10 Tips For New Puppy Owners
Welcoming a puppy into your home is such a wonderful and exciting time for all the family. Below are 10 tips for new puppy owners so you can be fully prepared and settle your new arrival in successfully. Seeing as yesterday was National Puppy Day, we thought now was a great time to share these tips!
1 Can you rescue a pup in need?
Consider if it’s possible for you to rescue a puppy or young dog who is looking for a loving home instead of purchasing a puppy from a breeder. Rescue centres often have litters of puppies that need homes. They get adopted very quickly but it’s always worth adding your name to a waiting list. There are so many advantages to adopting a rescue, one of which being they are given a thorough veterinary check up and will have been assessed by animal behaviourists as well so will be able to match you with a puppy that is right for your family and home.
2 Do your homework
Please ensure you do lots and lots of research before committing to welcoming a puppy into your home. A staggering 3.2 million pets were bought in the UK since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic. Sadly 5% of those pets have already been given up and taken to rescue centres because families have changed their minds or can’t cope, which is truly awful. It is imperative you do weeks and weeks of research into the breed of puppy you are looking for, what are their breed specific needs on top of all of the usual general dog needs? Welcoming any dog, but especially a puppy into your home is a massive commitment and thorough research is required first.
3 Plan ahead (budgeting)
Planning ahead is very important as taking on a puppy is a big financial commitment as well. You need to ensure you have enough money to cover all the potential vets bills, food, toys, equipment, boarding kennels, insurance and gifts. The best way to do this is research on the internet for information on the costs of owning a dog and also talking to experienced owners who know first hand the costs involved. Then sit down and create a spreadsheet of all the costs and how you are going to cover them. Don’t forget to add in emergency vet bills as well.
4 Invest in a crate and baby gates
Puppy training crates really help with toilet training, they are also great for when you need your puppy to be in a safe place while you are in another room and can’t supervise them. Baby gates are also very helpful in keeping your puppy out of rooms that are unsafe for them or where they could damage something precious.
5 Let your puppy sleep in your bedroom to begin with
Welcoming a puppy into your home is a wonderful experience but it’s important to remember that it will be quite scary for your tiny puppy to move into a new house, everything is so big and unfamiliar. Your puppy will want to be with you and will feel safer if they are near to you. Letting your puppy sleep in your room to begin with will help them feel safe and secure and then as they are more confident and settled you can move them into another room for sleeping at night.
6 Pick age and breed appropriate toys
This is very important as some toys will not be suitable for all breeds and ages of dog. You need to specifically search for puppy toys so your new pup can have lots of fun but stay safe at the same time. As with all things, you are advised to supervise your puppy/dog when they are playing with a toy in case it gets broken and small pieces are inhaled, which can be very dangerous. Complete thorough research before you purchase any toys for your puppy and ask around your dog owning friends what their dogs like to play with to give you some ideas.
The best way to puppy proof your house is to drop to your knees and get down to their level so you can see everything they can see. Next, look for things they could hurt themselves on, eat things that are bad for them or chew your belongings. Look out for things like plants, many of which can be fatally toxic to dogs so you must keep them away from hazards like that. Ensure you cover plug sockets with the plastic blanks that are readily available online.
8 Enrol your puppy in a local puppy class for socialisation
Socialising your puppy is incredibly important, even during those first early weeks. Getting used to seeing other people, other puppies, big and small will really help them with their development. Have a good look on the internet to see what is available in your local area, ask your vets and speak with dog owning friends about puppy classes they took their dogs too and go from there.
9 Set a routine
Just like with children, puppies feel much happier when they have a routine, it’s easier to impose boundaries and your puppy will soon understand the behaviour you expect from them. Your puppy will likely be calmer as they get used to the routine and know what comes next e.g. breakfast or walkies etc.
10 Chat to friends who are experienced dog owners
One of the best things you can do is seek advice from people who have been there and done it, they can tell you the toys and equipment that made their life so much easier and also those bits of kit that were terrible and got thrown away. If possible ask people who own dogs that are the same breed as your puppy as there are considerable differences between caring for different breeds and it is so important to get this right so your pet can live the best life possible with the best people 🙂
You can find out more tips for new puppy owners on the links below.
Next week on the blog we will be looking at “How To Keep Your Pet Safe This Easter”