Bringing a puppy home for the first time can be very exciting, but it also brings a lot of responsibility.
Bringing a puppy home for the first time can be very exciting, but it also brings a lot of responsibility. By doing some basic pre-puppy planning you will not only help minimise stress in your household, but also help make sure your home has everything in place to meet your new puppy's needs.
Making your home puppy-safe
There are lots of puppy supplies you’ll need to start collecting to make sure your puppy is comfortable and happy in their new home. However, before you think about anything new, you should first have a look at your home to make sure it is a safe environment for a puppy to run around in. Start by making sure all chemicals and detergents are stored away, electrical cords are covered and breakable items are out of reach. If you have a pool, you should also make sure this area is completely covered and fenced off. Be sure you also stock up on cleaning supplies, especially when your puppy has yet to be toilet trained, and purchase stain remover, paper towels and deodorising sprays to clean up any mess.
Getting your puppy home
After you are sure that your home environment is safe for a puppy, the next step is figuring out how to get your puppy home. If you are driving them in a car, consider buying a travel crate or harness suitable for your puppy’s age and size. This will provide a secure environment to travel in, now and in the future. Before setting off, spend some time with your puppy in the car to allow them to become accustomed to their new surroundings and use praise and rewards for calm behaviour. Take a towel when you collect your puppy. Rub it on mum and litter mates so you can bring some of their scent home on the towel to help familiarise your puppy with their new environment. Your puppy’s first journey home with you is likely to be a stressful time for them as they are leaving their mother and littermates and may never have been in a car before. Take some paper towels and a plasticm bag too – just in case your puppy gets car-sick.
Where will your puppy sleep?
Before your puppy arrives, you should decide where your puppy’s designated area will be in the home and where they’ll be sleeping at night. Using a puppy pen is a good way to manage their behaviour at bedtime and also helps keep them confined safely when they can’t be supervised. Ensure your play pen is big enough for your puppy to stand up and walk around and has plenty of fresh water and warm bedding.
What else will your puppy need
It’s important to organise a collar and ID tag for your puppy so they can be returned if they ever get lost. Your puppy can quickly outgrow their collar, so keep in mind that they may need another when they start getting bigger. They will also need to be microchipped and registered with your local council. It is no secret that puppies love to chew, so having a few chew toys at your disposal can help prevent your puppy chewing on furniture and your belongings. Make sure these toys are not too hard on your puppy’s teeth. You should also avoid giving your puppy toys that can break and may potentially choke on. You may also need to invest in some grooming tools such as combs and dog friendly shampoos depending on the length of their coat. Long-haired breeds should be groomed regularly in adulthood so it is best your puppy gets used to this process early so it doesn’t become a stressful experience for them later on.
The health of your puppy
Before your puppy steps in the door, it’s a good idea to start researching the best vets in your local area and also start looking into puppy training schools, groomers and boarding kennels if need be. Once you have found your vet of choice, you should have a chat to them about some of the appointments you’ll need to make. Besides a check-up, your puppy will also need to be taken to the vet for worming, vaccinations, microchipping and potentially neutering. It’s also important to remember that new puppies should be kept away from other dogs until they’ve had all their vaccinations to avoid them getting an infection.
Feeding your puppy
When it comes to feeding your puppy, it is worth doing some research on what nutritional support your puppy will need from their diet. Making sure your puppy is getting the best nutrition from a complete and balanced diet will mean they are getting the support they need while they grow. A high-quality diet, specially formulated for puppies is the best option for your new dog. The Eukanuba Puppy range is specially made with high quality animal proteins and enhanced levels of DHA to help your puppy achieve their mental and physical best. Food can also help you to train your puppy. Treats are an excellent way to encourage your puppy to behave the way you want them to, especially when they are learning the fundamentals of obedience. Many dogs are motivated by food, so using treats as a reward when they are learning to sit or go to the toilet can reinforce good behaviour. Treats will need to be factored into your puppy’s daily food intake so your puppy does not put on excess weight.
Routine is best
Putting in place a set of rules and routine for your puppy as soon as they arrive is a good idea, especially if you are living in a multi-pet household. When your puppy arrives, they will most likely test boundaries by experimenting with various behaviours (good and bad) to figure out what they can get away with. It’s important these rules and routines continue to be enforced to help keep your puppy’s training consistent. Do not get angry in front of your puppy. Positive rewards and encouraging good behaviour, rather than punishment, will help you foster a strong bond, mutual respect and a rewarding relationship with your puppy.