The arrival of a new puppy into your home is a wonderful time, but it can be an anxious one too.
Owning a new puppy is a big responsibility, and although puppies can be a lot of fun, they require a lot of attention, love and dedication.
Keeping them safe, happy and healthy takes planning and patience but the effort will pay off, as your new puppy grows into a confident, affectionate new family member.
Remember, the more love and care you give your puppy, the happier and healthier they will be!
Below are 8 top tips for caring for your new puppy once it gets home.
- Naming your puppy – Agree on a name ahead of time and make sure everyone uses it all the time when talking to your puppy. This will help him/her recognise his/her name and avoid confusion.
- Supervise your puppy – Supervise your puppy at all times to ensure that he/she does not get into mischief, or cause damage to themselves or the home. The rule of thumb for dog training is “set the dog up for success”. Supervise your puppy until he/she has learned what they are allowed to chew, and where they are supposed to eliminate. Keeping the puppy on a 3 metre remote leash is an excellent way to keep him/her in sight, and to train them not to wander off. This is particularly helpful with a highly investigative puppy.
- Puppy pre-school – Puppy pre-school is a must for all puppy owners looking to give their puppy the very best start in life and the opportunity to grow into a well behaved, sociable dog. Classes are designed for puppies between 6 to 12 weeks of age, as it is much easier to teach a puppy the correct behaviour at this young age than it is to correct bad behaviour later in life. Owners will learn positive reinforcement methods for training their puppy as well as being given an overview on socialisation, general healthcare, nutrition and more.
- Toys for puppies – Your puppy will be a ball of boundless energy, so make sure you get plenty of toys, including both chew toys and soft toys. Puppies should be given chew toys that interest them and occupy their time. You are better going for hard rubber chewing toys that can stand up to gnawing sharp puppy teeth. And because many of them are hollow, you can place a treat inside which will keep them happy for hours.
- Exercise – Puppies need exercise every day to stay fit and healthy. Exercise is an important aspect of your puppy’s day-to-day care and this can take the form of walks; play dates at the park or obedience training. A brisk walk is a dog’s favourite part of the day – they are able to explore the neighbourhood and spend time with you. Exercise also provides various health benefits and provides a good opportunity for your dog to socialise with other dogs. Puppy playtime and exercise is more than just a fun time for your puppy, it’s vital for their physical and mental health.
- Regular Grooming – Regular grooming is a healthy habit for your puppy. Make grooming seem exciting and give your dog plenty of praise when he/she sits still for you. You may also want to give a food reward – ideally a piece of your dog’s normal food – for good behaviour. And if you start grooming when your dog is a puppy, those positive reinforcements will make the process so much easier when he/she gets older.
- Buy two metal stainless steel bowls – one for food and one for water – Your puppy’s food and water should be placed into either a stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Plastic dog bowls are less expensive, but they develop tiny scratches that can house bacteria, cause infections and trigger puppy acne. If your puppy is a small dog breed, a large bowl is fine for water. But if they are going to sprout into a large or giant dog, you should consider something bigger that constantly fills.
- Having a well balanced diet – A healthy puppy is a happy puppy. The first year of life is critical in your puppy’s development as he/she has a lot of growing to do and needs a well balanced diet. As you feed your puppy, you need to supply all the body building nutrients it requires to grow and develop; protein for strong muscles, water for hydration, calcium for strong bones and teeth, iron for healthy blood and enough calories for all the energy a puppy burns.