Bringing your new puppy home

Being prepared for a new puppy is key; they'll be feeling anxious about their new home and will feel scared as they have been separated from their family. Planning ahead can make all the difference and it won’t take long to put comforting measures in place.

Before you bring your puppy home

  • Your new puppy will feel confused and scared about the change in environment and its possible they'll forget any house training they have learnt. So maybe the best place to keep your puppies bed is in the kitchen for easy clean up?
  • If you intend to crate train your new puppy its best to have this set up before bringing them home so they know exactly what it is and have no negative associations with it.
  • Safe-proof your home; most dogs will chew on anything they can get their mouth around, so it’s important to tape up any wires and cables, remove breakable items, plants and rugs. Put all harmful chemicals above reaching point and where possible install baby gates to avoid them going into off-limit areas like upstairs.
  • Ensure the whole family learns the same vocabulary when teaching your pup direction, this will avoid confusing your new pooch and will help them learn commands more quickly.
  • To ensure all safety measures are taken, add an extra ID tag to your puppies collar for the ride home and over the next few weeks. If microchipped, make sure you update the details on it straight away.

Puppies first day

  • It's important you guide your children when approaching the new puppy, this will ensure they don't scare and overwhelming it. Make sure they're calm and softly spoken.
  • Before introducing your puppy to strangers, make sure they're comfortable with you, your family and your home first.
  • It’s important to replicate the feeding schedule of the previous owner for the first few weeks, in order to avoid gastric distress and to allow some familiarity to remain while your pooch gets used to its new environment. If you intend on changing brand, do this over a period of about a week or two by gradually adding small amounts of the new food into the old food eg
          - One part new food, to three parts old - for several days.
          - Then switch to half new food and half old food.
          - Finally, one part old food, to three parts new food.
  • When you’re taking your puppy home, make sure they’re safely secure within the vehicle. According to the Highway Code, pets need to be restrained so they aren’t a distraction to the driver, will not become injured or injure the driver if the vehicle was to stop quickly. Possible restrains to be used are pet carriers, cages, harnesses or guards.
  • Once you arrive at home, take your pooch to the toilet area immediately and patiently wait until they have relieved themselves. Dogs are creatures of habit and once they've been once, they tend to use the same areas repeatedly - so make sure its in the designated areas and not on your lovely carpet.
  • If you're crating your pooch, make sure to leave the door open so they're able to create a positive safe association with the crate and not perceive it as a prison or a negative place.
  • To allow your puppy to settle over the next few days, ensure load noises and excitement are kept to a minimum – this will also allow you to bond with your pooch and help you get to know one another.
  • If your puppy has come from a shelter or a different home it can often take a while to understand their communication and behaviours especially if they've never interacted with children or if they have lived a sheltered life. This will mean that you'll need to be patient to help your furry friend get through this transition.

The next few weeks

  • While your pooch gets to know you over the next few weeks, you may struggle to see their personality. But once they’re comfortable with you, you’ll be able to see the real them.
  • Keeping to your schedule is important as it allows them to understand what is expected of them and it also shows them what is expected of you.
  • At this stage it’s important to consider getting your puppies first vaccinations so consult your vet and book in a suitable appointment.
  • You may also feel it’s time to take your pup on a training course or to your local dog park to help build socialising skills with other dogs and other humans. Be sure to keep an eye on your puppies body language to ensure they’re having fun and are not feeling bullied.
  • If you notice unusual behaviour speak to your vet and they should be able to point you in the right direction regarding a dog trainer who will be able to use positive reinforcement techniques to curb bad behaviour.


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