Preparing for your puppy to come home
Preparing for your puppy ahead of time will help the transition go smoothly. We suggest that you read all of the following topics to help you prepare for your puppy and get off to a great start.
Most of the following are linked to Amazon because they seem to have more supplies available currently. Prices vary on Amazon so please click on the link and view the various buying options available.
- We are now feeding our dogs Purina Pro Plan. All puppies are eating the Chicken and Rice formula. They have multiple varieties and some are formulated for puppies over one year of age as well as large breeds so I believe that it is easiest to just look at the picture on the bag. I recommend that you continue to feed your puppy this food at least until he has had time to adjust to his or her new home. They recently changed the bag so I have included pictures of the old and new bags. You want to look for the Chicken & Rice Puppy under 1 year (either with shreds or just kibble). You do NOT want the small or large breed formula. Once your little one has settled in you can switch to the Lamb or salmon formula if you would like.
I feel that it is important to feed a high-quality dog food. Another good dog food is Hills Science Diet. The only food that I would stress that you do not feed is Blue Buffalo. I have known of several instances where dogs on this food developed pancreatitis and had to be put to sleep. Please research dog foods before you switch. I also recommend having the probiotic fortiflora on hand in case your puppy has diarrhea or goes off food. I would suggest feeding it for the first week of coming home.
- Corgis tend to go through major shedding periods when the seasons change. They will need lots of combing during this time when they lose their undercoat. Feeding high-quality food and supplementing with fish oil can help. I feed one pump of either Grizzly or Terramax Pro fish oil daily to all of my dogs. When using a shedding comb, greyhound comb or undercoat rake, it often helps to mist your dog with water and get the fur damp before combing.
- We often get asked about what some of our dogs’ favorite toys are. Our dogs like toys that crinkle, have realistic fur and make a sound. As babies, we trade out toys every day so they have a different toy to play with each day. We trade out toys with our older dogs too so they do not get bored. When you bring out the toy again they often get very excited. I don’t like toys with lots of stuffing because some dogs tear them open and remove the stuffing. Please supervise your dog if they are playing with a stuffed toy to ensure that they do not eat the stuffing which could cause major problems and even require surgery. Interactive toys like Hide a Squirrel and Bob a Lot treat dispenser help keep your dog’s mind active.
- I prefer to buy toys online and not in stores where other dogs may have mouthed a toy. I would hate your puppy to get sick from a slimmed toy in a store. Here are a few of our dog’s favorites.
- Crates, beds, beds, bowls, pens and more
- Crates come in either a plastic form or a wire form. There are advantages to both. Plastic crates may be sturdier if you plan on containing your dog in a crate. When purchasing a plastic crate, I look for ones that are sturdier, bolt together and are around 28-30 inches long like a Petmate crate. The downside of a plastic crate is that some dogs will chew on them. Wire crates may have a divider that you can adjust so you can buy one crate that your puppy will grow into. If you choose a wire crate, I would look at buying one with heavy wires that have a divider so you can make it larger as your puppy grows. I like the Midwest wire crates. You probably need one that is around 30 inches long. They come with either one door or two doors. You may want to use a towel in the bottom of the crate while your puppy is young and change to a crate pad as they get older. Our puppies are used to sleeping on a crate pad in a wire crate with the doors open. Make sure to buy a pad that fits your crate and is machine washable.
- Beds – I have reports from many people who say their Corgi loves their donut bed. Corgis are chewers so if you use a stuffed bed make sure that they do NOT chew a hole in the bed where they can pull out the stuffing. Eating stuffing can lead to emergency surgery!
My dogs sleep on raised beds. The Kurunda beds are expensive but they last. The fabric is not exposed on the edges therefore dogs can not chew on it. We use the Kurunda bed with metal-covered corners for extra chew protection and 40 oz solid vinyl sleeping top. Our smaller dogs sleep on the Small (30 x 20) size while our larger dogs sleep on the medium (35 x 23) size. They last for years and you can replace the tops if needed.
- I prefer stainless steel bowls because they are so easy to clean. I wash all of our dog bowls in the dishwasher daily because I feed fish oil and I do not want it to stick on the bowls. They come with or without non-skid bottoms. I recommend a medium-sized bowl that holds approximately 2 quarts.
- If your puppy inhales his or her food without taking the time to chew you might consider a Slow Feeder bowl. Lick mats are great tools to help keep a puppy occupied while getting a bath or just keeping them occupied.
- Your puppy will be litter box trained and will be used to going to the bathroom outdoors. I use a 30×30 inch rabbit tray to hold litter. For litter, I purchase pelletized hardwood pellets or alfalfa pellets. Pine pellets used in horse stalls may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. A pelletized paper product called Second Nature is also a good option and may be less dusty than wood or alfalfa pellets. A Pen Set Up Guide will be included in the Buyers Resources section.
- I prefer washable pee pads. Puppies often think that the disposable pee pads are toys and shred them
- I also suggest Bell Training your puppy to alert you when they need to go out to the bathroom. You can purchase a bell that hangs from a doorknob or simply attach a piece of string to a bell and hang from a doorknob. A Bell Training Guide will be included in the Buyers Resources section.
- When it comes to collars, even though your puppy is microchipped it will need a collar with ID tags. ID tags that dangle often get hung on things and can get pulled off. For that reason, I like the slide on collar ID tags or collars that are personalized with your information. For standard collars, I like the Lupine or RC Pet brand collars. They are sturdy yet lightweight, washable, come in many colors and designs and can be adjusted 8-10 inches. My adult female dogs wear 3/4 inch Lupine collars that are 12-22 inches long. Lupine collars are guaranteed even if they are chewed. My adult males wear 1-inch wide Lupine collars that are 16-28 inches long. In the RC Pet collars, my dogs wear a 1 inch wide collar.
- Since Corgis’ heads are the same size or smaller than their neck and body it is super easy for them to pull out of a collar. If you plan on walking your dog I would suggest a harness. It may be best to try a harness on in the store and check for size. Your puppy will come with a standard 6-foot leash but you may also wish to buy a retractable leash. Puppies will be used to a harness like a voyager step in dog harness shown below. They will probably need an XXS to XS (Cat size harness) when you first get your puppy (contact Leslie for the current size they are wearing) but they will outgrow them fast therefore I would not spend a lot of money on the first harness that you purchase.
- If you are using the training videos provided in the Buyers Resource section, you will see a “Long Line” used. There are many available for under $10.
- If you plan on taking your Corgi swimming, make sure to get a doggie life vest.
- Your puppy is well on its way to being house trained.
- Some people will choose a litterbox due to their work schedule
- They have been trained to use a litter box, pee pad and grass.
- We suggest that you set up your puppy’s living area much like ours so that it makes it easier for your puppy to make the transition.
- Your puppy has been started with house training you you will have to complete the process as her or she gets older.
- I do not recommend washing your dog more than once a month unless they get into something nasty and smelly. Washing too often can dry out their skin. When washing an aide such as the Zoom Groom can help loosen hair. I always get asked what shampoo that we use on our puppies. We use Isle of Dogs Tearless Puppy Shampoo. They also offer options for adult dogs. I also like the Cowboy Magic products. To make brushing go easier, rub a dime size amount of Cowboy Magic detangler between your hands then rub through your dogs hair.
- For puppies, I recommend that Hartz Groomers Best Small Combo Brush and The Groomers Best Small Slicker Brush. Your puppies have been brushed with both types of brushes here.
- For adult dogs, I recommend daily brushing with a pin brush, rake or slicker. The hair coat can vary depending upon genetics, type of food fed and environment and sometimes one brush will work better on one
- After washing I recommend a greyhound comb or shedding comb with coarse and fine teeth to help remove dead hair.
- Corgis tend to go through major shedding periods when the seasons change. They will need lots of combing during this time when they lose their undercoat. Feeding a high-quality food and supplementing with salmon oil can help. When using a shedding comb, greyhound comb or undercoat rake, it often helps to mist your dog with water and get the fur damp before combing.
- It is important to trim your dogs nails. We trim puppies nails with human fingernail clippers. Adult dogs need their nails trimmed too. When dogs have long nails, pressure is exerted on the nail bed causing it to be painful when the dog walks much like wearing shoes that are too short. This can eventually cause the rotation of joints in the foot and make walking very painful for your dog.