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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I will be visiting a breeder in two days, with a high likelihood of bringing back a puppy! It came all the sudden since the breeder will be traveling for holidays, and she was only available before that.

My research has been focused on breeders, but now I do need to get prepared for puppy arrival. I would really appreciate it if you could give me the tips on "starter-kit", what I need to buy/get before the arrival. so far my list is a crate, dog foods, plates, pad.

If there are any other urgent things I need to do before the arrival (e.g. finding a vet), I would appreciate any tips as well!

Thank you very much!
 

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Yes find a vet! You should plan to get a well puppy check within a day or two of pup's arrival.

Get a martingale collar or a nylon slip collar. Puppies tend to easily get out of flat buckle collars. Also get a light weight nylon 4 or 6 foot leash.

Have a water bowl on hand, but plan to give most food from your had or a puzzle toy like a kong or a WestPaw Toppl (my dogs' preference).

Consider an exercise pen as a longer term confinement area.

Download and read Ian Dunbar's free book What To Do before/After You Get Your Puppy available for free at Dog Star Daily. dogstardaily.com
 

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LOL - I did almost this exact same thing. I decided on a Saturday morning to get a puppy from a particular litter, bought puppy stuff Saturday afternoon, including a used microwave stand for the kitchen to put away stuff, puppy proofed my house, and then drove 5 hrs and picked up the puppy on Sunday, then drove 5 hrs back... It was insane, and I have 0 regrets.

I agree with Countryboy - there are usually plenty of used crates and exercise pens available. I found having two exercise pens incredibly useful. A crate, two exercise pens, and a baby gate, all purchased used, saved my sanity during early puppy days. Plus, they can be resold when you no longer need them.

So to your list I'd add:
- Exercise pen and/or babygates
-Lots of old towels (don't bother with a bed, as the puppy will likely chew it up)
-Enzyme based urine remover (like Nature's Miracle) and LOTS of paper towels
-Acceptable toys to chew on - I like to have a ball, a plush toy, a rope toy, and a rubbery toy - I've used braided socks for past puppies.
-Training treats (I use a different brand/flavour of high quality puppy food than they usually get as "special" training treats for puppies). Often you can get free samples from the store.

As for your "to-do" checklist - putting away EVERYTHING, especially stuff at puppy level that's not in a cabinet. Elastic banding cupboard doors closed.

If you have a limited budget - I'd skip dog bowls. I didn't buy Annie dog bowls until she was 8 months old. Heavy porcelain human bowls or pyrex dishes make excellent dog bowls.

I look forward to seeing puppy photos :D
 

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I second the enzyme cleaner - makes such a difference.

I would add a crate for the car, fleece throws (quick to wash and dry), and puppy kong or two (one in use, one in the freezer).

Definitely visit your local vets, get recommendations from local pet owners, and decide which one to use.

When you think you have puppy proofed your house get down and lie on the floor at puppy level to check for wires, flexes, priceless rugs, chewable books and all the other things you may have missed!
 

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A plastic tipped slicker brush or a pin brush. Whether or not the little one needs it, a gentle daily brushing will help him or her learn that a poodle's lot in life includes regular grooming. Ditto nipping a wee tiny bit off toenail tips once a week or so.

We like unstuffed toys at our house. The small size "tennis" balls are fun too.

Don't leave a slip collar or martingale collar on an unattended dog.
 

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A plastic tipped slicker brush or a pin brush. Whether or not the little one needs it, a gentle daily brushing will help him or her learn that a poodle's lot in life includes regular grooming. Ditto nipping a wee tiny bit off toenail tips once a week or so.

We like unstuffed toys at our house. The small size "tennis" balls are fun too.

Don't leave a slip collar or martingale collar on an unattended dog.
You didn’t mention which size, but I always recommend a flirt pole especially for standards. Go easy on puppy’s joints, but it can be used as an impulse control tool or to burn off some puppy energy, when you’re exhausted or the weather is grim. Eventually buy some Basispet.com bowls. If your puppy hasn’t been microchipped by the breeder, and it passes the wellness checkup, get that done and double check names and numbers on the contact information. You can use towels in the crate which are more easily washed than a crate mat. You can buy that eventually, too. Toys can be kept to a minimum in the early days. I didn’t put a collar or a leash on Buck in the early days. Slip lead, recommended, if you need. We have a fenced yard and he didn’t range too far. It’s all new for both of you. Congratulations in advance and happy puppy daze:)
 

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For a toy poodle, I would want a harness for walking, not a martingale collar. Also (sorry, some of this is redundant):

-collar with ID (I use flat collars that have their names and my phone number embroidered, off of Amazon)
-leash
-crate (very cheap even brand new on Amazon)
-x-pen
-potty pads
-dishes for food and water
-puppy food
-gentle brush
-comb
-puppy shampoo
-poop bags and/or pooper scooper
-paper towels
-Nature's Miracle cleaner
-Bitter apple spray to spray on anything you don't want chewed (even though you will need to supervise at all times)
-chewing items such as lamb ears and bully sticks
-a few toys
-registration for a puppy socialization class
-pet insurance



-
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you Jbean, Mfmst, and MaizieFrosty! All great advice. I spent time shopping today, but a bit more shopping to do tomorrow :)

Looks like towels would be very helpful... I will buy a stack to get ready!
I have not thought about pet insurance, that is a great thing to consider. I will do some search in the forum threads!
 

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Is this your first puppy? If so, my number 1 priority would be reading Ian Dunbar's book "Before And After Getting Your Puppy" cover to cover. (I saw that the digital version was linked above, which is super convenient! But I do love my old dog-eared copy.)

It'll get you started.
 

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On finding a vet... So many vets these days are more rescue-oriented. Spay/neuter 'em as young as possible. Especially if you are purchasing a Standard Poodle, try to find a forward thinking vet who supports the Jean Dodds vaccination protocol and who eschews early neuters.

If you have a local-ish Poodle club, contact them for vet referrals.

Warning: Some years back, I took my recently acquired adult Toy Poodle to a vet practice highly rated on yelp, because my wonderful veterinarian of many years had retired a year or two earlier. This place was not only wildly out of date on vaccination protocols, but cruelly manhandled my Tpoo. Of course, we've never gone back. So, talk to Poodle people ?....
 

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On finding a vet... So many vets these days are more rescue-oriented. Spay/neuter 'em as young as possible. Especially if you are purchasing a Standard Poodle, try to find a forward thinking vet who supports the Jean Dodds vaccination protocol and who eschews early neuters.

If you have a local-ish Poodle club, contact them for vet referrals.

Warning: Some years back, I took my recently acquired adult Toy Poodle to a vet practice highly rated on yelp, because my wonderful veterinarian of many years had retired a year or two earlier. This place was not only wildly out of date on vaccination protocols, but cruelly manhandled my Tpoo. Of course, we've never gone back. So, talk to Poodle people ?....
Or if you don't have a poodle club nearby, I would ask the local AKC training club people for recommendations.

Streetcar, I also had a horrible experience with a vet I chose for Zooey off of Yelp due to flawless reviews. Knowledgeable dog people will give the best referrals.
 

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Redundancy here but also some additional info

New Pup/Dog startup
Crates, Carriers, Exercise Pens, Beds/Bedding, Travel
Harnesses, Collars, Leashes
Food, Water, Bowls
Enzyme Cleaner, Pee pads, Poo bags, Paper Towels
Toys
Grooming
Health, Vet, Vaccinations Vs Socialization, Insurance, Care Credit, Emergency funds
Puppy proofing inside and out, including kitties


This is really more your basic startup info. It's taken from other threads and posts that many active members of PF has contributed to. I hope more Pfer's will add to this, comment or correct any mistakes.

Crates, Carriers, Exercise Pens, Beds/Bedding, Travel
Crates

Hard side/wire is best for early days. Look for one with a divider in the size you expect them to grow into and use the divider to keep them comfortably cozy (stand up, turn around, sleep) til then. Use a blanket as a crate cover. Use a washable bath rug/towels or sherpa crate mat for bedding. Put something leak proof on the floor of the crate or under it. Depending on the layout of the house/apt, consider 2 crates, one for the sleeping space, one for the living space.
If you can manage it, have the pup sleep in your bedroom. They just think they're on an adventure until bedtime, especially the first night, rolls around. Suddenly they realize that NOTHING is familiar, no scent, warmth or comfort of mom or siblings. They are Alone. Ask the breeder to do this or bring a towel or blanket to get mom and siblings scent on it, to comfort them. Keeping them in the same room allows you to hear if they are unwell or need to go out. Expect to have the young ones out several times during the night for a while. Set a periodic alarm to beat them to it.
Don't count on a lot of sleep the first days or weeks. Taking a few days off from work or work from home, if you can, will really help set routines and gives some time to get to know each other. Find out if the breeder had them on a daily routine and try to follow that for a few days. They're facing so many instant and incomprehensible changes. Keep what you can the same for a while.

Ex Pen
This expands their relaxation space but keeps them contained and out of mischief. Food and water bowls as well as pee pads can be in that space. Use a leak proof flooring here also.
These can be plastic or wire or even pop up soft side.

Beds and bedding
This may depend on the pups age and what they're used to. A young pup probably doesn't need one just yet. An older pup or dog may already be using one. Towels to nest in, or a washable sherpa style crate mat are options, with an extra to trade out as needed.

Carrier
These are generally only good up to about 15lbs but have their place. A smaller crate with handles can double as a carrier.

Travel
Keeping your pup comfortable and safe in the car is important. Depending on size and age, you might use a carrier, a crate, or a harness with seat belts.
Sleepypod brand is a highest safety rated product. Testing was done by the independent Center for Pet Safety, with some testing sponsored by Subaru.

Harnesses, Collars and Leashes
Harnesses are usually a better safety choice for smaller pups due to potential trachea injury from collars, but it may not be the best choice for a pup who wants to pull.
Collars will carry tags and ID but don't have to be worn inside the home.

Food, Water, Bowls
It's best to keep them on the same food as the breeder had for a while. They're already under stress from the abrupt change in their lives and this is one thing that doesn't usually need to change immediately. They may go off their feed as it is, so keep an eye on that. Toys are especially subject to hypoglycemia. This can very quickly become fatal. Look for the sticky on it. If/when you want to change foods, a good go to is Dog Food Advisor.
Stainless steel or ceramic is best for their food and water bowls. You might even consider filling a bottle with the water they've been drinking and mix it with their new home water.

Enzyme Cleaner, Pee pads, Poo bags, Paper Towels, Bitter Apple Spray
Pretty much all self explanatory. Natures Miracle is usually recommended for enzyme cleaner. Bitter Apple Spray is to keep them from mouthing and biting on what you don't want them to.

Toys
Have just a few on hand. Chewing toys like Nylabone for puppies are good. They also work as trade to get your fingers back
Puzzle toys are good, and Kongs to hide kibble and treats are helpful.
Not exactly a toy, but something to consider is the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy toy. This can help soothe a pup.

Grooming
I hope others will have specific suggestions for combs, brushes, shampoos…
It is important to get them used to the grooming process asap. The longer you wait, the harder it is on the pup and whoever's doing the grooming.
It does not hurt their coat to get a puppy trimmed

Health, Vet, Vaccinations Vs Socialization, Insurance, Care Credit, Emergency funds
Ask if any other dog on the premises has been ill in the last week or so. Choose a vet if you don't have one and know where the ER clinic is. Have the pup checked out by a vet within a day or two of homecoming whether the breeder requires it or not. Puppies can socialize with vaccinated adult dogs, and probably known puppies who aren't fully vaccinated yet. Best to stay away from paws on the ground at places a lot of dogs might be til yours is fully vaccinated. People are not usually any risk or at risk.
Consider pet insurance, at least for the first year or two, or sign up for Care Credit if there is a health emergency. If you can, a healthy four figure separate savings account dedicated to emergencies can be a life saver, literally.
Keep a first aid kit and learn some first aid procedures.

Puppy proofing inside and out, including kitties
Check your fencing if there is any. You want to keep things out as well as puppy in. Check your plant life for possible toxic plants.
Inside keep cords and cables covered or out of reach. Anything puppy level is at risk.

Besides pet stores, there is Amazon, Chewy.com, and eBay and Etsy for supplies. Other brick and mortar stores if they're nearby are Tuesday Morning, Marshall's, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post and TJ Maxx. The last two are also online.
 

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Or if you don't have a poodle club nearby, I would ask the local AKC training club people for recommendations.

Streetcar, I also had a horrible experience with a vet I chose for Zooey off of Yelp due to flawless reviews. Knowledgeable dog people will give the best referrals.
Absopositivelutely MaizieFrosty. If there are any whom one knows in town. Without a car, I'm trapped, and in SF so many are more rescue-oriented. I didn't have anyone to ask at hand. So warning, as you and I found, yelp is terrible for this.

Call around. If they only do exams 'in the back", thank them and ring off. Keep calling to find a supportive practice that doesn't hate responsible dog breeders. Bit of an issue here...
 

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If you're getting a Toy, you'll want to review this thread too
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, a lot of super-valuable information!!! Thank you PeggyTheParti, Rose n Poos and Streetcar!

I had a Shiba growing up, but have not had a chance to have a dog for a long time. And it is my first Poodle (toy). I will definitely read through the eBook and get as much as I can tomorrow!

I just set up an appointment with a vet on 26th, 3 days after the arrival of the puppy due to Christmas. I have to admit I relied on Yelp's review, but I feel like I need to do more research! (Yes I an in PNW)

I just want to thank everyone for your generous willingness to help and share information! Thank you for taking your precious time (especially for this busy time before Christmas) to help me get ready to welcome a pup!
 
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