- Your puppy needs a veterinarian appointment within 3 days of coming home to verify good health, or if there are any health concerns we can take care of that quickly. Consider pet insurance for unexpected vet bills.
- Your puppy is on Purina Pro Plan, Puppy Formula with Chicken and Rice. Continue feeding this for a couple weeks, atleast, while they adjust. We send home food & coupon to help you get started. Feed 3x a day for the first couple weeks.
- Your puppy has been microchipped. Please register this microchip in your name.
- Your puppy has begun vaccines and deworming. Please continue this schedule with your veterinarian to keep your puppy healthy! We include health records and a Florida Veterinary Health Certificate.
- Your puppy has been potty training on potty pads. Give them a limited area to keep them safe and help them find their potty spot. We use Sam’s Club brand potty pads. Puppies need to potty frequently. Especially right after waking up, waking from naps, after eating or drinking, and after playing for a few minutes. Potty, potty, potty!
- Start grooming at home right away. Brushing & nails are easy to do. Get your puppy sleepy or interested in a chew. Setup a puppy appt with the groomer asap to get puppy familiar with the environment.
- Schedule a puppy socialization and training class with a recommended trainer. This will help you & puppy get started on the right foot and provide continued support through puppy stages.
Plan to bring puppy home at a time when life is quiet, calm, and not too chaotic. Your puppy will need lots of attention, training, bonding, potty breaks, and patience. This can causes added stress during hectic or busy times. Your puppy should get your full attention to start this life journey with you on the right foot. The more time and patience you can dedicate to your puppy in the early weeks, the smoother the next 15 years will be!
When you bring puppy home, they will need lots of comfort and snuggles. This day is the first day they’ve left behind everything they’ve ever known. All the humans, their siblings, their dog mom, their dog friends, even the physical environment they were living in, it’s all gone to them. Everything is new. Everything they see, smell, hear, and taste is different and they are doing it alone for the first time in their life without the support system they’ve known. They will need your gentle patience and love as you will quickly become their family. They will learn to rely on you for food, water, shelter, potty breaks, friendship and companionship. You will become their entire world!! They just need a little compassion and understanding as they navigate this transition.
Make the process as easy as possible on puppy by having a safe, secure, easy clean floor area setup for them. Having too much space or freedom in a new home can actually cause stress to the new puppy, because they don’t know what is safe, what is not, where to go, how to find mom, where the potty is, the food or drink, or who might pop out. They may feel lost and confused, vulnerable, with too much freedom. Gating off the kitchen or setting up a small puppy pen fence with a crate or bed and potty pads will give them security and safety while they get used to their new wonderful life. Don’t worry, they will grow up so fast right before your eyes! They just need a little babying in the beginning.
You can judge when they are ready for more freedom based on their potty training, their interactions with family members, and reactions to other pets.
Keep in mind your sweet, gentle, friendly other pets may be scary to your new Shih Tzu puppy. Don’t just expect them to know the dog, cat, or rabbit is harmless. If your puppy is overwhelmed, the interaction is creating fear. We don’t want scared puppies that feel they have to protect themselves. Think how you can help the puppy feel safe and more confident in the interaction, like sitting in your lap as your other dog slowly approaches, instead of puppy alone on floor being run up on by a large dog they don’t yet know.
Expect some crying the first couple nights if they are to sleep alone. As mentioned, they are used to a big dog family surrounding them. They may need some extra comfort or to be close to you, until they’re a little older.
Shih Tzu puppies typically cannot go a whole night without a potty break. You can set them up with potty pads or plan to take them out to potty every 4 hours, gradually extending the time they are able to sleep without a potty break. Keep your puppy on a routine so they know what to expect. Consistent potty training is key to success! Lots of patience, lots of love.
Make sure you have your initial veterinarian appointment setup and consider pet insurance for any unexpected bills.
Get recommendations for local groomers and call them to discuss puppy’s first grooming visit. This is usually just a get to know you visit to help puppy get used to the salon sights, smells, sounds. They may do a sanitary trim to keep potty areas clean in pup’s hair. Ask what vaccines are required. Some salons will require Kennel cough vaccine, bordatella, which we do not give before babies go home. They’re just so young and so small, we don’t want to overwhelm their immature immune system with too much at once. By the time they go home, they can get a bordatella vaccine by your veterinarian if you and your veterinarian deem it appropriate.Leash training can start inside the home or in the backyard. We prefer harnesses due to Shih Tzu’s delicate little tracheas. Use a high value treat like tiny pea size bites of plain chicken. Hold it up to get pup’s attention while calling their name as you hold the leash loose with slack. When they follow you, praise them and give them a treat. Continue moving farther and farther with them following you with the leash hanging loose, as you praise and reward with a bite of chicken.
They grow up so fast, enjoy this time with your precious little one and please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.