Congratulations on your new puppy! Before bringing an adorable ball of fur home, it pays to make sure you’re prepared.
A little research goes a long way toward creating a safe and comfortable environment that will help your pup settle in and thrive.
So let's take a look at the basics of what to do before bringing your new puppy home.
Prepping for a new puppy
From checking your house for hazards to deciding where they will sleep and choosing a vet, here's what you need to do before your pup arrives.
- A pup-friendly house and yard.
Puppies can be inquisitive. Watch out for anything that could have an adverse impact. Poisonous plant? Poisonous substances stored on bottom shelves? Chocolate bars lying around? Cables they could damage, risking electrocution? Find these things before they do.
- A space of their own.
A comfortable area just for them goes a long way to helping your puppy settle in. Organise bedding beforehand and have a place in your home ready for the puppy. If sleeping outdoors, make sure the sleeping zone is sheltered and separate from the area designated for toilet training. Be aware puppies can sometimes be scared of complete darkness. Have a form of nightlight on standby.
- Toys and treats.
If you think moving house is stressful, imagine how it a dog feels being introduced to a new home and family! Toys and treats will come in handy when helping your puppy overcome anxiety, especially as they adjust to being alone.
- Choose a vet.
Don’t wait until your puppy needs medical care to start searching for a nearby vet. Have a doc organised for your dog from day one. Vets can answer queries regarding nutritional needs, vaccinations, de-sexing, and microchipping. They will also organise regular check-ups.
- Food and water station.
All dog food is not created equal! Puppies require nutritious meals, beginning at four feeds a day, but consult with your vet to lock down the specific needs of your puppy. Make sure you have fresh water always available, kept away from the sleeping and toilet areas.
The first few weeks after bringing your new puppy home
Once your new puppy has arrived, you'll need to spend time on training and giving them plenty of love and attention!
- Toilet training
Training your puppy to use the toilet area is an on-going process. Make sure to reward your canine friend every time they use the allocated space. The reward must be immediate to ensure they understand the association. Ignore “accidents”. Don’t punish them! Use non-ammonia cleaning products after accidents so your puppy doesn’t confuse where the toilet area is.
- Introduction to other dogs
It is best if your puppy can explore the house while other dogs are out, perhaps at the park? Then take the puppy to the park for the introduction as this is preferably done away from home. Your vet or the RSPCA can offer further comprehensive tips on introducing pets.
- Behavioural training.
Avoid negative/aversion training techniques. Focus instead on a positive/reward-based approach. The RSPCA or your vet can recommend reputable schools. Make sure your puppy's vaccinations are up to date for safe interaction with other dogs.
- Regular walks and play
Canines need exercise to stay healthy. Regular walks on a leash are good for your puppy, also helping them acclimatise to new environments. Playing with your puppy is important too. It stimulates their minds, and increases the bond between you.
- Meeting friends and family
Want everyone to meet your newest family member? Remember, strangers can be overwhelming for your puppy in the initial period. Try and limit visitors during the first few days. Let your puppy adjust to their new home before slowly introducing them to friends and family.
Good luck, and get set for an amazing experience. A puppy is a wonderful addition to the family!