Adding a new furry family member can make the house a home and bring a rare type of joy to your everyday. Whether you’ve been planning for the arrival of your bouncy new addition for years, or you’ve decided to give a stray their forever home – you’re about to embark on a new adventure.
The first 30 days of a puppy’s life are crucial, with lots of changes, checkups and cuddles needed, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Getting a new puppy is about more than buying the cutest dog bed and picking out a name that suits their blossoming personality. We’ve put together some of the most important things to check off your to-do list after bringing your new puppy home.
Just as you’d set up the nursery before bringing a new baby home, it’s important to have your house set up to welcome your new puppy.
Some of the essentials include:
Armed with these essentials, you and your dog will be off to a happy, safe and comfortable start.
Your puppy is brand new to this big wide world, and chances are they have just gotten used to their surroundings before moving again into your home. Children, other pets and even adults can be very excitable around new puppies, but it’s important to make their introduction to their new home as calm as possible.
Pop a shiny new leash on your puppy and let her drag the leash around as she explores new surroundings while you sit close by to keep her from harm.
If you have another dog, let the two meet in neutral territories, such as a friend’s front yard, so your older dog doesn’t get offended and reject the new addition. Start using your puppy’s name whenever you speak to her and take her outside to go to the toilet every half an hour or so.
These first few days are about introducing your puppy to how life is going to go. They shouldn’t be expected to go to the toilet in the ‘right place’ every time but should receive a reward when they do. They won’t respond to their name every time but get a big cuddle when they do.
When you’re not watching your puppy, ensure they’re safe in their crate or a small, enclosed space so they don’t tumble down the stairs or get lost in your house.
Your puppy should meet his vet very early in life, even before driving home from the adoption site. Your puppy will need a full physical and dental examination, all relevant vaccinations plus a faecal analysis. Additionally, it’s always good to chat with the vet for specific breed and nutrition advice.
Having a good vet on your side will come in handy. It is common for new puppies to experience urinary tract infections and intestinal parasites, and scheduled vaccinations are required to prevent concerns such as hepatitis, parvovirus, Bordetella and parainfluenza.
By beginning their journey at the vet, you will be on top of these important medical factors to give your puppy the healthiest start to life.
When you’re visiting the vet, it’s a good time to discuss pet insurance, desexing, microchipping, and relevant parasite prevention, such as heartworm, tick and flea treatments. Until your puppy is on the right treatments and has completed its vaccination schedule, it is best to avoid places where foreign dogs roam – such as puppy preschool and the dog park.
After the first week or so of consistent, calm and enforced routine, your puppy should be starting to feel comfortable in its new home. He may be testing the boundaries by chewing things he shouldn’t, barking or leaving ‘presents’ on the carpet. Consistency is key, as is patience, and your puppy will thrive from your praise when it does the right thing.
Your older dog may not be completely comfortable with the new addition, but don’t fear; this is common. After years of being your one and only, your older dog may need longer than 30 days to adjust.
Make sure you’re paying as much attention to the veteran pet as you are the new puppy and consider adding new treats as a reward for being friendly to the puppy. Both dogs should have their own ‘happy places’ in the home, but if they don’t – help to establish these with dog beds and comfy blankets, so each dog can have alone time.
Puppy preschool is brilliant for puppy socialization and behaviour, and it can take some of the stress out of raising your dog. The purpose of puppy school is to help your pet grow into a confident, sociable and well-behaved dog.
Taking your dog to school can improve your relationship and tighten your bond, giving both the owner and the puppy the best possible start to their life together.
Between the ages of three and 17 weeks of age are the most critical for pet socialization, and the experiences of your dog during this period will strongly influence how they treat other dogs and humans throughout their life.
By the time they graduate, your puppy will likely have comprehensive training in the following:
As the pet owner, you will learn invaluable skills around nutrition, handling your dog, controlling their behaviour and how to communicate effectively.
Puppies are one of our most regular types of customers, and there’s nothing we love more than helping families to get off to a healthy and happy start with their new fur baby. For all your questions around nutrition, training, vaccinations and more, the Rossmore team is here to help, with over 50 years of experience and a priceless wealth of new puppy knowledge.
Get in touch to put the health of your new puppy in the best hands today.