Making the decision to welcome a puppy into the family is really fun and exciting, but before you can bring them home you need to make sure you’ve done everything required to be as prepared as possible. There are lots of different things to consider when it comes to a new puppy, from home preparations to health and safety checks, as well as their sociability, and these useful tips have been gathered to help you ensure your puppy is as happy and healthy as can be from the moment you pick them up.
The first thing you to before bringing your puppy home is to proof the house. Puppies are extremely curious, adventurous animals and you can rest assured they’ll find something they’re not supposed to and make a meal out of it. From the skirting boards and furniture ends, to items on low surfaces, it’s time to add some cardboard or foam to these areas to prevent those needle-like teeth from causing any damage. You should also ensure all low surfaces are clear with no items dangling down, as this will just look like a toy to your playful pup. For homes with staircases, especially those who don’t want the puppy to head upstairs unattended, you should look into introducing a stairgate to your home. Stairgates are ideal for keeping your puppy away from the stairs and keeping them safe.
Bedding and Toys
Having a new bundle of joy in the house is going to bring hours of fun, and with so much energy to burn it’s important to have plenty of toys for your four-legged friend to play with. Try to buy some puppy toys to start with, as these are designed to be safe and friendly for smaller dogs. Having something to play with and chew will help to keep them occupied and prevent them from chewing on your favourite pair of shoes. Similarly, your furry friend is going to need a cosy, warm bed for them to snuggle into when it’s time for a snooze, but before you invest lots of money in a comfortable bed that will last them for many years to come, you may want to look at getting them a smaller alternative for the first few months, before they grow larger and need a bigger space to sleep. Having their own bed will give them a sense of comfort and help them to feel at home, so it’s really important to get them one that’s both comfortable and durable.
Food and Nutrition
You want to invest in some durable bowls for your puppy to eat and drink from, as this will ensure they last for many years to come. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are perfect for puppies, especially when positioned on a food mat to prevent too much mess. It’s really important to have your puppy on the right food from day one, so try to find the best balance of nutrients and flavour to keep them healthy and fit. It’s often a good idea to find out what the puppies breeder has been feeding them for the first few weeks of their life, as this will help to keep consistency when other things are changing around them. Once your pup is settled in the home, you can look at moving onto a new food that combines all of the nutrients they require to meet the needs of that particular breed.
Grooming and Walking
There are two exercises that you are going to become very familiar with when your puppy arrives, so it’s worth preparing yourself beforehand to make sure you’re ready. Investing in the right grooming tools will make sure you’re using the right products on your pet. Grooming your puppy is essential, not only to keep them looking fresh and feeling comfortable, but also to keep them healthy and ensure you know exactly how their skin and fur is. As they grow, you may find your puppy experiences some hair loss, dry skin or cuts, so it’s important to keep on top of how your puppy is so that you can take the relevant action to help them. You may find that a trip to the vet is all it takes, with some soothing cream or shampoo to help prevent itching and so on. Walking your puppy is an activity that is going to take up a few hours per day, and you want to make sure you’re doing it properly. Make sure your puppy has a durable collar, with name tag, and a lead to help make your walking more pleasurable. It’s essential to have your puppies’ details on their collar to make sure they’re safe and identifiable at all times.
Insurance and Identity Tagging
As mentioned above, your puppy needs to have a clear identity, and ensuring they have an identification tag will help with this. The law states that all dogs must wear a tag on their collars, so it’s very important to make sure you do so. There is also the option for microchipping your puppy, which is something you should speak to your breeder about as they often do this once the puppies are born.
The final thing you need to consider when bringing your puppy home is whether or not they are insured. From the moment your puppy starts going on walks, interacting with other dogs and playing with new toys they are exposed to potential risks. Having pet insurance is essential as it helps to cover your puppy should they have an accident, as well as making sure they have the help they require if needed. If you’re unsure on which pet insurance policy is best for you, speak to your vet or have a look around online to find a number of different policies to choose from.