Preparing Your Home For Your New French Bulldog Puppy
Congratulations! So, a new bundle of joy will soon be arriving in your home. It’s your beautiful French Bulldog puppy. As exciting as it is to anticipate their arrival, you will need to keep your feet on the ground because there’s a bit of preparation to do before the big day arrives.
Let’s run through a few puppy essentials that you will need to tick off your list;
There are many to choose from, but a nylon or soft leather collar will do. If you can source a collar that will expand with your puppy as he grows, then even better!
This is a must-have item for your puppy. ID tags should be firmly attached to his / her collar. Remember to include your address and phone number, as well as his name. If you have a regular veterinarian, then it may be an idea to attach a separate tag with their name and phone number as a backup in case you cannot be contacted. Some owners even do micro chipping as an added identification measure.
This should say leashes (plural). With puppies or any young Frenchies still in the training stage, you will need a short leash for small walks such as around the block. If you are going on longer walks or heading to the park for some playtime, a longer leash gives your puppy more opportunity to exercise without pulling against the leash too much. Keep in mind that you need to limit your puppy’s contact with other animals you may meet in the park, at least until he’s received his vaccinations.
Toys and Chewies
Puppies like babies go through teething. But mostly, puppies chew because they may be a bit bored and they are just entertaining themselves. They are at the stage of having boundless energy and they are looking for things to do. Remember, if you’re unsure what items to buy then get some advise from your local vet or trusted pet shop because French Bulldogs need toys and chews that are the right size and shape for their mouth and jaws. It’s important for their safety and physical development as they grow.
Food & Water Bowls
When choosing food and water bowls for your puppy you’ll want to minimise the amount of cleaning up you’ll be doing. So, I always prefer a “non-tip” type of bowl. Alternatively, you could put a plastic, non-slip mat underneath his bowls. Puppies will make a mess whatever you do, but at least this will save you on clean-up time. Stainless steel bowls are also a good idea, as they’re easier to clean and wont break like ceramic bowls.
Clean both bowls every day and re-fill the water bowl regularly too. French Bulldog puppies in particular need to stay hydrated to remain healthy. Keep in mind that wet puppy food should not be left all day in his bowl. If he doesn’t finish all of his food, then remove the remains and give him fresh food for his next meal.
Generally, feeding should be split up into at least three times a day. Even though their stomachs are small, puppies have a tendency to not know when to stop eating. So, you will need to regulate how much they eat each day and don’t give in to those looks that say… “You’re starving me!” Give them only premium brand dry food in the beginning, which will help them to maintain a balanced diet.
Also keep to the correct amount as advised on the bag. Remember that an overweight Frenchie just means more visits to the vet. When giving snacks as rewards, use dry dog biscuits and never get into the habit of giving him human type snacks or left overs from your meals.
Find an area in your home where your puppy will feel secure and comfortable when sleeping. If possible, try to make it a quiet area away from TV noise and other family disturbances. In effect, you are making a place for his home within your home. Ideally, you may want to create a little den for him with an old rug as a cover. Line his crate with an old blanket and resist the temptation to wash it too much. This is his bed, with its own familiar smell. Finally, you shouldn’t go out and spend big on the best bed you can find because he is going to chew it anyway.
If you are likely to be travelling with your puppy then you may want to pick up a travel crate. The airline approved travel crates are very handy for the car or trips to the vet. If you can get them comfortable having their naps in there, then they can be used indoors when you don’t want them running around. Typically, a travel crate for a puppy would be approx. 60cm x 45cm x 45cm.
Brushes and Other Items
Like many other breeds, French Bulldog puppies have sensitive skin. So, check with your vet about the most appropriate shampoo for him. Your puppy’s coat is short hair so try to find the most appropriate soft brush to use to help his coat stay healthy. Most pet shops will keep a good range to choose from.
If you have had a puppy before, then you know to expect ‘wet’ accidents until he is house trained. So, it’s a good idea to have paper towels, stain removers and deodorizers handy. Accidents need to be cleaned up quickly soon after they happen, as it’s easier to remove the odour. If an area isn’t completely cleaned, your puppy will continue to smell his personal scent, and keep returning to the area to do it again. Keep in mind; your dog’s sense of smell is many times better than your own! Finally, apply the deodorizer once the area is completely cleaned.
Now you are ready for you puppy to come home. If possible, try to time his arrival with a time when you can give him your undivided attention as he settles in to his new home. During his first day, let him sniff around and get familiar to his surroundings. Everything is new and you want him to take his time and not be overwhelmed on the first day. Having you there as a support is more important that you may think. Before today he may have had brothers and sisters and they are still fresh in his memory. Now he will be looking to you and your family for his comfort and security.
One great tip is to ask the breeder for any piece of bedding that has been in contact with the mother and / or his sibling puppies so the puppy has a smell of home. Do not wash the piece of bedding for at least one week. If you have already chosen a name, then begin using it straight away, so that he starts to identify with it early on.
Puppies (like infants) need lots of sleep. He will go from being super energetic to needing a sleep for an hour or so very quickly; so try not to disturb him while he is resting. If there are any children in the house, they need to be taught that the puppies rest time is important too.
For the first couple of weeks your puppy may be restless at night and looking for comfort. This is when you need to be patient and loving while you lead him back to his bed to sleep. The same applies if he chews on furnishings or makes a mess. Be gentle, but firm, rather than angry so that he does not learn to fear you. Remember, both of you are learning how to live with each other. In essence, you are beginning to form bonds of trust and love that will last a lifetime.
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