So you’re getting a new puppy. You’re excited! But remember, puppies are a full-time responsibility and need lots of looking after in their early days.
Here are some top tips to help you on your way.
Puppy proof your home
Set aside an area where your puppy will live, and remove anything that can harm them or they can damage, as puppies love to chew! This area should include a bed and blanket for them to sleep in and stimulating toys to play with. You will also need food and water bowls, and a crate so your puppy can retire and rest without being disturbed. This is particularly important if you have other pets or children. Puppy pads (or newspaper for a cheaper alternative) are also recommended until they get used to doing their business outside.
Organise your vet and insurance
When your puppy arrives you should be fully prepared for all eventualities. Make sure you know where your nearest vet is and book an appointment to register your puppy with them within the first few days of bringing your puppy home. Most likely, you will need to get your puppy vaccinated, which will require two or three vet visits. Organise your pet insurance in advance too.
Stock up on food
Puppies need special puppy food and treats as their tummies are more sensitive than a grown dog. They also eat little and often, rather than just a couple of meals a day. Make sure you have a good store of appropriate food and don’t be tempted to add in extras or overfeed.
Choose a collar and tag
You’ll need a suitable collar or harness, and a lead for when you collect your puppy; and an identity tag too. Nowadays, an easy way to get one is online. Personally, I use Red Dingo. While they are more expensive than most, they are strong, sturdy and last an eternity, so it won’t break or need replacing for years. UK law states that all dogs must have the name and address of the owner engraved on it. Your telephone number and the dog’s name are optional. Your puppy should also be microchipped by the breeder at eight weeks old before you collect them, but if not your vet can do this.
Set aside time
On the day you’re due to collect your puppy, make sure you have set aside plenty of time to help them settle in. A new home, new people and new routine will be overwhelming for your little four-legged friend, so being there is essential. Cuddle and reassure them but also let them explore. And be prepared for puppy puddle accidents and whining for the first few days and nights. This will pass, so be patient.
Next time we discuss puppy training and socialisation – the fun begins!
This blog is part of a series focusing on a dog’s life from puppy to pensioner! Read about how to look after your dog - from agility and grooming to neutering and zoning out.