make sure that everyone is using the same schedule and methods. In addition, take the puppy for a complete medical check up as soon as possible.
While all breeds develop at slightly different rates, there are some common stages that all puppies go through. Below is a general chart indicating the ages and stages of puppy development. Be sure to check with your breeder or veterinarian to get the specifics for your Westie.
Hope you learned a lot from today’s West Highland Terrier newsletter.