Bringing Your New Puppy Home
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
What an exciting time! You’ve adopted a puppy and you’re almost ready to bring your new best friend home. Before you bring your pup home, you’ll need to buy a few essential puppy supplies. Here’s everything you need to get your home ready for the arrival of your new puppy, and to care for them every day afterwards.
1. Collection Time
Pick up your puppy up as early in the day as possible, to give them a whole day to settle in. Be prepared with towels for any accidents on the way home – beware: the puppy is more likely to vomit than have any other type of accident!
2. A collar, ID Tag & Microchip
Your puppy can’t explore the big wide world until they’ve had all their vaccinations, but while they’re still at home it’s important that you use this time to familiarise them with a soft puppy collar. Identification tags that display your puppy’s name and your contact details are also a must in case they ever become lost. We encourage all pet owners to microchip their pets as well and this can be done by your local vet. This has proven to be an invaluable asset for when those unexpected escapes happen, or worse, your pet gets stolen! Sadly, it does happen! A microchip is a form of ownership and can locate an owner no matter where the pet is found.
3. A Bed
Depending on where your puppy will be sleeping, you should provide them with a good quality kennel or bed. As part of their growth process, your puppy will be sleeping a lot so make sure you find a comfortable bed for their size, coat and more.
4. Food & Feeding
Stick to the pup’s original diet for at least a week before you change to anything else. Changes in diet will upset the pup’s sensitive digestive system, something you really don’t want while house training!
Choose three dog bowls that will suit their size for at least the first year of their life. One for food, one for water and a spare to use while one of the others is being cleaned. Pet PA highly recommend that you feed your puppy quality food that is scientifically formulated to provide growing puppies with all the vitamins and minerals they need for strong development. If your puppy isn’t already on premium puppy food, be sure to introduce it to them slowly so as not to upset their stomach.
Make sure your puppy has access to plenty of fresh water at all times.
Your puppy’s first few weeks with you will involve a lot of lessons, so
you’ll need a supply of healthy puppy training treats on hand to reward good behaviour!
It’s common for new puppies to struggle the first few nights in a new home. On top of being in a new environment, they might be missing their siblings. It can be a difficult transition. If possible, bring one of the toys/ items that they had at their previous home. Chat to the shelter/ breeder about taking an item of familiarity home with your pup.
Since puppies start chewing right after weaning, which intensifies during teething time, Pet PA says puppy chew toys are a must. And to keep your pup mentally stimulated, provide them with a variety of puppy toys that incorporate all kinds of textures, sizes, sounds and shapes. Only ever leave puppies with specially designed chew toys and keep them away from any harmful items such as electrical cords or breakables.
Especially when they are teething, no item in your home, be it furniture or clothing, will be safe from the wrath of your puppy’s tiny teeth.
Rotate the toys to prevent boredom and to keep them entertained with the regular ‘variety’.
6. General Grooming & Pet Maintenance
Your puppy’s curious nature will often lead them to muddy puddles and the like. Keep their coat clean and smelling fresh with a gentle shampoo and conditioner that’s suited for sensitive puppy skin. Have a supply of eye and ear cleaning products ready too.
Brushes, Combs and Nail Clippers
Brushing is a great way to keep your pet neat and tidy without
the hassle of washing them, and longer-haired puppies will need
regular combing to ensure their coat does not have tangles. Even if your puppy has a short coat, it is recommended that initially you brush them every day to remove loose hair. You will also need to trim your puppy's nails. Clipping nails can be tricky later in life so it is best to get them used to having their nails clipped from a young age.
Flea, Tick & Worming Treatment
Parasites like fleas, ticks and worms can bring serious health risks with them. To find the best parasite prevention treatments for your unique puppy’s age, breed and lifestyle, contact your veterinarian for recommendations.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Your puppy’s dental health has serious implications for their overall health. Make sure that you establish a regular dental care routine from the start by using a dog specific toothbrush and toothpaste and aim to brush your puppy’s teeth on a regular basis.
Play with your puppy, handling them gently and encouraging them to interact with you. Building a bond between yourself and the new pup is essential, and besides, having fun with you will take their mind off any anxiety they may experience during the first few days.
Give your puppy lots of cuddles and show them love every time you play together so that you can strengthen your bond and become best friends for life!
8. Toilet Training
Begin toilet training immediately. When you arrive home, take the puppy to their designated toilet area and give a cue like “Toilet Time”. Say it only once and wait to see if they eliminate within ten minutes. If they do, praise softly as they are performing: and treat with a small but tasty morsel the moment they’re finished. Alternatively, if nothing happens, take puppy inside and try again every fifteen minutes, or sooner if you see any signs of circling and sniffing at the floor.
Eight-week-old puppies will usually need the toilet every hour. To prevent accidents, confine your pup overnight, and take them out hourly when you are there. Pups are also likely to go after eating, sleeping and periods of excitement or play. Be vigilant. Any mistakes are down to you, so purchase a pet stain and odour remover for your carpets and refrain from berating the dog. Hopefully you won’t need to use odour and stain removal products too many times, but they’re always good to have on hand for any accidents your puppy may make before they’re fully toilet trained.
Especially for indoor pets and apartment-dwellers, puppy pads provide a dedicated area for your puppy to do their business and help them get started with their toilet training.
Lead & Harness
Puppies need regular exercise to maintain their health. Once your vet is happy that your puppy is well-developed enough to go on outings with you, equip them with a lead and harness that are designed for their breed, size and coat.
When your puppy is vaccinated and ready to head out to the park, you’ll definitely need to keep some dog poop bags on hand. It’s also good to have a stash of these at home for cleaning your backyard and for any accidents while you’re on your toilet
training journey. Store your poop bags in a handy bag dispenser which
you can refill when it runs out.
Don’t be afraid to lay down some rules. Basic obedience can also be taught after a couple of days, as long as it is done in brief sessions involving lots of food and fun! A firm ‘No!’ spoken, not shouted, will alert your puppy when they step out of line. Harsh verbal or physical corrections may damage your puppy for life.
Remember they’re only a baby! Try not to raise your voice at them in anger. If you ever feel tempted, remember that they are not doing anything out of spite. They do not yet understand what you want. Show them kindly and firmly and they will quickly learn to please you. If they do something wrong, don’t stay angry at them. While you have your family, friends, hobbies and work, your puppy only has you.
We know many of us may shout at a puppy who eliminates inside, perhaps we even rub their nose in it and smack them or boot them outside. This is not teaching the pup anything. If anything, they learn that eliminating, in general, is bad as they may not have made the association yet with eliminating outside. In any instance where you feel angered or frustrated by something, try a firm No (without shouting or causing a scene), and praise all the good behaviour!
12. Vet Visits
Owning a puppy is expensive, and the costs don't stop at just buying the puppy and their essentials. Regular vet visits while the puppy is young is very important. This will be to monitor their weight gain as well as to receive their inoculations, microchip, sterilisation and deworming. You may want to consider a pet medical aid/ insurance to help with these costs in the long run and any emergency treatments your pup may require growing up.
But most of all, enjoy the bond you two will share for many years to come! Dogs can live up to, and over 15 years! Make sure you are prepared for the lifelong journey ahead.
Please be responsible and Adopt, Don't Shop.
Disclaimer: We have compiled our information from various different sources and we claim no rights to any of the information obtained herein.