Congratulations on your new puppy! How exciting – you have just made a big decision to bring home a life-long companion.
Happiness aside, it can be challenging too, especially for first time owners. Moving to a new home with a new family can cause stress for dogs, and it can certainly cause stress for you too. We would like to share some tips with you – hopefully it may make the transition smoother for the both of you.
Coordination within the familyYour family should agree on commands and rules, and be able to give consistent commands. Complete coordination from all family members can help prevent giving mixed signals which can be confusing for the new pup.
Assign a primary caretaker
It is easier when one person takes a lead role in caring and redistributing tasks to avoid unnecessary confusion and argument.
Stock up on supplies
Puppy proof house
Baby or dog gates to block off sections of your house may be a good idea to avoid accidents (such as damage of your belongings and your puppy eating something that could make them sick). Set this up at or near the centre of activity in your household – so your puppy won’t feel isolated. The area should have easy-to-clean floors.
Make sure that anything that could hurt your puppy is out of reach – such as medicines and chemicals.
It is good to ensure your puppy’s first vet visit is a pleasant experience, as it will make it easier for future visits. Ask around for referrals, read some reviews online and schedule your first appointment!
Your puppy will need a check-up and likely some vaccinations (if not vaccinated already).
Ensure your puppy is microchipped and recorded on the relevant microchip register against your most up-to-date contact details so that they are identifiable and you can be contacted if they accidentally get lost.
Crate training (a whole topic to itself – stay tuned for our future blog post) or confining your puppy to a small, safe area of the house is an easy way to make your little one feel safe. This way, they won’t get lost or hurt themselves and can easily access their food, water and bed. As their confidence increases, you can slowly expand the surface area and allow them to explore more of the home.
Don’t bring home a new puppy during busy times such as birthdays or other events – noise and confusion may frighten the pet.
Best time to bring home a puppy is probably at the start of the weekend, or during a period where you can take a few days off. This would give you time to bond with your puppy, learn how to communicate with them, to give some training and to help them adjust to the new home.
Spend some time to do research on dog training – it is recommended to take some classes (group obedience classes) with your pup to learn how to communicate and train them.
Remember to also spend time each day to play with your puppy!
The earlier you start training the easier it would be for both you and your pup. Toilet training and teaching your pup obedience earlier would help a long way.
Training takes time and patience – a reward-based positive reinforcement training is probably the most ideal way to start (more on this in future blog post).
Bring home the pet food that your puppy has been eating to make the transition as easy as possible. If you were to change – do it gradually.
Put the food in the same spot to establish a routine. If puppy is not eating – try moistening the food with water to make it easier to eat.
Friendly reminder: be mindful that your little one will need to have completed all their recommended vaccinations before it is safe to take them out (especially to higher risk areas like the doggy park).
Begin socialising your puppy as soon as your vet gives the OK. Take them out and gradually introduce to new people and other puppies in a controlled and safe setting – give them confidence and social skills.
Walks and play time are also vital for good physical health and prevent obesity; However, do not over-exercise your little pup.
Puppies are like babies – meaning they require lots of sleep. As they grow and develop, naps are essential throughout the day. A puppy sleeps approximately 15 to 20 hours a day! Isn’t that the life! Eat, play, sleep and more sleep!
With all training, it is important to maximise your little one’s sleep and get into a routine, so they can settle quickly when it’s night time. For example, an unwinding night routine may consist of dinner, walkies, playtime, toilet trip then into the crate/ sleeping area. Like babies, puppies toilet during the night, and may need a toilet break in the middle of the night until about 16 weeks of age.
Dogs like humans, naturally enjoy soft plush areas to sleep, so a comfy and secure bed is recommended. Even if you want to sleep with your little one, it’s still ideal that they have their own bed on the ground in case they feel hot or want a little extra room for themselves.
HAPPY SLEEPING !
Your puppy will require a lot of care and attention from you. At some stage, however, you may have to leave your puppy alone for short periods.
We have discussed on our other blog post.
We have now talked about quite a few things, but MOST IM-PAW-TANTLY – HAVE FUN!