New puppy for the New Year?

If the New Year is starting off with a new puppy joining the family, make sure you have everything prepared to help it settle into its new home happily.

There are obviously many responsibilities associated with caring for a new pet but it also comes with tremendous rewards as you watch it grow, learn and develop. In time, with the right training and support, your puppy can become a well-behaved pet that is a joy to own and one you can be proud of. So here are a few tips to help you begin the journey.

When you go to collect your new puppy from the breeder, remember to take a dog carrier, a blanket and some food and water if it has to travel a long distance.  Ideally, use the same food that the puppy is familiar with so as to avoid an upset tummy.  It will probably be nervous after being parted from its litter so cuddle it and talk to it gently and lovingly, avoiding any exposure to loud noises. Explain this to your children also and ensure they handle it carefully too.

You must have prepared your home in advance of the puppy’s’ arrival. Take a good look around to make sure wires, plugs and small things that could be choking hazards are well out of the puppy’s reach – even if you are in the same room you will be surprised at the damage a pup can do in minutes if you’re distracted.

When it has arrived, sniffed around and settled into the house, take it to its own area and give it some food and water and place it gently into its new bed briefly until it becomes accustomed to it.

The bed should be placed in a warm, draught-free place and contain a soft puppy toy for company. Put food and water nearby. If you will want your puppy to be contained in the kitchen during the night or when you pop out, it may be an idea to purchase a large crate for it to use – introduce the pup to the crate at an early stage but don’t leave it on its own for too long to start with, as it will still become anxious if left alone for too long. It’s a good idea to leave a radio on at low volume during the night or whilst you’re out as this background noise can be reassuring.

Your breeder should have given you a care sheet with specific diet and a feeding routine that your new puppy is used to. Even if you don’t like the food the pup has been reared on, follow it to the letter for at least a week whilst the puppy gets used to its new environment and then you can try introducing a new diet incrementally by adding it in small quantities to start with. Never introduce more than one new food in 48 hours as if your pup should suffer a tummy upset you won’t know what food has caused it.

The first few weeks are likely to be a little frustrating because your puppy will not be able to venture into public places until it has completed its vaccination course.  However be patient and you can soon start to venture outside and socialise your puppy with other friendly, healthy dogs. It’s worthwhile joining a puppy class because these are ideal forums for socialising and to teach basic obedience training at the same time.

Gradually, you’ll notice your pup learn useful lessons and the shared experience will assist its bonding with you, establishing the start of a long, happy relationship and a new best friend!


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