So, you’ve found your perfect Dachshund puppy, you’ve been patiently watching them grown until they are 8 weeks old. Now the time to welcome them to your home is fast approaching. This article will teach you how to prepare for a dachshund puppy. Bringing a puppy home is so exciting, but it can fast become overwhelming if you’re not fully prepared.
It is important to have a solid plan in place and have your whole household on board before the puppy arrives. By having a plan it will help to minimise any stress you may feel and also help the puppy as you will be consistent from the start.
If you haven’t browsed it already, read my article on the ‘top 10 must haves for a dachshund puppy’ this will help you to purchase the basics before the puppy arrives.
How to prepare for a Dachshund Puppy
1. Book in puppy vaccinations
Book in your Dachshund puppy for their vaccination course. Breeders have to microchip puppies before they go to their new home, however they do not need to start the vaccinations.
Vaccinations is one of the most important things to do in the first week of bringing your Dachshund puppy home, some vets recommend waiting a week so your puppy is more settled at home. Vaccinations are important to help your puppy and other dogs remain free from any infectious diseases, they are typically vaccinated at either to ten weeks of age with the second dose given two weeks later.
The typical vaccinations given protect against; canine distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis and parainfluenza. There is also a vaccine for Kennel cough if you are planning on putting your Dachshund in kennels. Speak with your chosen veterinarian regarding the best vaccinations for your dachshund puppy.
2. Prepare a safe play area for the puppy
Your Dachshund puppy will naturally want to chew everything, so it is important to create a safe space for them to play in.
Firstly set up a crate and play pen area, with blankets and toys for them to play with, having this ready from the start will help get them used to their own area for when you start building up leaving them alone for short periods of time.
Secondly, move everything that you do not want chewed off of the floor, including cables and wires. If you are going to allow your Dachshund puppy onto your sofa or your bed, get a ramp to help protect their backs when climbing on and off the sofa or bed. A ramp is also a good idea if you have steps in your garden.
Thirdly, ensure your garden is a secure space free from potential dangers. Check there are no gaps in fencing that your puppy may be able to squeeze out of, check any plants you have are not toxic to dogs, ensure there are no slug pellets or rat poison that your pup may ingest. Dachshund puppies are incredibly small, which makes them easy targets for foxes or large birds, always supervise your Dachshund puppy in the garden to ensure maximum safety.
3. Have a toilet training plan ready
Toilet training is the one thing all new puppy owners want to achieve quickly, but it is important not to realise this takes time. Set out a clear action plan and stick to it. Some people opt to use puppy pads to start with and then introduce the garden, but some just go straight for the garden.
Dachshund puppies tend to get into a routine with needing the toilet so make a note of your Dachshunds toilet habits and prepare to go outside before they usually go. The easiest place to start is taking them outside after every meal and after every time they wake from a nap. If you notice your puppy sniffing around then take them outside.
Use rewards when they wee and poo outside and they will start to learn when they go outside they will be rewarded. It is important not to scold your puppy if they mess inside the house, they will associate that going to the toilet is bad not that inside the house is bad.
Remember toilet training takes time, be prepared for accidents in the house and preserve with the rewards when they go outside.
At night time, using a crate will encourage them not to mess where they sleep, however remember a puppy can usually only hold their bladder for one hour for every month of age, so your 8 week old puppy can only hold their bladder for two hours. Set an alarm to wake up and take your puppy outside for toilet breaks in the night.
4. Get a good carpet cleaner
On the subject of toilet training its also good to prepare for the accidents that will happen inside the house. Get a good carpet cleaner and a pet odour neutraliser, be removing the strong smell of urine it will help prevent your puppy from re-scenting the carpet.
5. Set a daily routine
Dachshunds love consistency, so setting a routine from day one will help them settle into their new environment. Start by setting meal times, younger puppies will need more regular meal times, so have at least three meals at the start. Try to make dinner time before 7pm, this will allow your puppy enough time to go to the toilet before bed time.
Set training time aside for your puppy. Puppies brains are like sponges and training provides excellent mental stimulation, while also building confidence and a good relationship with you and your dachshund puppy. Start with shorter training sessions of around 10 minutes at a time and do this a few times a day, by doing so your puppy will remain engaged for the duration.
6. Prepare for the car journey home
The first experience your puppy will have with you is the car journey home, so it is important to prepare for it regardless of how long or short the travel time is. You are taking the puppy away from everything he or she has ever known, so this can be scary for your new puppy. Ask the breeder for a blanket that smells of the mum and the littermates to help them adjust to you and your new smell.
In the car take a blanket, a water bottle and some tissues, puppies are renowned for getting travel sick, so account for the possibility of this happening to you. If you have a long way to travel and need a break from your car, remember not to put your puppy down on the grass or let them walk around if they have not been completely vaccinated.
7. Get great pet insurance
This is the most important thing to prepare for your Dachshund puppy, as you will know Dachshunds can experience specific health issues that can be expensive to treat, check out my Dachshund health problems article for a recap if needed.
Pet insurance is not something where just the cheapest option will do, you must make sure the annual pay-out amount is at least £7000 and that each individual condition does not have a low limit. One of the top insurers for Dachshunds is called Bought-by-Many, they have an annual claim limit of £15,000 and there is no limit per individual treatment. If you purchase through this link you will receive a £20 amazon voucher.
There are other good insurers out there so make sure you compare and find the best one for you.
8. Book onto a puppy class
Whether this is your first ever puppy or your fifth, puppy classes are an excellent way to teach your puppy socialisation skills, with new dogs, new people and new environments. The best way to find a good puppy class is through local recommendations, ask friends and family to see who they would recommend, or look on Dachshund Facebook groups for puppy trainers in your local area.
Puppy classes can get book up way in advance, so have your first session pre-booked before you pick up your puppy.
9. Socialise puppy with family members
Giving your Dachshund puppy exposure to new people will help build their confidence and give them those all important socialisation skills. Start by introducing one or two new family members at a time, remember you do not want to overwhelm your Dachshund puppy and create fear. Ask new family members to start by just chucking treats on the floor near to the puppy, when they feel comfortable the puppy may start to slowly come over, let them sniff about until they are happy and progress from there.
Helping your puppy to trust other family members is also great for you as owners. Dachshund puppies are hard work and if ever you need a break or have plans, you can feel confident that your Dachshund puppy will be comfortable and happy alone with your family or friends.
10. Prepare for lack of sleep
Finally, the first few nights with your new Dachshund puppy can be tough, so it is important to plan for this. If possible, try to collect your new puppy as early in the day as you can, this will give them more time to start trusting you and become used to their new surroundings before night time.
Your puppy will feel anxious at first, they have just been taken from everything they know and they probably have never had to sleep alone before, so this is something they will have to get used to in time. Start by keeping their bed as close to you as possible, help them to settle off to sleep, if they cry just pop your hand in their bed so they know they aren’t alone, try not to pick up and cuddle them too much if they cry, this could reinforce that crying equals cuddles. Never leave you puppy alone at night to start with, and please never leave them to ‘cry it out’, to them, they have just been placed in a new environment where they know and trust no one, then they are shut in a dark room and no one responds to their distress.
Set an alarm for every two to three hours to take them out for toilet breaks, try to keep these breaks as boring as possible, so no cuddles or talking, just pop them outside and then back in their bed when they are finished. Once your puppy is more settled into their bed time routine, you can slowly start to move their bed away from yours, try not to rush this process otherwise you will undo all the hard work you have done.
Helping a puppy to settle at night seems like a longer process, but by using this method you are building trust in your puppy and will help to produce a confident and happy Dachshund, who knows they can rely on you.
Hopefully this guide on how to prepare for a Dachshund puppy will give you confidence upon the arrival of your Dachshund puppy. Check out my post on must haves for a Dachshund puppy if you need any ideas on what to buy. The most important thing is to provide lots of love and patience to your new puppy as they settle into their new home.