Adopting a puppy in to the family is an exciting time; a new bundle of joy who will become a loyal companion for years to come. As well as the excitement, new puppy owners also tend to feel a great sense of responsibility. Ensuring you make the best decisions for your little one can be stressful. Some of the most common questions we are asked are related to new puppies; what should you buy them? Should you crate train them? What should you feed them? How best to settle them? There are a number of things to consider when first bringing your puppy home and the first thing to do is relax – with the right preparation there is no reason why you can’t enjoy the whole process. So here’s what to do in the first five days of owning a puppy:
Puppy Proof Your Home!
This should ideally be done before your new four-legged friend arrives home. Puppies usually arrive at their forever home between 9-12 weeks old when they still have everything to learn. Your pup will probably be eager to explore and highly likely to chew! So, anything that may hurt them (or anything you’d prefer them not to destroy!) should be removed from their living space. We suggest not allowing them into every room at first, rather choose a room for them, and secure the space with a dog gate or similar. This way there will be less opportunities for them to wreak havoc.
Think about keeping your pup’s area free from valuable furniture, electricals, cleaning supplies, washing, shoes and kid’s toys. You could try a pet repellent spray on furniture that can’t be removed, to help deter them from chewing.
Prepare Your Puppy Essentials
This may sound obvious, but making sure you have everything your puppy will need is imperative. Ideally, you’ll have had time to prepare in advance so when the little one arrives he can move straight in and you won’t be worrying about where anything is or if you have everything.
- We’d suggest crate training from the beginning which will help with manners and provide a safe space when he can’t be supervised.
- A series of chew toys and puzzle toys will ensure your puppy is entertained and develops mentally.
- Puppy pads will be essential until your pup is fully potty trained.
- Food and water bowls
- A bed!
- If you’re unsure of what to get specifically then give us a call. We’d be happy to help! Or you could take a look at our Welcome to the World Puppy Packs which come in four sizes for various sized breeds and contain all the everyday puppy essentials.
Establish Ground Rules From Day One
Ensure you and the rest of the human household know what the dog will and will not be allowed to do. Will he be allowed on furniture? Where will he sleep? Which rooms is he allowed? Who will feed, train, walk him etc? If everyone is on the same page from the beginning, training and settling your new pup will be much easier and stress free. Also, decide on the same command words to use so you don’t confuse your new dog (you don’t want one person saying “down” and another saying “get off” for instance).
Create A Schedule
Getting the new arrival into a steady routine will help them settle much more easily. Deciding when your puppy will eat, sleep and toilet from the beginning will help them feel secure. Your puppy will soon adapt to their new schedule and will know what to expect from their day. With time their body clocks will be accustomed to doing certain things at certain times which is convenient for everyone.
Try to keep the first few days as relaxed as possible and introduce new things slowly. Try not to introduce too many new people in the first week and perhaps keep your new pup within their new home for the first week or so to. There will be plenty of time to explore the great outdoors and introduce them to your friends once they’re settled
Introduce Your New Puppy Slowly
It’s best to pick your pup up in the morning if possible. Then slowly but surely introduce them to the crate throughout the day. Put their blanket in there so it feels and smells of home. Try putting tasty treats inside and when they go in give praise. Don’t force them inside and don’t close the door behind. Once they are happily going in and out and seem totally comfortable, you can close the door behind them.
Teach Your Pup Their Name
Keep saying your pups name and giving a treat when they respond to help them remember!
If it’s your first time owning a new puppy, just remember you’re not the only one! There is loads of information and advice online, so do a bit of research and you’ll be just fine. Quite often, common sense will tell you what to do and if you’re still unsure ask someone for advice. In a few weeks you’ll wonder what it was you were anxious about in the first place and you’ll be enjoying time spent with your new four-legged family member!