Getting a puppy is very exciting
…but there are a few things that you need to sort out before you bring your puppy home. Firstly you need to make sure you have all the things they will need, this will be easy if this isn’t your first puppy however if it is your first dog then here is a list of useful things you will need for your new pup;
A bed – getting one that is soft, cosy, not too big and has a bit of back to it will be best for them, it will allow them to feel safe and have something to cuddle up to – they will be used to having the rest of the litter with them so making sure they have something to rest against will make them feel more at home.
Toys – soft toys are great for puppies and they might even use them to cuddle up to, teething toys are also great because just like a baby they will start teething which will lead to biting so teething rings and bones are much better than them biting on your feet.
Blankets – for warmth and comfort for when you aren’t there and particularly if you are getting a pup in the winter months. They will have been used to getting warm from being cuddle up with their mother and the rest of the litter so a blanket will help them stay warm.
A crate – crate training is the best way to keep your pup safe and happy when you aren’t in and it also gives them their own bits of space, dogs do really enjoy having a crate.
Food & water bowls – make sure they aren’t too big for them. You’re going to want to grab your dog an elevated food bowl. Puppies can really strain their necks if they’re bending down to eat their food. In addition, puppies’ throat muscles aren’t as well developed. This makes them prone to choking! Here is our recommendation for an elevated dog bowl!
Food – this will vary for each dog and it will depend on what the breeder has been giving them – some feed them on wet food, in this case it is advised you buy wet food along with dry food which you will slowly introduce with the wet food until you take them off wet for all together.
Some breeders however have them on dry food from the start but pour hot water on it, mash it and let it cool and then give it to the dog. Both ways of feeding are fine, the most important thing is that you buy the same brand of food that the breeder has been giving them – you can eventually change it but you have to do this slowly as it can upset their stomachs.
Training pads – these will be more for you than the puppy, they can be put in the house and the puppy is encouraged to go to the potty on them rather than your carpets, this is part of the house training process.
Your puppy is home!
Once you get your puppy home you should let them have a walk around and get used to their new home. You should also take them outside to use the toilet; house breaking training should be started straight away. This is a process but ensuring that you stick to it is important as this will affect how well they take to the training.
Puppies can hold their bladders for about an hour for the first few months, and while you are training them you should take them out to the toilet every hour. You can also use the training pads in your house for extra encouragement to not mess on the carpet.
You should start by having a training pad nearby and encouraging them to use it, once they are regular on this then you should move it closer to the back door (the door in which they go out to the toilet to), this process will continue until it is right at the back door and therefore they learn to ask to go out to this door to go to the toilet.
This should be done alongside them being taken out to the toilet every hour. If your dog does mess in the house then you should clean it up as soon as possible, do not shout at your dog, simply tell them ‘no’ and clean it up. Every time they go outside you should really congratulate them and praise them for doing it outside.
Crate training is also a really important part of puppy training, before you put your pup in the crate you should take them out to the toilet, like wise when you get in you should take your dog straight out to the toilet. You will find that your pup won’t mess in their crate – they might do it the first few times so you should always have a crate that is big enough for them to get off their beds and go to the toilet.
However you will find that the pups will learn to hold their bladder and not go inside their ‘home’ as this is how they see their crate. Never use the crate as punishment and when you are in if you leave the door to the crate open you will probably find that they chose to go in there on their own accord.
Crate training also decreases the chance of them biting or scratching at things when they become bored when you are not in, because they can’t get to them. When you leave your pup in their crate you need to ensure they have a way of getting water, some food and some toys so they can entertain themselves.
Once the pup is a little older you can try leaving them out of the crate, start with an hour and build it up till you are confident they can be left in the house without causing any trouble of hurting themselves in any way. This is why many dog owners opt to get a dog playpen – it gives your dog a limited amount of freedom to wander about without being able to destroy anything!
When you have your puppy home you should book in with your chosen vets to have them looked at, you might also have to have them booked in for their injections, depending on the age you get them.
Your vet will then be able to get to know your dog and tell you when they need worming and flea-ing for example. Taking your puppy to the vets as early as possible is advised as it gets them used to the smells and being checked over, the earlier this starts the less scared and less issues you will have.
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