The first week for the two of you will be exhilarating, certainly and can be unnerving. Many unexpected things come up and you may not know what to do. Advance planning can make the transition easier for both of you. Remember, I am always a phone call away.
Before your angel baby arrives:
1. Have a family pow-wow.
Decide who is going to be the primary caretaker. The puppy has to have consistency and must attach as quickly as possible to someone in their new home. Remember, he/she just left their Mom and breeder. Those ties are now gone. Who will the baby cling to? Also, hammer out the house rules ahead of time (will the dog be allowed on the bed? On the couch? Where will the dog sleep? Are any rooms of the house permanently off-limits?). Your new baby will feel/sense the tension in the air if things don’t go smoothly. This can affect him or her long term.
2. Stock up on the right supplies.
Buy some of the basics ahead of time, so you both and your dog can settle in without too many mad dashes to the store. Here’s what you’ll need:
Your tiny puppy will be unable to hold his body heat. It is very important that you be aware of drafts, cold wind coming in from an outside door opening, the puppy running near the door or even outside. A nice warm sweater will keep him warm and cozy until he is older and able to keep himself warm. At this age, he will need a size extra small.
A harness and leash are important items to have but your baby is far too little for that at this time. When you do buy a harness be sure never to put anything around his neck!! These dogs are prone to collapsed trachea! Never pull on anything near it's neck.
4. Pen/ Crates and Containment
Your angel baby was in a pen before you took her home. You can find many nice pens on Amazon to suite your needs. It's a must have for any puppy owner. A containment device keeps your new baby in a confined area where you can monitor and house train him. You will need a dog pen, crate (I do not recommend for daily use!!) or carrier, and an exercise pen, playpen, or gate when you bring your pup home.
If you get a pen that doesn't have a bottom you can measure the pen size, add an inch or 2 to each side and then go to Home Depot where they will cut a piece of white tile board to fit. To keep the pen from sliding off the board get some putty and put it on the 4 corners then push the pen onto it. I use earthquake putty but I suppose any putty will work (unless it dries out).
Hard-sided pens, crates and travel carriers are made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, plastic, and fiberglass. Though the stainless steel crates will last a lifetime, the lightweight plastic and fiberglass varieties provide a measure of safety and security for your puppy while driving or flying. They also replicate a cozy, warm den especially when you outfit it with a soft bed or blanket.
When choosing a pen, crate or carrier, make sure that your pup can stand up, lie down, turn around, and stretch inside. Though dogs prefer to have a close-in den-like space, they also need room to feel comfortable.
If you are unable to keep a watchful eye on your puppy, you may also wish to purchase a pen or some baby gates to keep him corralled. Exercise pens are a set of portable wire panels that confine your pup to a specific area. You can adjust them to fit just about any space. Baby gates, which are used to cordon off restricted areas, prevent him from roaming where he shouldn’t.
5. Dog bed
The first night your puppy comes home, she’ll need a comfy bed to lay her head. Be sure to have lots of stuffed animals for him to cuddle with. Remember, he has just left his litter mates. They played and cuddled all the time. They love to snuggle into something in order to go to sleep.
If your pup tends to chew on her bedding and ingest some of the foam or stuffing, remove it from her crate or take it away from her to prevent possible intestinal blockage. Offer her a blanket or towel to sleep on until she gets over her chewing phase. Keep chew toys handy such as pig ears that are easy for them to pull around and thin enough to chew on.
6. Food and water bowls
At the time you take your puppy home she will be used to eating her food from a saucer. I recommend that you continue this until she is eating well at home. Your puppy may still be eating ground kibble or soaked pieces or may be eating hard pieces. I will tell you what they are eating when you come to pick her up. I will also send home a weeks supply of food at this time.
Although it is common for a new puppy not to eat as usual for the first couple of days it sets up a serious problem that could arise, hypoglycemia!. Although the puppy may be eating, their energy requirements are higher as they are mourning the loss of their mother and their litter mates. They are also stressed due to a new environment. Watch them closely! Small puppies are prone to hypoglycemia which is a drop in blood sugar that can be fatal! If you see that she is listless, loss of energy or sleeping more than usual, act fast and immediately give her some Nutrical (always keep this on hand and with you). Make sure your baby is eating to keep her energy level up. For this reason, do not leave the puppy alone for longer than 4 hours at a time.
Your puppy will need food and water bowls when he comes home, and there are many varieties available. You can choose ceramic or stainless steel dishes, plastic crocks,or glass bowls. Keep them clean as bacteria thrive in their dishes. Keep plenty of fresh water in her pen at all times.
Feed your Maltese pup four times per day. Divide his daily calories by the amount of feedings you give him to determine his portions. For example, a Maltese fed 400 calories per day would get 100 calories per feeding if fed four times each day. Frequent feedings are important for a Maltese because this breed tends to suffer from hypoglycemia, especially during the first three months of life. Feedings throughout the day help to maintain your pup's blood glucose level. If you notice your little one developing signs of low blood sugar, such as loss of appetite, weakness, lethargy or seizures, rub some corn syrup on his gums or give him some Nutracal on your finger from the tube to stabilize him. I keep some of this in my purse and in the car all the time.
Ceramic dishware and glass bowls can be heavy so they likely won’t become toys, but they can be expensive If you buy ceramic, make sure it’s dishwasher safe and lead-free.
She may be small, but your pup will have a big appetite and big calorie demands to give her body the energy to develop healthy bones, organs, skin, and coat. As a result, for the first 12 months of your pup’s life, you will feed her a diet created just for her demanding energy and nutritional needs.
These special diets are referred to as diets that are formulated for puppies or for “growth and development.” Food makers understand that puppies have specific needs, so they incorporate those nutritional requirements the right blend of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals into their special puppy blends. Veterinary nutritionists note that puppies must have these specific ingredients in their diets to develop into healthy adults.
For the above reasons, I recommend Wellness Small Breed Puppy. It has natural ingredients plus super nutrients for small puppies.
If you plan to eventually feed your puppy a raw diet and need information please discuss with your vet. I have no knowledge in this area.
8. Grooming supplies
Even though he’s still young, your puppy will need to be groomed and learn how to behave during the process. His coat will need regular washing, combing and brushing. He’ll also need his toenails trimmed, his ears cleaned, and his teeth brushed. To be prepared for the grooming routine as soon as he comes home, have these grooming supplies ready and understand how to properly use them:
Ear cleaning solution
Grooming table or grooming area
Shampoo and conditioner
Toothbrush and dog toothpaste
Store the above items in a plastic tote or container for easy access.
Keep the hair trimmed away from their eyes to prevent staining. Babies will drain a clear fluid sometimes due to teething. That will stop once teething has ceased. Check with your vet if you are having any problems in this area.
Your puppy will require some identification. While there are two options identification (ID) tags and microchips it is a good idea to use them both. These are usually given at around 4 to 6 months of age. Check with your vet.
An ID tag, which is a plastic or metal medallion that hangs from your pup’s collar, lists specific contact information that will reunite you with your dog should she run off. Some people include the dog’s name and their name, phone number, and address; others, for safety reasons, list only their name and phone number with no information about the dog. At the very least, list your name and the best way to contact you, whether it’s a cell phone, office phone, or home phone.
A microchip is a rice-sized device that contains a code that is stored in a database with your contact information. Your veterinarian injects the chip between your dog’s shoulder blades, and when your dog is found, a staff member at the shelter uses a handheld scanner to read the code in the microchip. The code is then entered into the database, which tells the shelter your name and phone number, so you and your dog can be reunited. Remember to take the time to register your contact information and keep it up to date.
I highly recommend that you get big stuffed animal for your angel baby to cuddle with. I have many of them here that they are used to. It helps them with the transition away from their Mom. Others have told me how comforting it was and still is for their little one. Toys can be categorized into chew toys that satisfy the need to gnaw (I highly recommend pig ears for teething), like hard-rubber toys; plush toys, like stuffed animals, that provide comfort to dogs; fetching toys, like balls and flying discs; rope and tug toys, which help to floss teeth while the pup plays; and critical thinking toys, like treat-dispensing devices, that release goodies when the pup performs a certain task.
Despite all the toy choices at your local pet store, you should only offer your puppy strong, durable, well-made toys that are sized appropriately for him. If your puppy does destroy a toy (and he probably will!), remove the damaged toy immediately. Exposed squeakers can be dangerous, as are stuffing, frayed rope toy strands, and small torn-off pieces that can be ingested.
Purchase these products before your puppy comes home and set them up in advance mostly because you’ll be too busy playing with him! With these items in hand, you’ll be well-prepared to welcome your puppy to his new forever home.
11. Prepare your house.
This requires a little more work if you’re getting a puppy, since they can be champion chewers and have a knack for getting into things they shouldn’t. But no matter what your dog’s size, you’ll want to do some organizing ahead of time.
Create a temporary, gated-off living space for your baby, where she can’t damage your belongings or eat something that will make her sick. She’ll stay in this area whenever you’re not with her to prevent her from having house training accidents.
Pick a room that’s a center of activity in your household, so your dog won’t feel isolated, and be sure it’s one with easy-to-clean floors. The kitchen is often a good choice; you can block it off with baby gates if needed. Make sure you remove anything that you don’t want chewed on or soiled.
What’s in your dog’s area will vary a bit depending on her size and how you’re house training.
Puppy-proof to make sure anything that could hurt your dog–medicines, chemicals, certain plants are out of reach.
12. House Training
Ideally, you can take a few days to a week off work to get your new dog or puppy settled in and to continue house training. Your puppy will be trained to go potty on pee pee pads by the time you pick him/her up from the breeder. Be sure to have some pee pee pads on hand. Half of their bed should be a sleeping/play area while the other half should be a pee pee pad for going potty.
13. Plan the trip home
Find a helper to come along when you go to pick up your dog. Young puppies who’ve never been on a car ride before may get rattled and frightened. You don’t want a bad experience to be the first experience they have with you! A terror-filled car ride can turn into a long-lasting phobia of car travel. Ask someone to hold the baby on the ride home, soothing him. Your baby will be about 2 lbs. Such a tiny one needs to be in your arms, safe and warm!
If that's not possible, you might want to get a dog carrier. They come in all different types and sizes. The important thing is to keep the baby close to you. Here is a link to some you might want to look through Dog Carriers
Here are some ideas:
I highly discourage putting a tiny puppy in a crate while traveling. This could be emotionally damaging to the puppy who has had much love and attention up to this point. It seems impersonal, cold and distant for the puppy from it's new owner who he will now totally depend on. This is my opinion and I am not comfortable with this option for any of my angel babies.
Once your angel baby is home
See this video of a puppy's first time in her pen
Keep it pleasant but low-key at first.
For a shy puppy or dog, being taken to a new place and then deluged with lots of loud, lively strangers can be really overwhelming. The first day or two, keep the mood mellow and calm.
All animals need to have their own space. His/her pen is theirs where they can be and sleep without fear. Introduce her to her new space by using toys or treats and lots of love. They will soon go to it on their own.
14. Start your training.
The earlier you start, the faster and easier it will be to teach good manners and the better the lessons will stick. Don't let that sweet innocent face fool you. They are very smart from day one! The two most important things to teach your dog are:
getting comfortable around people and other dogs
15. Set up a routine
A routine helps with house training and is reassuring to your dog. Figure out a schedule for meals, bathroom breaks, and exercise, and try to stick to it.
Your puppy went potty after she ate at the breeders. That’s a good place to start.
16. Get your dog license ( this is when the puppy is around 4 – 6 months old)
It’s a legal requirement, and your dog’s tag will be used to get him back to you if he ever gets loose. You may also want to get your dog microchipped for extra insurance. Check with your local animal care and control to find out how to get your dog licensed; you may be able to apply online.
17. Find a vet
It’s especially important for a puppy’s first vet visit to be a pleasant experience so that your angel baby learns to take trips to the vet in stride. Ask around for referrals, and schedule your first appointment a few days after you bring her home. Get her established with your vet for future vaccinations, worming and any other concerns or vet recommendations.
Bottom line: Your dog’s first few weeks home will likely be a period of huge adjustment, for both of you. You can make the transition much easier all around if you prepare your home in advance and set up a routine right away.
Most of all, enjoy your new baby! Think of all the fun and exciting adventures you'll have together.