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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 more than buying the cutest dog bed and picking out a name that suits their blossoming personality. After bringing your new puppy home, We’ve compiled some of the most important things to check off your to-do list.
Your pre-puppy checklist
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:
- A comfy bed and soft toys
- A leash and collar, plus a name tag with your phone number
- A healthy and puppy-specific pet food, such as Hill’s Puppy Food plus food and water bowls
- A crate, which will allow your puppy a place to relax and sleep, aid in training, and keep them safe
- A brush that is specific for your dog’s hair and skin type
- Puppy pee pads or a pet toilet if you live in an apartment
Armed with these essentials, you and your dog will be off to a happy, safe and comfortable start.
First impressions count.
Your puppy is new to this big wide world, and chances are they have just gotten used to their surroundings before moving into your home again. Children, other pets and even adults can be very excitable around new puppies, but it’s essential 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. Use your puppy’s name whenever you speak to her and take her outside to the toilet every half an hour.
These first few days are about introducing your puppy to how life will 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.
A long & healthy life starts early.
Your puppy should meet his vet early, 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. New puppies commonly 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 critical medical factors to give your puppy the healthiest start to life. It’ll also help avoid future issues such as dog dental problems.
When visiting the vet, it’s an excellent 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, avoiding places where foreign dogs roam – such as puppy preschools and dog parks is best.
The beginning of a routine
After the first week of a consistent, calm and enforced routine, your puppy should start feeling comfortable in its new home. He may test the boundaries by chewing things he shouldn’t, barking or leaving ‘presents’ on the carpet. Consistency is vital, as is patience, and your puppy will thrive from your praise when it does the right thing.
Your older dog may not be 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 to 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 that each dog can have alone time.
Time for school
Puppy preschool is brilliant for puppy socialization and behaviour, and it can take some of the stress out of raising your dog. Puppy School aims to help your pet grow into a confident, friendly, well-behaved dog.
Taking your dog to school can improve your relationship and tighten your bond, giving 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 your dog’s experiences during this period will strongly influence how they treat other dogs and humans throughout their lives.
By the time they graduate, your puppy will likely have comprehensive training in the following:
- Basic commands (sit, stay, come, leave it)
- Calmness around other dogs
- Good manners (minimised biting or jumping up on visitors)
- Toilet training
- Walking on a leash
As the pet owner, you will learn invaluable skills around nutrition, handling your dog, controlling their behaviour and communicating effectively.
The Rossmore team is here to help…
Puppies are one of our most regular types of customers, and we love nothing more than helping families get off to a healthy and happy start with their new fur baby. For all your questions about 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.