Tips for Caring for Your New Puppy
Your home will seem very strange to your new puppy, so give him time to get to know his new surroundings. Remember that although puppies love to play, they need a quiet place to retreat and sleep. Here are some things that you should stock up on so that your puppy feels as comfortable as possible:
- Water and food bowls
- A bed
- A puppy playpen
- Collar and lead
- A brush and comb
A well socialized puppy will be able to cope with all of the situations he’s likely to encounter in later life, rather than growing up shy or fearful. During the early weeks and months, introduce your puppy to a variety of sights, sounds, people and experiences. Let him meet adults and children, the postman, the milkman and any visitors, approaching them in his own time. Never force the issue if he’s not confident. If you have friends with dogs which have been vaccinated and are good with puppies, let him/her meet them to help build up his/her canine social skills. Don’t take your dog out on to pavements, parks or gardens, which may have been soiled by other animals, until he/she has completed their initial course of vaccinations.
Feeding your puppy
Wait until your puppy has settled in before making any changes to his diet, to reduce the risk of stomach upsets. After a few days you can introduce a new food, gradually mixing an increasing proportion of it into the puppy’s food over about a week. Initially he’ll need 3 or 4 small meals per day of a good quality complete puppy food. Follow the guidelines on the packaging or ask us for advice if you’re uncertain. This can then be reduced to fewer meals a day as he gets older. By the time he is about 10–12 months old – unless he’s a giant breed, which have special requirements – he should be able to move on to an adult diet. Dog foods are broadly divided into two kinds – dry and moist such as cans and pouches. Provided that you get the correct food for his age, the choice of the food for your puppy is up to you and your pet.
You should begin your puppy’s training as soon as you bring him home. When he is older, learn to teach him simple commands. When training your puppy at home make sure that everyone in the family uses the same commands. Keep training sessions for young puppies short and fun.
When toilet-training your puppy, remember to take him outside to relieve himself immediately after eating, sleeping or playing. Never punish a puppy for soiling in the wrong place: he thinks he is being punished for what he did, not for where he did it.
Exercise and play
Young puppies generally get all the exercise they need by racing around the garden and playing, but once your puppy is fully vaccinated you can take him for short walks away from home. This will help to familiarize him with different environments. The age at which ‘real’ exercise should begin varies from breed to breed, as does the amount. We will be able to advise you. Make exercise fun by taking along a ball or a Frisbee, so that you can play games. Avoid giving a puppy small balls which he could swallow, or sticks which could lodge in his throat and injure him.