Bringing Puppy Home


Basic Supplies:

  • 12″ collar
  • Light weight leash
  • Food/water bowls

Kennel Training:

  • I’d suggest two kennel sizes:  medium (30″) and large (42″)
    • As an adult your dog will need a 42″ kennel, but as a puppy that kennel seems monstrous (even with the space divider)
    • I’d strongly suggest purchasing a medium size kennel also to use for the first few months


  • ADAPTIL Travel
    • I’d HIGHLY recommend purchasing the “travel” spray bottle and using it in the following manner for kennel training:
    • Spray bed inside kennel about 5-10 minutes before you intend to kennel the puppy.  Then simply kennel the puppy.
    • My reasoning for using the spray instead of the plug in, is to train the puppy that the kennel is a nice, calm, safe spot.  Yes, the plug in would be great for a large space (my vet uses it at her practice), but by using the spray only in the kennel, the puppy learns to be calm in his/her kennel.
    • PERSONAL EXPERIENCE STORY:  When we picked up 8 wk old Iris near the OH/PA border, we put her in her bed in the back seat with Sarah sitting next to her.  Before we even got out of the breeder’s long driveway, Iris was crying like crazy.  I thought to myself, “ugh – this is going to be a looooong trip”.  But then I remembered we had Adaptil.  We stopped at the end of the driveway, took Iris out, sprayed a few spritzes, gagged (and aired out the car – it was strong), put Iris back in and she instantly curled up and went to sleep.  I sprayed a few spritzes on her bed inside her kennel anytime I had to kennel her (in the hotel room, in the car while we attended Matt’s basketball games – don’t worry, it was November, temps were fine).  By the time we made it home a week later, she loved her kennel and knew it to be a calm environment.  ADAPTIL was a game changer for us.



1st choice: BEST OPTION

  • I recommend a fresh food, raw diet. Figuring out, sourcing, balancing a raw food diet yourself can be overwhelming and scary. I totally get it, that’s why I recommend purchasing a commercially prepared, balanced food. Start there. Then as your dog gets bigger and food needs increase, your education increases, if you want to explore other options (like DIY) then contact me and I can point you in the right direction.
    • TOP BRANDS:  Steve’s Real Food, Primal, Bones & Co, VivaRaw.
  • When evaluating a raw food product, if you see more than two of the following high glycemic ingredients within the top five ingredients, then that is not the best food for your pup:  POTATOES, SWEET POTATOES, PEAS (or any form of peas – pea starch, etc), CARROTS, CORN.
  • I will send home some of the same raw food I will be feeding your pup.  I use a product called Titan Red from Ross Wells.  It runs approximately $2/pound. There is a co-op Facebook group called Northern IL Raw Feeders that places bimonthly orders, or you can order from
  • The product is fully balanced for all life stages, meaning it already has the correct portions of meat, bone, organ in it.  Just thaw, portion and feed. It’s truly that simple.

2nd choice: BETTER OPTION

  • If you cannot afford or are unwilling to feed a fresh food, raw diet.
    • TOP KIBBLE BRANDS:  Earthborn Venture (rabbit), TLC, Farmina N&D Pumpkin Lamb/Blueberry
    • WORST BRANDS: Science Diet, Royal Canin, Eukanuba, IAMS, Purina. These will NOT meeting your dog’s nutritional needs and will likely result in chronic, degenerative diseases.
  • Please head to the page titled “Nutrition” under “Resources” on this site, watch all three videos under “Kibble”.
  • How to evaluate kibble:  1st – determine the carb content of the food.  It’s not listed on the package, you need to add a few things and subtract them from 100.
    • ADD:  protein, fat, fiber, moisture and ash (if ash isn’t listed use 6%, that’s the average)
    • SUBTRACT: that above number from 100
    • EQUALS:  this equals the carb content.  Goal:  under 30% carb, anything above 30% is absolutely not the best food for your dog.
  • Highly processed:  keep in mind kibble is still a highly processed food,  We don’t feed our kids a highly-processed diet, we feed fresh, real food.  Same for us adults.  Same for your dog.  Your dog will not thrive on a highly processed diet.  He/she will eventually have health challenges.  The most common is itchiness.
  • My recommendations for regular additions to the diet:
    • Homemade kefir (see my Kefir page for more info – I have grains I will give you so you can make your own.  My adult dogs get approximately 2 Tbsp of fresh kefir every day.)

DOG TREATS: We add the following things to our dogs’ diet and also use these items as treats instead of purchasing dog treats (which are typically unhealthy and add unnecessary calories).

3rd Choice: WORST OPTION

  • Honestly, the worst thing you can do for your dog is feed kibble and never give him/her fresh food. Marketing folks have duped us into thinking that a highly processed, yet CONVENIENT bag of dog food is enough nutrients for your dog to live a long, healthy life. That is not true. Think about how ridiculous that sounds if talking about your child….if your pediatrician said you can feed a bag of dried, hard pellet of “people food” to your child, never feed fresh food, and they will be great and healthy….you’d find a new doc.
  • I encourage you to become educated and then make your choice.  Watch the videos on this website under “kibble” and “fresh whole food”.
  • I am ALWAYS here to point you in the right direction and give you resources.  Ultimately this pup is yours and all I can do is encourage you to become educated.  But ultimately the choice of what to feed is yours.


Your puppy has been on this supplement since they were weaned.  I HIGHLY recommend, if not require, that you purchase one bottle of the following:  NuVet Plus wafers.

Use this link to purchase: 

Dosage is one wafer per day.  I suggest putting this on autoship.  This is THE ONE THING that will help your pet have a strong immune system more than anything else you can do.  If they have a strong immune system, he/she can fight off little bugs they get from eating icky stuff, drinking from icky water sources and also have a strong immune system to help them out if they are not getting adequate nutrition from their diet.

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