The arrival of a new puppy is an exciting event, and the inevitable change in household routine will go much smoother if you’re well-prepared for the arrival of your Newfoundland newcomer. The following items and discussions should help you to get ready – or, if your puppy is already at home, to make sure you’ve covered all the bases. (If you’re not new to dog ownership, some of what’s discussed below will be familiar, but please read through the list anyway, as many of its suggestions are Newf specific. Newfoundlands’ size and breed characteristics mea n that what works for a Lab or a boxer won’t necessarily fill the bill now, or at least not when your new member of the family is full-grown.)
VETERINARIANS AND IDENTIFICATION
If you’re not new to dog ownership, you’ll probably already have a good working relationship with a local veterinarian. If not, this will be something to begin working on as soon as possible. Talk with dog-owning friends, neighbors, and co-workers to help narrow your choices, and consider visiting local animal hospitals.
Keep in mind that veterinary costs for a Newfoundland will be higher than for a smaller dog; Newfs will need larger doses of just about everything, so trips to the vet, and many prescribed treatments, are going to cost more. Veterinary insurance has become popular in the last few years, and may be something you’ll want to look into.
Once you do find a vet and, after taking your puppy for his first visit you find that you’re very comfortable with the vet, her staff, her office, and her professionalism, talk to her about permanent identification for your Newf. Microchips are widely used, though you must be sure to send in any registration paperwork for this to give your dog a chance to return home should he wander off. Tattoos are another alternative. Talk with your vet and make the choice you’re comfortable with, but don’t overlook this opportunity to create a “safety net” for your Newf should the need arise.
Vaccinations will an important topic of conversation when your puppy makes his first vet visit, and your vet will explain the vaccination schedule and the options and requirements for vaccines in your area. (This might also be a good time to ask about local license requirements.) If you’re interested in contributing a sample of your dog’s DNA to the Canine Health Information Center’s ongoing project to research inherited disease in dogs, ask your vet; you can get more information on this important program at the DNA submission page of the Canine Health Information Center.