McNeil Labradors


Getting Ready For Your Puppy

A stainless steel 2-quart water dish for the kennel crate and a 9-quart bucket for use in outside pens.  Both should be heavy or your puppy will have a wonderful time retrieving them.  Both should be latched to the sides of the pens.

A 2-quart stainless food bowl will be perfect now and when your puppy is full-grown.

A collar that resembles a belt in shape.  The quick-release buckle collar is adjustable with a plastic clasp and is best for a growing puppy.  The correct size is 10” - 16” long.

A leash that is nylon flat web 5/8" wide and 6 feet long with a snap on the end is best.

Two kennel crates, one that is large enough so that when your puppy is full grown it will be big enough to lie down in and be comfortable.  The best size for females is 36” long and the best size for males is 42”.  Fold down wire crates are great for easy storage and clean up, however, if you plan on traveling with your puppy you might consider an airline approved enclosed crate.  The second kennel crate can be a small crate that can be used in your bedroom.  A good size to consider is the medium Pet Porter available at most "one stop shopping stores" for about $35.  This will be the best investment you can make for a good night’s sleep! 

Your puppy will need some toys.  Lambs wool toys or old kitchen dishtowels tied at the end are fine.  Puppies love these and they can be washed and dried in the laundry.  No latex, plastic, or anything hard or heavy.  No squeaky toys - these can be dangerous if the squeaky is removed and chewed up.  Nothing with your scent on it like old socks or shoes.

Treats should not start until the puppy is well adjusted to its new family.  This may take several days.  The smaller the treat the better.  A piece of dry kibble makes a nice treat.  A puppy biscuit is generally softer than an adult biscuit and can be easily broken in half.   Most commercial puppy treats are very high in fat and over indulgence can cause digestive upset! 

If you need shampoo, make sure you purchase a shampoo formulated for dogs.  I don't suggest you bathe a puppy unless they roll in mud.  The puppy should be clean when he/she leaves the breeder and with a damp cloth and water wipe off, this should suffice.  Bathing breaks down the oil in a Labrador coat and causes flakiness and dry skin.

Make sure you ask your breeder about the brand of food your puppy is being fed.  It is important that you remain consistent.  Otherwise, changing food, coupled with an otherwise stressful situation of taking your puppy from littermates and surrounding familiar environment, spells trouble - digestive upset!  Change is fine after your puppy makes the transition from littermates to you, the new family. 

Plan your puppy’s arrival so that you’ll have ample time available (such as a weekend or vacation) to begin his life with you properly.  Going to a new home will be an abrupt change, so don’t pack his first several days with new experiences.  Take time to ease the puppy into the new routine.  Hold off on having many visitors or taking him visiting.  He first has to adjust to you, your family, and his new surroundings before he’s ready for the rest of the world.

Abrupt changes produce stress, which may cause loss of appetite and/or diarrhea. It isn’t unusual for a new puppy not to eat for the first 24 hours.  A good indication that he’s adjusting to his new surroundings is eating.  If, however, he continues to refuse all food after 24 hours, a call to your veterinarian or myself may be in order.

 During the first several days, concentrate on familiarizing your puppy with his new surroundings and introducing the crate.  Remember, always know where the puppy is and what he’s doing.  The first 48 hours are important because the puppy’s initial impressions can be long remembered.  It’s much easier to teach good habits than to change undesirable ones.

McNeil Labradors
Statesville, NC 28677

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Last Updated:  January 29, 2008

© Copyright 2001 - 2008 by Margo Carter, McNeil Labradors, All Rights Reserved.
Page Created By:  Margo Carter, McNeil Labradors

  Thought For The Day:

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can
spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's
the best deal man has ever made." - M. Facklam