You’ve made the decision to invite a little bundle of joy into your life. Prepare for your lives to change for the better, and sometimes the worse!

Puppies can be a handful when they see the opportunity for causing trouble, but they will also fill you with lots of joy and happiness as they grow with you.

If you are a first timer puppy owner, or you just need to refresh yourself, this blog has you covered.

From how to prepare your house, to keeping your puppy happy and healthy. This has everything you need to remember and to help give your new pup the best start in life.

Before You Bring Your Puppy Home

Before you consider bringing your new best friend home with you, you’ll want to assess your house and garden and consider whether it is puppy proof. Even if it appears to be safe, you can bet they will get into some sort of mischief as soon as your back’s turned.

If you have any children, you will know what it is like to make your house safe for a toddler. Afterall, if they can, they will. If they can’t, they will still try to find a way to do it. This is what it will be like to puppy-proof your home.

First you want to view your house through your puppies’ eyes. See it from their eye line, things they can reach and crawl into.

Hide any electrical cables to prevent them from chewing them, especially if these cables are connected to a wall outlet!  If these cables can’t be hidden or placed out of reach of their little mouths, you can try cable protectors from Amazon to add an extra level of security to your house.

Hide anything toxic what may harm your puppy such as poisonous foods, medication, cleaning products, and certain poisonous plants.

Keep all these things locked away in a cupboard and not at your puppy’s eye level to minimise the temptation. Even if you think you have put them out of reach, your puppy’s sure to still try.

Hide or move anything breakable or expensive you don’t wish to be broken. Especially in their puppy stages, they can be clumsy and when excited, run around and knock things flying with their wagging tails or other body parts.

If there are certain areas you don’t want your puppy to gain access too, especially whilst you are out, we recommend you install puppy gates to prevent any accidents occurring. It may be wise to keep the kitchen off limit due to food, the bin, and other dangerous products in there.

Also keep the stairs off limit if you are not there to support them. Stairs can increase the chances of injury if they have yet to master the art of climbing them.

Be sure to check and double check that the garden is completely secure with no gaps in the fence or the gate where they can squeeze through and go for an adventure.

Start thinking of a name for your new best friend. Choose something which suits their looks and personality. The name needs a ring to it and shouldn’t be too long. Consider what you would be happy to shout in public or tell your friends and family.

Once you choose a name and start training them to it, there’s no going back so choose carefully!

Introducing Your Puppy To Their New Home

Now you have puppy proofed every square inch of your home and garden, it is time to bring them home and get them settled.

Consider the day and time when you bring them home. We recommend introducing them to their new home at the start of the day, so they have all day to settle and get used to their surroundings before going to sleep at night.

This will be a big change for them as they have left their mum, siblings, and their home. Plan to bring them home when you have a couple of days off so they can spend time with you and settle. Keep your house quiet and stress-free to help calm everything down.

As soon as they come home, show them the outside area where they will go to the toilet. When they are out there, if they go, give them plenty of positive verbal praise and make a big fuss of them. This will help to toilet train them.

After every meal, nap, and drink, take them outside to go to the toilet. However, don’t be alarmed if they do not pick it up straight away. Puppies cannot hold and control their bladder until they are about 12 weeks old. Toilet training takes time, patience, and lots of positive praise.

Once you have brought them into your home and you have taken them outside to go to the toilet, allow them to explore their new home.

Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t get into any trouble but allow them to do their own thing and sniff everything. As we all know, it is very exciting getting a new puppy. But try not to crowd around them and smother them. Allow them to come to you and stay calm and quiet to prevent scaring them.

One of the best things about getting a new puppy is spoiling it with lots of new things! Unless you have all of this from a previous puppy, there are some essentials you will need for your new pup.

Here is a list what we believe are necessities for your puppy:

  • A cage or a cosy bed. Sometimes it may be best to have both as they may use their cage to hide away if things get too overwhelming for them.
  • Puppy food.
  • Water bowl (non-tip!) and food bowl.
  • Toys. (Pay attention to what types as to what age they are. Don’t pick soft toys when they are teething. Or small toys if you have a larger breed of puppy.)
  • Collar with an identification tag on
  • Lead
  • Poo bags
  • Travel restraints for when they go to the vets.
  • Puppy pads to help them learn toilet training.
  • Warm blankets for them to snuggle into.

Preparing For Their First Night

For some puppies, their first night isn’t an issue. However, others may really struggle to adjust to their new routine of sleeping alone. Patience and consistency are key. Don’t fall for their constant whining and allow them to join you and sleep close to you.

The first night may always be the hardest. For the past 8-10 weeks, they have slept every night with their mum and potentially their siblings too.

A cage is better than just a bed as they can see and smell you, but it stops them from wandering off and getting stuck and injuring themselves. Always buy a bigger cage than you think you would need for your puppy. This will allow them to stretch out in it.

If they start crying, and you think they need the toilet, take them out and bring them straight back in.

Remember to praise them if they go. If they are just unsettled, try speaking to them in a soft voice but do not interact with them physically as this could start a bad habit of them being clingy and needy.

Your Puppy’s Health

Keeping an eye on your puppy’s health is vital in producing a happy and healthy dog. Within your puppy’s first six months, you will be seeing a lot of your vet.

After the first few days of your puppy settling at home, it is advised to make an appointment for a general check-up and examination. Keep every vet visit as positive as you can to maintain a happy and relaxed dog.

You should get your puppy vaccinated between the age of 6-8 weeks old, after this your puppy will require a booster at 12 weeks, then a third one at 16 weeks.

Providing that all these vaccinations are done at the right age, your new puppy should be protected by the age of 12 weeks! It is always best to play it safe though until they have their third vaccination at 16 weeks.

Choosing your puppies food can be very stressful with today’s current market. There are so many different options to choose from both flavour and content wise.

Whilst choosing your pups food, make sure that you choose puppy food of the right age category for them.

This is the most important factor as food which is meant for older dogs may be harder to digest due to higher protein and minerals. This will not be healthy for your puppy.

You may want to consider asking the breeder what they are feeding them so you can continue using the same until you are able to discuss with your vet other potential brands.

Training and Socialising

Training your puppy takes a lot of perseverance, patience, and persistence, but the outcome will be worth it when you have the best trained puppy in the class.

If you start training them to commands at an early age and socialise them as soon as they are safe to do so, this will help develop a very happy partnership between you and your pooch in the long run.

Bonding With Your Best Friend

The moment you meet your puppy, is the moment the bond begins to form. Embrace every moment spent with them. Enjoy the good moments and learn from the bad times.

Nothing will work out perfectly, but this will make your bond stronger and teach the pair of you many life lessons. Build your bond through playing, training, and grooming.

Make sure that you appreciate every moment you spend with your pooch and make lasting memories. Accomplish new things, explore new areas, and make new friends. Your life may change forever with a dog but think of all the endless opportunities and happiness they can bring.

We hope you now feel set up and ready to invite your new best friend into your life. Enjoy every moment!