Preparing for a new puppy

Getting a new puppy can be an exciting time in any home, but is also a huge responsibility. You have to make sure that you have the time and money to dedicate to your new pet.

Puppies can be excitable and full on additions to your home and training your new puppy requires time and patience, but it can also be very rewarding. It’s important to do your research to understand the commitment that comes with owning a dog.

Becoming a dog owner comes with the responsibility to ensure your puppy has the best start in its new home. There are many things to consider when you get your new puppy. To help make the process stress free, here are a few tips:

Register with a vet

Registering your puppy with a vet ensures it will receive the best care during their early stages. Regular check-ups help with the rest of your puppy’s development, making sure they receive the essential vaccinations. Be sure to get your puppy micro-chipped at the earliest opportunity. This is now mandatory and could be essential if your puppy ever escapes.

Puppy interaction

Although it’s important your puppy gets used to everyone in the family, during the development stage (when bones are developing and articular cartilage surfaces are fragile) all members of the family should be aware not to play too boisterously with them. Don’t let family members interact too much, the puppy has to get used to your routine and not get into bad habits.

Help settle them

To help settle your puppy into their new home, create designated eating and sleeping areas. Choose an appropriate and safe sleeping area, which has suitable bedding, in view of the family. Always make sure that your puppy has a fresh supply of water. Stair gates can be great to prevent your puppy from climbing the stairs and injuring themselves, as well as keeping them away from ‘out of bounds’ areas around the home.

Puppy diet

Your new puppy will probably eat 3-4 times a day, but you could reduce this to two to fit with your daily routine. If unsure, you should consult your vet to find out what is best for your particular breed of dog. Puppy food is higher in protein and enriched with vitamins, minerals and fats, which are essential for the growth of your new puppy.

Training

Whether it’s toilet or behavioural training, it’s vital that you start this as soon as you bring your new puppy home. Building up a routine with your puppy will help them to get used to how they should behave. When toilet training, be sure to take your puppy outside frequently during the day, as soon as they wake-up and after meals. Socialising can be an important part of training. This can include, introducing your new puppy to other people, as well as other dogs.

Leaving your puppy alone

Although it’s not advised to leave dogs alone for more than four hours, sometimes this cannot be helped. If possible ask someone to pop in and check on them while you are out. If you
have to leave them, be sure to leave plenty of toys so they don’t get bored, as this could lead to unruly behaviour. Getting them used to this early could also prevent bad behaviour as they get older.

Exercise

It is recommended that you wait one to two weeks before starting to walk them. This ensures that they have had their last vaccination booster. In the early stages, long walks or runs should
be avoided. Mild exercise routines together with a balanced healthy diet are advised as part of a sensible and responsible way to care for your pet as they begin their lives with you.