Do you want to bring a puppy into your home? If you’re a first-time puppy owner in Sonoma, California, and you’re unsure how to select the right one, you’re in the right place. At Findapup, we connect you with reputable dog breeders offering high-quality puppies. We’re here to share tips on choosing the perfect puppy. Read on to learn more.

First, decide what type of puppy you’re looking for. Do you prefer a small or large breed? Long-haired or short-haired? Purebred or mixed breed? Once you’ve found a breeder with a litter of adorable puppies, how do you choose the right one from the bunch? Several factors should influence your decision, including your home size, available yard space, time for play and exercise, and budget for food, healthcare, and other necessities.

Now, let’s look at how to select a healthy puppy from a litter.

Talk to the Breeder First

Start by interviewing the dog breeder about the puppy’s eating habits and bathroom routines. Find out if they’ve been eating dry dog food and if they’ve had any digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea. Ask whether they’ve received treatment for intestinal parasites, as puppies should be dewormed every two weeks starting at two weeks of age.

Observe the Puppies in Action

Request to see the puppies interacting. Are they playing together energetically, or does one seem withdrawn? If you’re seeking a calm companion, look for a more subdued puppy. For a more assertive pet, choose one that tends to lead interactions with its littermates. Remember, regardless of their temperament, puppies will need socialization and training to adapt well to people and other animals.

Assess Their Appearance

Take note of the puppies’ overall health. Do they have shiny, lustrous coats, or do their fur and skin appear dull or flaky? Look for any signs of skin irritation, wounds, or infected sores. Healthy puppies should have glossy coats without redness or hair loss.

Watch Their Movement

Observe how the puppies move. Do they run and walk freely on all four legs, or do they show signs of limping or discomfort? While puppies may have a clumsy gait, they should still bear weight evenly on all legs.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to one or two puppies, spend more time observing them individually. Separate them from their littermates and carefully evaluate their behavior and demeanor. Pay close attention to the following details:

  • Eyes: Ensure the puppy’s eyes are clear, without cloudiness, redness, drainage, or pus. Watch if the puppy seems to have difficulty seeing or is rubbing or squinting its eyes. Look for any signs of hair loss around the eyes.
  • Ears: Examine the puppy’s ears for cleanliness and absence of odor or discharge. The ear flaps should be covered with healthy, clean hair. Note if the puppy is frequently scratching both ears.
  • Nose: Check if the puppy’s nose is moist and soft. A slight clear discharge is normal, but discolored drainage or difficulty breathing may indicate an issue.
  • Head: Evaluate the top of the puppy’s head; a small soft spot is typical. If the soft area is larger than a dime, it could indicate open fontanels or gaps between the skull bones.
  • Mouth: Inspect the puppy’s mouth for moist, healthy pink gums and proper alignment of the top and bottom teeth. Note that certain breeds may have characteristic underbites.
  • Body: Examine the puppy’s belly for any protrusion at the belly button or signs of infection. This could suggest an umbilical hernia requiring surgical correction.
  • Skin: Check the puppy’s coat and skin for areas of hair loss, pus-filled bumps, pimples, redness, or flaking. These may indicate skin issues that require attention.

After assessing the physical attributes of the puppy, it’s essential to evaluate its personality.

While an accurate temperament test isn’t feasible when the puppy is young, you can make a general assessment of its personality. Is the puppy interested in interacting with you? Engage in play to observe its reactions.

Typically, puppies enjoy sniffing or nudging your hand and respond positively to your touch or pets. Pay attention to how the puppy behaves around people. Does it approach them willingly or shy away and hide?

Observe if the puppy willingly rolls onto its back for a belly rub, or if it remains in the same position. Resistance to rolling onto their back may indicate an independent personality. Avoid forcing the puppy into uncomfortable positions, as this can cause stress.

When Should You Bring Your Puppy to See the Veterinarian?

Upon acquiring a new puppy, it’s crucial to schedule a visit to the veterinarian’s clinic for a pre-purchase exam promptly. Despite having purchased the puppy, this term is termed “pre-purchase” because most reputable breeders offer a probationary period, typically lasting three days before finalizing the agreement. Therefore, scheduling a veterinarian appointment for the new puppy on the same day of acquisition allows for the identification of any existing issues.

During the initial checkup, the veterinarian will conduct further examinations, including listening to the puppy’s heart, inspecting its eyes and ears, assessing its teeth and gums, palpating its abdomen and lymph nodes, checking for possible hernias or open fontanels, and observing for fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites.

Additionally, the veterinarian may need to update immunizations and apply parasite preventatives to the puppy to safeguard against heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas, or ticks.

What Should You Do When You Bring Home Your Puppy?

Firstly, bring along a clean towel to rub the mother dog and its litter mates, allowing the puppy to familiarize itself with their scent, thus easing its transition to your home. Upon entering your home with the puppy, let it explore its new environment. Encourage it to roam around, sniff, and investigate.

Spend quality time with your new companion, offering hugs and reassurance, and introduce it to new toys to foster bonding. Additionally, equip the puppy with a collar and leash for walks, facilitating its adjustment to outdoor bathroom routines. During the initial weeks, consider using potty pads as well.

If you’re seeking a healthy puppy in Sonoma, California, trust Findapup. We connect you with reliable dog breeders to find the perfect puppy that suits your lifestyle. For any inquiries about our services, feel free to reach out to us at +15186571114 or via email at Don’t hesitate! Choose Findapup for all your healthy puppy needs. Contact us today, and we’ll gladly assist you with your inquiries.