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Whether you are rehoming an adult dog or bringing a puppy home, this is an immensely exciting time for the whole family. You need to plan a few things before you are ready to welcome your new addition so that when they finally arrive. Preparation means you can focus your attention on them entirely. The more groundwork and preparation you can do beforehand, the better. This includes research into good and bad foods.
How much should they eat, how much exercise they need, do they have any traits,
As time goes on, you will probably add a heap of extra accessories and toys, but hopefully, this is an essential list of what you need when bringing a new puppy home.
Prepare for bringing a puppy home.
A new puppy can be a world-class chewer and always seem to get into mischief somewhere they aren’t allowed to be. You will need to do some home organising before arrival day and make sure you remove anything you don’t want to be soiled or chewed. It is important to pet-proof your home before the big day.
Register at the local Vet’s practice
Researching local vets is essential before you bring a new puppy home. Ask around your family and friends to find recommendations for the best local Vet’s surgery.
It is generally recommended that you make an appointment to see your new Vet within a few days of bringing g the new pup home. Many vets will be able to offer you a puppy care package for when your new fur baby gets into trouble.
Choose a name
One of the many exciting things about getting a new pet is making a family decision to choose a name. Once you have found one that everyone agrees on, begin to use it as soon as possible, and each time you interact with your dog. They will quickly start to react to it and come to your call.
Somewhere to sleep
Just like humans, your puppy will want somewhere comfortable to sleep. It is a known fact that puppies spend a lot of tie sleeping s,o make sure you have a suitable bed. However, I would consider making a safe den from a crate.
A comfort blanket
Just like a baby, your puppy will benefit from a comfort blanket. If you are getting your puppy from a breeder, then try and take the blanket a few days before you pick him up so it can absorb all these familiar smells. This will help him settle in much easier.
The advantage of a crate
Using a crate has advantages as it can help with toilet training your puppy and provide a safe place for them. Remember, there are a lot of new scary things for your puppy, such as new sights, sounds, and smells. These can all be scary, and the crate/den becomes a safe place. Crates are also a safe place to leave your puppy when you are not around to supervise it.
When using a crate, it is crucial to ensure it is big enough to lay down, stand up and turn around. Any bigger than this may encourage toilet accidents – dogs will never lose their sleeping area if they can help. Having the crate just the right size will help encourage your new puppy to hold it until their toilet break.
A hot water bottle
Your new puppy has been used o sleeping with its littermates and so feeling nice warm bodies next to it. To help the puppy settle In, put a warm hot water bottle in their comfort blanket to help them feel safe.
Water and food bowls
Naturally, like humans, when you bring your puppy home, they will need something to eat and drink from. Whether you use an existing bowl, which is now the dogs or not, is a personal choice. I use a large ceramic dog bowl for water. I have never used a bowl for feeding as I prefer to use snuffle mats or scatter feed the kibble for my dogs as it involves sniffing etc. Our ditch the bowl article is worth reading.
You are what you eat.
This is as true with dogs as it is with humans.
The most significant decision you will need to make is whether to make your food, use good quality kibble or wet food or feed it raw.
When looking at feeding your dog, it is a minefield. However, please make sure you do your research.
An excellent place to start is All About Dog Food, as it has precise info. Remember, aim for at least 3 stars to ensure it has the nutrition they need.
I like Barking head for my two.
Finally, please, please remember that a lot of human food are toxic to dogs.
Make sure you know what foods are toxic to dogs.
Many of the foods that we enjoy as humans are toxic to dogs. Ensure you are familiar with all the poisonous foods for dogs and that these are kept out of the dog’s way.
Leads, Collar and tag
An essential part of doggy equipment is a collar. In the early days, a small basic collar will be fine. However, it is important to remember that puppies grow fast, so check the Collar regularly to ensure it is not tight.
Putting a light collar on from the start to get them used to it also gives you the chance to prepare for walking your puppy.
It is the law for any dog to be microchipped in the UK and have an ID tag. This is also a good idea in case your puppy manages to escape. It’s far easier and quicker for someone to look at the ID tag with your name and number than to go to the Vet and get them scanned.
Once your puppy is ready to go and face the big outside world, you will need a lead. A lightweight lead is a great starting point for walking your puppy and is not too heavy for the puppy. It is also worth considering a long line for training and allowing the puppy some roaming space whilst being under control on walks
All dogs benefit from daily brushing. From short-haired to long-haired – however, long-haired benefit more from getting rid of the loose hair and the knots in the coat.
Like most things, it is best to slowly introduce the brush to your puppy when they are very young, so they get used to it and won’t try to fight a daily groom.
.Generally, you don’t need anything complicated for home grooming, just a simple brush sufficient to keep your puppy’s coat in good condition. Try and get them used to a daily groom.
Brushing your dog’s teeth
In the same way that we are brought up to brush our teeth daily, brushing your dog’s teeth every day is advisable. One of the most common reasons dogs visit vets, especially as they get older, is their teeth and gums.
An early introduction to brushing teeth will be beneficial. Start with just using your finger, and as the puppy grows older, upgrade o a doggy toothbrush.
.One thing to remember is that it is essential to use special doggy toothpaste. This tastes not only nice but also fluoride-free, which is toxic to dogs.
Chews and training treats
Puppies use their mouth to explore. As a puppy explores and starts the teething process, any furniture legs will likely be chewed.
There are two ways to help eliminate this:
- Spray the legs etc., with Bitter Apple spray.
- Supply an attractive alternative such as a good quality chew to keep them occupied.
When purchasing a good quality chew, you must check that they are suitable for puppies – the same way you would with babies.
A lot of the chews available on the market will be too hard and could damage your puppies teeth as they develop. It is also important to remember that if they contain lots of colours, they will be bad for the dog. Please remember dogs don’t care what it looks like. The colours are, so it looks good to humans. Dogs use their nose, not their eyes.
Some of the best chews around for puppies are Nylabones.
As well as a good quality chew, you will need some good quality training treats. These are to be used for rewarding your dog with a nice tasty treat; every time they do something right, they will soon learn to repeat the action – NEVER shout at them when they do something bad.
Natures Menu is one of the treats I use with my dog walking clients.
Play helps a young dog socialise with dogs and people. The other important factor about the play is that it will help them physically and mentally develop.
Quality playtime will play a big part of the bonding process with your dog. Playtime also helps keep your new entertained.
Take your time researching and choosing your toys and puzzle games carefully.
A common mistake a lot of new dog owners make once they have brought a puppy home is to bathe their dogs frequently, especially in the winter, when they get muddy. DON’T. Bathing dogs too much can wash away the essential oils and can cause all kinds of skin problems.
However, this does not mean they won’t need a bath occasion.
When choosing a shampoo, ensure it is suitable for puppies as their skin is more sensitive.
Poop bags are something you will need for day 1.
Even if you are not going out with your puppy until around 12 weeks, you will still need to pick it up from the garden.
You do not need to use proper doggy poop bags, but Sainsbury’s or Tesco nappy bags are just as good and cheaper.
I can guarantee that you will need pet insurance as your puppy gets into mischief.
Generally, your puppy will come with insurance to cover you for a month. However, I would shop around before you get the puppy for quotes from various insurance companies so you are prepared.
Like everything, go with the best you can afford. Ideally should cover chronic illnesses such as arthritis. If possible dental work etc.
Socialise your dog with other dogs and humans
If you are rehoming an adult dog or planning on training a young pup, research a training class that only uses praise and reward techniques rather than using choke chains and military-style drills. A new puppy class is great fun for doggy interaction, where dogs and their owners can make great friends and have lots of fun.
If you’re walking your new dog in the street or at the park, allow your dog to say hello to other dogs with their owner’s permission.
Introduce a training plan and house rules for your new dog before you bring them home, and make sure the whole family is on board with the changes to family living.
When your dog meets any other pets and family members for the first time, it’s essential to supervise these introductions. Careful handling will help your dog to settle into your family life and set the scene for future interactions. If children are involved, allow the dog to approach the child to prevent feelings of him being threatened, rather than the other way around. Dogs don’t always appreciate being cuddled or hugged unless they’ve been familiar with this embrace from an early age.
Arrange for home care
In an ideal world, you can take a few days from work to bond with your dog, settle him and possibly begin some house training. However, even if you can take some leave time, you will still need to arrange a backup such as a dog walker. If you are based in Finchley, I may be able to help. Please check out my dog walking services
The Bottom line when bringing a puppy home
The first few weeks that your new dog spends in your home will be a huge period of adjustment for everyone, including the dog. A routine helps not only with house training but also to reassure your dog. Find a schedule for meals, toilet breaks, playtime, and walks, and keep to it.