So you’re getting a puppy – how exciting! Getting a new puppy is a time of real excitement for you and your family.
You have researched the breed you’re getting, or secured an adoption at a rescue centre, waited weeks that can seem like years, and finally you can bring your puppy home.
However, you will need to get prepared for bringing your new best friend into your home, and hopefully this article can help you with that.
Let’s have a look at some of the things you will need.
Whether your puppy has been in a home environment for the first few weeks of its life, or in a shelter, he or she will have been fed on one particular food.
It is usually better to keep them on this food for at least a few days after arriving home. Coming into a new home, although very exciting for both you and your puppy, is also a huge change for the puppy. So, it’s best to try and keep the transition as smooth as possible at first.
You should be told what food he or she has been eating, so that you can purchase a small amount of the same. It may be that you like the food they are on, in which case you don’t need to change it, but if you do want to change it, it’s best to leave them on the same food for a week, and then do a slow transition of food over 7-10 days. Start with a large amount of their original food, say 90% and 10% of the new food, and gradually decrease the original food and increase the new until they are completely changed over.
Doing it this way will get your puppy used to the taste, and hopefully avoid any gastrointestinal upsets from changing a food too quickly.
A complete puppy food is always best, as these have the correct amount and balance of nutrients, but be aware that if you have a large breed, such as a Great Dane you will need a large breed puppy food as their bones grow at different rates. Your vet is the best person to advise you.
You will also need bowls for the food and water. Heavier bowls are better, as it makes it more difficult for your puppy to knock over.
A Comfy Bed
There are many different options of dog beds out there, and it can be difficult to know what is the best bed for a puppy.
You may need to upgrade the beds as your puppy grows, as a puppy bed may quickly become too small.
Ideally, for a puppy you need a bed that is chew proof. Puppies love to chew, and the last thing you want is to come down in the morning to a shredded bed with filling scattered everywhere.
Puppies do have accidents, so a bed with a removable covering to make for easy washing will make your life so much easier.
Puppies will often miss their littermates for a few days, so having a bed with raised sides that they can curl up in will often make them feel comforted.
Somewhere To Sleep
Of course, your puppy will need somewhere to sleep. It is best to get them into good habits straight away, and many people choose to crate train their dog.
Crate training involves having a crate in their sleeping area, and the goal is to use this as a positive space that they feel secure in. They can then be secured in the crate at night so that they feel safe, and you know that they won’t be chewing anything valuable or dangerous such as electrical wires.
Crates should be big enough for your dog to stand up in and turn around with ease, and you may need to buy a bigger crate as your puppy grows.
As the puppy learns that the crate is their sleeping space, they don’t like to soil the area, so it can be useful to help with house training.
The crate can also be taken with you if you’re traveling, or staying somewhere else, then your dog will feel safe in it’s own surroundings, and you can put their favourite bed in it.
Things To Chew And Play With
Puppies love to chew. It’s their way of exploring the new world around them, however there are things that we don’t want them to get their teeth on, whether it’s because they are your favourite pair of slippers, or because it’s something that could do them harm.
There are many chew toys available, it’s best to aim for the ones specifically aimed at puppies, as their teeth are slightly more delicate than their adult counterparts.
Toys are also a must, puppies have seemingly endless energy, and play is a large part of their learning curve, have different types of toys available until you know what your puppy likes.
Always check toys for signs of wear and tear, and never leave them alone with any of these things.
A Collar And Lead
A collar and lead is a must for a dog, for when you can start taking them on walks.
Identification will depend on where you live, in some places all dogs must be microchipped – which is a permanent form of identification and highly recommended, and in others a dog must wear a collar with a tag on at all times.
So double check the laws in your state or country.
Book A Visit To The Vet
A vet visit is a must, usually a week after you’ve got your puppy and they’ve had time to settle in.
Your vet can check your puppy over, and also this will get the puppy used to going to the vet, and make positive associations.
The vet will then vaccinate and treat your puppy for fleas and worms, and can answer any questions you may have.
Getting a puppy is a very exciting time, and with a little bit of pre-planning, you should be well prepared. Have fun!