How To Prepare For Your New Puppy

\\\ New Puppy

\\\ updated October 2021

Bringing Home Your New Puppy

Helpful tips on how to prepare in advance + collecting your puppy + first week in their new home

puppy lying down

Pre-planning bringing your new puppy into your home, will help to provide you and your family with a loving, rewarding and successful pet partnership for many years

Pet Check provides some tips and a checklist for you as the new puppy owner.

Before any pet arrives, it is important to prepare your home. Owners need to be organised to provide the care dogs need.

You’ve probably spent months thinking about which size of breed you can accommodate in your home and garden if you have one, and the type of breed that best suits you and your family.

Making Room In The Home

Now it’s time to consider where your puppy will sleep, a warm and cosy environment, and a room that a dog bed will require. Read our Feature page about buying the right dog bed for your pet.

The Breeder

You’ve probably researched the breed and found a breeder and visited to see that all is progressing well with the litter, the home is clean, the pups are healthy and happy, with the intention to buy a cute puppy. You may have even chosen the lucky puppy.

Check the breeder’s credentials, and that all paperwork is correct, jabs have been actioned, including Kennel Club breeding registration and requirements, microchipped before removal, and the food that your puppy has been used to, to purchase for the first few weeks so as not to disrupt its diet. Changes should always be made gradually.

American Cocker Spaniel puppy

Caring breeders will possibly ask you to provide a toy so that the puppy can play with it whilst still with its mother, brothers, and sisters and this will carry their scent when your puppy is removed and accompanies you home, providing them with some re-assuring comfort when settling in.

Local vets are very important in a puppy and a dog’s life. Research before getting your puppy for the right veterinarian practice that will suit your breed and you.

Dog-owning friends are sometimes a helpful guide as are customer satisfaction ratings left about local vet services.

Call in and meet the reception team, check that the establishment is clean and friendly and if you are considering insuring your pet that it accepts insurance and which vets are trained n your breed of dog.

Check if they offer a free weigh-in service.

If you are not considering breeding from your puppy, then spaying and neutering your puppy may be a later option.

Read our Pet Vet Guide for more information.

Routine Treatments

Your puppy should have received its first and possibly second routine flea and worm treatments before leaving the breeder.

It’s important to continue this for the life of your pet. Routine flea and worming treatments are necessary but can be done at home regularly, and are required by pet insurers if you decide to insure your pet. Read our Pet Insurance Guide.

Pet Insurers

You may have checked some pet insurers’ quotes before your puppy arrives. Puppy and dog insurance not only covers your pet’s health but also a number of other eventualities. Read our Pet Insurance Guide for more information.

puppy with toy

Joining Other Pets In The Family

Your puppy may be joining a pet-friendly house already with another dog or cat.

It’s important that they don’t feel nervous with bigger animals around them.

Larger dogs may not like puppies playing with their toys, they may not be used to sharing so it’s important to buy your puppy their own new toys.

Your cat may be wary at first with another dog entering the home or if a new dog may resent their presence.

Accompany the puppy on its first meet with the other pet, and introduce them slowly. Individual dog beds are essential if there are two dogs in the house, so they both have their own space when they want it.

Crates can be useful for overnight sleeping for a small puppy which will make it feel more protected from a larger dog.

It’s important your puppy doesn’t feel nervous with people and bigger animals around them.

Signs of feeling safe are tail wagging, licking, wanting to kiss you, smiling and bright eyes, Signs that your puppy is unhappy is hiding and avoidance, paw licking, sleeping all the time, losing weight.

Don’t forget to get your puppy insured. Check Everypaw Pet Insurers for quotes. #Ad.

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Bringing the new puppy home

Collecting your puppy can be a traumatic wrench for its mother and its brother and sisters and needs to be done calmly. Your puppy will need to be carried in Dog carrier or crate and be prepared that it may be a little car sick.

Remember to collect all the Kennel Club registration forms and pedigree certificates before leaving the breeder’s home as well as microchip registration and vet treatment card.

Young children in the family will be very excited but it’s important to not be too noisy to alarm and frighten your puppy in its new home where the change can be a daunting experience for the first few days.

If your puppy hasn’t received routine vaccinations, make a vet appointment immediately and ensure you wash your hands before and after when handling the puppy.

Labrador puppy at vet

Your home may need some urgent dog-proofing and checks should be made that nothing small is left on the floor for the puppy to eat, wires are tucked well away from sight and accessibility and that open fireplaces have a sturdy guard in place.

Pets should never be left unattended near fires and candles which can easily be tipped over causing fires or singe the pet’s fur.

Check your indoor plants are dog-friendly and not trailing and accessible awaiting accidents. Read our Pet Gardens Feature.

Food cupboards should be locked so there’s no chance of pets opening doors and enjoying unexpected and possible toxic feasts.

Puppies may find it difficult at first to go upstairs but they soon learn how to.

Young children may need to learn to shut their bedroom doors and a puppy gate can be introduced across the stairs to prevent them from wandering around parts of the home unattended.

Your Puppy’s First Few Days

Teach your family not to give any human food to the puppy. Young children might think it nice to share some chocolate with their puppy which is highly toxic. Read more about toxicity in our Pet Food Guide.

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Your puppy may be lonely the first night away from its litter and mother. It will need a cosy warm blanket to snuggle up to as it no longer has the litter for warmth and comfort.

Make sure your puppy knows where its water bowl is located and feed at the times the breeder was feeding so as not to disrupt your puppy’s routine.

It’s important to spend time for the first few days with your puppy, making it feel safe and content. Young children shouldn’t be left alone and toilet training will be important.

You may have a garden and it is advisable for the first few days not to introduce the garden and the many hazards that may pose. Let your puppy take everything around the home in its stride. Read more about Pet Gardens in our features including tips to keep your pets safe from the hazards and poisonous plants.

Puppies should not go outside on a lead or be taken to public areas until they have received all their inoculations. The vet will advise.

Puppy Checklist

Labrador puppy

A helpful checklist of items you’ll need to welcome your new puppy.

  • Dog bed
  • Dog lead and collar
  • Dog Id Tag
  • Dog food bowl
  • Dog water bowl
  • Dog carrier
  • Puppy pet food
  • Puppy chews
  • Dog flea and worm treatments
  • Dog grooming brush
  • Dog shampoo
  • Poop bags

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