step 2: preparing for your puppy
FOOD: Having your food picked out and ready for your puppy is advised. We start them on Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy while they are here, and strongly advise you purchasing at least one bag of this so that you aren't switching feed on them abruptly with all the other changes being made. If you are driving to pick up your puppy, we can have a 40 lb bag available for you for $43. If your puppy will be flying, a 40 lb bag of food is obviously not an option! They will travel with a small baggie of food, but we ask that you purchase a bag of Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy to have ready when they arrive home. If you choose to switch their food going forward, our recommendation is a PUPPY food that 1) has meat as the first ingredient, and 2) does not contain corn, wheat, or soy. Your puppy should remain on puppy food fed according to the package instructions for their age/weight until they are done growing. And remember that with all of this, your puppy will need food and water bowls! We find stainless to be the best as they are non-porous, can be washed out easily, and can't be chewed up. :) You will also want to add to your list some training treats. Look for ones without sugar! We often recommend using your pup's NuVet vitamin wafers (read below for more info on that) or just purchasing a small bag of a DIFFERENT high quality food (it won't be a treat if it's what they eat all the time!) and using pieces of it in training or for treats.
GROOMING: Although your puppy will not need heavy grooming right away, this does need to be on your mind! Wavy and curly coated dogs need to be brushed regularly to ensure that their coat doesn't get matted. It is much easier to work on the tangles regularly than it is to attempt to clip mats out! Their are a wide variety of brushes available at a reasonable price from your local pet supply store, or from online retailers. We don't recommend starting with anything very expensive, as it often takes several tries to find exactly what is comfortable for you and your dog!
You will want to have shampoo and conditioner available for your puppy right away. Like babies and toddlers-----puppies are GREAT at finding messes, even when you wouldn't think there was one to be found! :) Look for one with ingredients where you can pronounce the names on the list. You don't want anything too harsh or drying on that soft puppy hair and skin! Something with oatmeal is great for the skin as well. We recommend following up with a conditioner as it does help the coat stay smooth and manageable for longer. The NuVet company we work with for vitamins has a couple of great options you can have shipped with your pup's wafers.
In time, you will also need to purchase nail trimmers for your puppy----and will probably want to have Styptic Powder on hand in case you trim too closely as you learn. If you haven't trimmed a dogs nails before, we recommend taking your new trimmers with you to the vet where they should be happy to show you how! Again, this is something that can be purchased very reasonably at a pet supply store or from an online retailer like Amazon. In fact, I believe the pair we currently have was less than $7 shipped to our house! Again, I wouldn't advise anything too pricey, especially at first. You will learn what you like, and don't like, and can invest in something more quality in the future if you choose.
You will also need to decide in time if you are going to take your puppy to a groomer, or groom at home yourself, and either find a groomer you trust or purchase the necessary supplies. Although Cockapoos do not require heavy grooming, it is helpful to begin exposing puppy at a young age so that they can get used to it and be a more enjoyable experience.....for them and the one doing the grooming! :)
VITAMINS: We very highly recommend supplementing your puppy with a simple, once daily vitamin. Many on the market are either very expensive or do not have ingredients that your dog can actually absorb. The brand we recommend is NuVet. NuVet Plus K-9 Wafers have an ingredients list of: Blue Green Algae, Brewer’s Yeast, Cat’s Claw, Evening Primrose Oil, Shark Cartilage, Oyster Shell, Alpha Amylase, Beta Carotene, Pine Bark, Papain, L Methionine, Alfalfa, Chicken Liver, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Amino Acids (Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Cystine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine, Arginine, Histidine, Alanine, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Glycine).
Every dog on our farm gets a wafer daily, and your puppy will be on it from birth through his mothers milk. Then, when he is old enough, through taking 1/2 of a tablet daily himself. Even though we use a quality food, the difference we see when our dogs are on NuVet is amazing! We especially recommend making sure your puppy stays on his vitamin during transition to your home as it is a time of such change and stress. They have just weaned, meaning they are having to really use their own immune system now instead of what is provided to them in Mom's milk, and they are going to leave their littermates and travel to a new environment with new people and new germs. In this time, they also begin receiving their vaccines you select, which are an extra tax to the system. All of this adds up to really stress an already immature immune system!
We believe so strongly in using this supplement, that we recommend NuVet wafers are stocked in the home of every puppy we send home. NuVet is only available through certain breeders and pet professionals, and you will need an order code first time you purchase. Purchase can be made at www.nuvet.com/52720, or by calling 800-474-7044 and using order code 52720. We recommend looking into their AutoShip option as it does save 15%! We highly recommend having a bottle at home ready for your puppy when they come home!