Be Prepared for Homecoming!

Below is a "check" list of what you should have on hand before your new baby comes home, however, any information you obtain from this site, ask my opinion or assistance on feeding or health related issues, it should NOT be used in lieu of your veterinarian's advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Have an appointment for a well check set up for the day or day after you receive your puppy or your contract/warranty is void.  Also, it's good for your vet to know you have a new family member coming and if he's not familiar with the special needs of Great Danes, then ask him to go to the following web site and research the drugs Danes are allergic to, the special needs they have when surgery is required, etc.  And it'd be a good idea for you to look it over and bookmark it to refer back to as well!

Have someone lined up to be your babysitter should you need one for vacations, illnesses (yourself) or family crisis.  Shortly after you get your baby have that person come over and get acquainted the puppy and have them spend time with you and your baby on a regular basis so the puppy gets to know them well and there'd be no stress if it ever needs to be left with that person overnight or longer.

I prefer to have someone come to my home and "baby sit" since I have more than one than to board my Danes out, especially if it's going to be overnight.  I hear on the news at different times of boarding places and vet clinics that board catching on fire and all the animals dying and it just makes me too nervous to even think of leaving them somewhere unattended overnight!!  That's another reason I have Dane size doggy doors in my home so that, God forbid, it ever catch on fire I know all my babies can get out safely!


During the flight, or trip home if driving, your baby may potty in the kennel due to nerves and you will need the following to clean him/her up.
Sissors or a Knife:  If your puppy is being shipped you will need one of these instruments because I plastic wire tie the kennel together, including the door, so if it's accidentally dropped at the airport it will not come apart.
Bottled Water: 
To pour onto wash cloth to wipe puppy & kennel down; then use clean bath towel to put inside kennel for puppy to lay on for remainder of trip home.
Paper Towels:  To clean out kennel with first in case puppy soiled it.  Although most all my puppies are crate trained by the time they leave for their new homes, nerves will/can cause them to have accidents during the trip home and for a few days afterwards.
Old Towel & Wash Cloths: 
To clean/wipe down kennel if soiled by puppy during flight/trip home.
Hand Sanitizer:  Put a little on a wash rag and lightly wipe over puppy after first wiping down with damp wash cloth.
Small Plastic Garbage Bag:  To temporarily dispose of all dirty items until you get home.
Puppy Food:  When you get home get your puppy settled into his kennel for about an hour just so it's nerves and equilibrium can settle down.  Also, be sure to have food and water in his kennel so it knows this is it's new "safety" zone.
Ride Home:  If your puppy whines or cries, donít punish him or be overly affectionate. The later will only reinforce the behavior. Pet him softly and let the situation diffuse itself. If your puppy gets too noisy or unruly, set him in the floor at your feet. This area is den-like and the vibrations from the road may soothe him.

Do not stop at any public areas that are frequented by other dogs. Until heís had his full series of  vaccinations, your puppy is susceptible to numerous diseases such as parvo!!!  We actually carry our puppies into the vet clinic and do not put them down anywhere but on the sanitized table once we get into the room.  Think about it.... what goes to vet clinics 90% of the time?.... sick animals!!


Paper Towels and Old Rags 
To clean up the "accidents" your new puppy will have around the house and in it's kennel.

Cotten Balls 
To clean ears.

Grooming Supplies 
1.  Nail clippers and emery board or dremmel to keep nails trimmed and smooth.
2.  Blood Stop Powder in case you clip a nail too short. (Don't feel bad as it can happen to the best of us.)
3.  Toothbrush Kit
4.  Shampoo & Conditioner
5.  Ear Wash Solution

Note the "safety shield" so you don't clip them too short!
Found at most pet stores.

Hydrogen Peroxide 
To induce vomiting if necessary.

100% Pure Canned Pumpkin (from the baking isle of your grocery store)
Pumpkin is a good source of fiber. When puppy has diarrhea or constipation, a tablespoon or two with every meal for several days should help alleviate symptoms. Freeze excess in ice cube tray.

Baby Gate(s)
To keep them going into certain areas of the house for whatever reason I may have.  You can try baby supply stores - generally more choices and cheaper than pet stores, however, beware that horizontal bars provide a foot-hold for climbing puppies.  Also consider spacing between bars, as some times it is large enough for little puppies to get their heads caught. 

I actually buy an "exercise pen" and take it apart using the panels for different areas of the house.  I like these better than the baby gates because when I lay them sideways they are not too tall for me to walk over and they are not wooden which means the puppies can't chew them up!  I simply screw "eye hooks" into the door frame and attach them with double hooks like I hang the feeders with, only smaller.

Large enough for an adult Dane..... why buy numerous beds to match puppy's growth?  Just buy one to fit the end result.


Misc. Supplies
1.  Nature's Miracle (gallon size) or similar stain/odor neutralizer.
2.  Bitter Apple (bitter taste deters dogs from biting, licking, and chewing).
3.  A puppy training book.
4.  Appropriate sized doggy sweater if it's fall/winter when your puppy comes home.


Food, Treats, Water 
Have a storage bin for the food, a small bag of food of what we have the puppy on and what you will be switching your puppy over to and food and water bowls.

The first 3 days feed -- 3 parts KMC food to 1 part New food,
Days 4, 5 and 6 feed -- half and half,
Days 7, 8 and 9 feed --  1 part KMC food to 3 parts NEW food.
Day 10 feed --  New food only

Doing it slowly like this gives their stomach and intestines over a week to get use to new food so their is no scours or vomiting from upset stomach!


We use the following to start a puppy out with so that it can be raised as the puppy grows.  When they are puppies I like to feed them in their kennel so they relate something "nice/possitive" about going into their kennel.  Then once they get to about 4 months of age we switch them to a galvanized pail as they are very easy to clean and keep all the food "in" the feeder.

The treats are to be used when training your puppy for praise, commands and/or tricks.


IMPORTANT:  Food and Water dishes are to always be at puppy's chest level being raised as it grows!! This helps to prevent bloat!  Also, keep puppy/dog quiet (no playing or hard exercise) for at least 40 minutes after eating, again to prevent bloat!  Puppies are taken outside to potty right after eating & I let them have a drink of water and do their business.   I always use the same door so they learn which door to go to to "ask" to go outside to potty.  If you take them outside right after eating they learn to go right away and not "dilly dally" around.  Following these simple rules you should not have a problem with house training or bloat; ignore them and you'll wish you hadn't!  For tips on crate training  



Have these on hand so the puppy won't miss any servings because we start all our puppies on them at 7 wks of age.

Nzymes Antioxidant Treats
Nzymes Ox-E-Drops
4-N-1 Probotics


Crate/Kennel/Doggy Door 
We recommend buying this just one time so we suggest a DANE size wire kennel because if you buy one "as needed" according to size.... you'll end up spending more than what the adult kennel costs to begin with. 

ALL puppies should be crate/kenneled at different times so should they ever become ill or have surgery and need to be kept quiet/still they will already be use to a kennel.  If your puppy has never been kenneled and you need to do so when it is sick or had surgery, it could hurt itself trying to get out or the stress alone will make matters much worse!  For tips on crate training  

We buy our Dane size kennels by Midwest Homes for Pets.  The are actually large enough for two medium sized Danes or one 200 pound male!!    Model/Series:  1154U.  For a list of distributors    or do a search on EBay and you might be able to find a deal on one like we did!

If you prefer to use a doggy door (this works well for those with crazy work schedules) we suggest buying one just one time and biting the bullet and buying a Great Dane size one.  Some people try to save money and buy a medium size door for their Dane to "crawl" through, however, in doing this every day, their Danes will develop lower back and joint problems.

We purchase our Dane size doggy doors from Moorepet.   to see the door mount one (see bottom of page, Behemonth.)  The dual flap ones are great if you get a lot of wind and/or rain in your area.  Here is the link if you need a wall mount one   (see bottom of page, Behemonth.)

If you're not going to use a doggy door, hang a little bell by the back door and teach puppy to ring it to go outside to potty.  You can hang a larger bell (to hear better from inside the house) to teach puppy to ring when it wants back inside.  Bells used for crafts come in a variety of colors and work well for this.


Potty Supplies
We supply collars for our puppies but you will need to get a leash to take your puppy outside to potty.  To keep our potty areas clean we use a scoop and paddle.  The red scoop (horse feed scoop) we get at our local feed store or you can find them at some Wal-Marts as an ice scooper and the paddle (5" puddy knife) is from any hardward store.  Both are easy to rinse clean after each use and I simply hang them on the back fence. 

You can dispose of the "deposits" in your normal manner.  Since we live on a ranch I put mine into a metal trash can, then twice a week I add water, slosh it around and pour into my flower beds as fertilizer.  It smells a bit at first but my blooms have increased in size by 3 times!!  Back when I use to grow roses, the blooms that use to be the size of a small tea cup saucer were the size of a salad plate!  If you research it, many business now even use packaged human waste as fertilizer they buy from a garden center or Home Depot.  We did one year when we lived in a neighborhood and were constantly getting yard of the month!



Phone Book or Internet
Start shopping for Obedience classes in your area.  This is a must for any Great Dane owner!!  Yes, it may be "cute" to have your puppy jump up on you to greet you when you come home, however, it will not be cute when it is half grown and weighs 140+ pounds!!




Harmful  Toys

Just because a toy is marketed for dogs, does NOT mean itís safe for them.
There are a lot of companies out there making a fortune
on toys that can harm your beloved family member!

Google or Bing "dangerous dog toys" if you don't believe me.


Flossy Chews  

These can KILL your beloved pet!    I learned that pieces went into the stomach and lodged there blocking everything up.  My vet said they could also pass through to the intestine, where some of the pieces could lodge and get twisted up in the intestine, completely cutting through and severing the intestine.  So, if you ever see your dog chewing on rope toys and pulling the little strings off... TAKE IT AWAY!!

Four Paws Pimple Ball w/Bell  

These can kill your beloved pet! 

Pig/Cow Ears, Animal Hooves  

Dried pig and cow ears and hooves have many of the same dangers as rawhide. Primarily, you don't want your dog to break off and swallow small jagged pieces that could damage his insides!

Plush Toys  

These are sold in pet stores just like you see them in kiddie stores. Hello? Itís a dog, not a child. Fido doesnít know heís supposed to cuddle with the teddy bear Ė and when heís feeling frisky, guess what? Mr. Teddy will be headless, armless and legless before you know it. Do you want to risk him swallowing any of that? Do you want him swallowing the stuffing?  The stuffing could cause blockage... or the squeaker itself!

Rawhide Chews  

I have learned over the years that rawhide dog chews do not break down in the stomach and/or intestines as well as pork hide chews. Rawhide is not as digestible as pork hide. Dogs will tend to chew on the rawhide until it becomes soft and can swallow a piece much larger than can easily be passed. Since rawhide is more difficult to digest, it could cause an obstruction. 

Dogs see rawhide (which come in bones, rolls, bows, braids, candy canes, etc...) as a food item. As they consume the pieces of the hide, these pieces are NOT digestible, and they end up absorbing stomach fluids and swelling in the stomach and intestine, in many cases causing a blockage that can only be removed through surgery.

Rawhides get stuck in the stomach and sometimes in the esophagus because they are so rigid.  They are one of the most common objects extracted from dogs.  A cow hoof can be chomped in half and swallowed to prevent another dog from getting it.

Another issue with rawhide is that in many instances the manufacturer treats the hide with formaldehyde, or similar treatment, as a preservative. Do you really want your dog to consume this? I don't think so.

There is never a guarantee that an accident wonít happen but, should your dog swallow a large piece of pork hide, the chances are better that the chew will be digested if it is pork hide versus rawhide. They can look exactly the same so be careful Ė read the label closely. Rawhide that is not made in North America can also contain chemical residues that can be harmful to your dog's health.  When the size of the rawhide gets small enough that he can put the entire piece in his mouth, it is time to throw it away in order to avoid accidental ingestion.

Tennis Balls  

No, thatís not a joke. For starters, large breed dogs can swallow them Ė which can lead to a painful death. Why would they swallow it? Youíd have to ask a dog that question. Just know that some do, and some die. Need another reason to avoid them? A German study was done that suggests the glue used in tennis balls is very damaging to a dogís tooth enamel. Not to mention, a dog can chew through a tennis ball pretty easily. Do you want to risk them swallowing the pieces? I donít think you do.

Tug Toys  

These specifically encourage a dog to vie for dominance. This can be a problem if your dog already has aggression issues. Donít engage in these games with your dog, it may seem like fun to you, but every time your dog gets the toy away (whether you let him or not) he is being told heís the more dominant. And he should never think heís more dominant than his owner, it will only lead to problems. If youíre currently having issues like this, get rid of that toy, and you will probably get rid of some of that aggression as well.


If you see your dog vomiting or having difficulty going potty you should take it to the vet asap.  Early diagnosis can save your dogs life.





We are not licensed vets, nor are we trying to practice medicine without a license, nor are we advising you on how to take care,  treat, or work/handle your animals.  We're simply sharing with you procedures we do.   All advice on this website is for informational and entertainment purposes only.  If ever in doubt about the care or health of your animals see a licensed veterinarian immediately.  I do not sell or distribute any products I mention in my articles and feed programs. My comments, answers to your questions or any information in my articles is not to be used "in lieu of " veterinarian's advise, diagnosis, or treatment.

The presence of a link to any website here does not of itself indicate an endorsement or recommendation for the products, service, information that may be offered on those websites, although recommendations may be given in some cases.  Should you choose to follow any of the advice, it is solely at your own risk.  This is not intended to substitute for obtaining advice from appropriate sources and/or professional counseling.  We recommend you consult an appropriate professional, counselor, and/or a trusted advisor before taking any action based on this advice.

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