Deciding to buy or adopt a puppy can be one of the most wonderful, exciting and fulfilling things that you will ever do, and watching your puppy grow, learn, thrive and come into their personality in front of you can be hugely rewarding. But leaving their dam and litter to go with you to a new home can also be rather daunting for the pup itself, and also, for their new owners too, as all of your time and consideration is likely to be dedicated to settling the pup in, making sure that they are comfortable, and start bonding with you.
There is a lot to think about and remember during this time, as well as of course getting to know your new puppy and finding out about their likes, dislikes and personality- and it is a good idea to have a plan and list of things that you need to do and think about during this time too.
Read on for our list of ten important things you should do when you first bring your new puppy home.
Provide a quiet space for them
While you will no doubt be really excited about having your new puppy home at last, it is important to remember that the whole experience can be very daunting for the puppy itself, and that while they may be playful, affectionate and active, at some point, they will also need a calm, quiet space to relax, take stock, and sleep.
Make sure that this place is thought out and set out for them in advance, and make it one of the first things that you show to your pup.
Don’t change their food suddenly
Unless you intend to keep feeding your puppy whatever it was they were fed by their breeder, you will probably be keen to start feeding them the food of your choosing as soon as possible. However, try to avoid starting off with this during the first few days of your new pup’s life with you-give them time to settle in to all of the other new things in their life first!
Pick the right name, and start using it
You may have already decided on a name for your new pup long before you brought them home, but many people prefer to wait until they get the pup, and a name becomes evident over time. However, your new puppy should not remain nameless for more than a few days, as it is important to get them used to their new name and start using it while training and caring for them too.
Get your routine going immediately
From the first night that your new pup is with you, you should start getting them used to the routine of the household in terms of when they will be fed, allowed out to the toilet, walked, and expected to sleep. This may take a little trial and error until your pup gets into the swing of things, but dogs need a set, reliable routine in order to thrive, so start as you mean to go on!
Start teaching your puppy about toileting immediately
It is only natural that your pup will have a few toileting accidents now and then along the way, and you should begin teaching them about toileting and where to do it right away. Never ignore your pup when they need to go out to the toilet, and make a mental note of the usual times that they need to go, and accommodate for this.
Make their first night as comfortable as possible
Your pup’s first night with you can be very daunting for them, as this will likely be their first night’s sleep without their dam or littermates nearby. You will first have to make the decision as to whether or not your pup will share your bedroom and if you intend to get up and check on them in the night or go to them if they cry, and whatever you decide, stick to it-don’t take your dog into your bedroom if you do not intend to do this in future, as it will be harder for your dog in the future when you try to change things again.
Don’t invite visitors over
You may well have a stream of well-wishers hoping to come over and meet your new puppy, but it is wise to put them off for the first couple of weeks to allow your pup to settle in-additional people coming and going are likely to unsettle your pup more.
Get them insured
It is wise to insure your puppy as soon as you get them, just in case anything unexpected or untoward happens and they need veterinary care. Don’t put this off as something to do later on-arrange their insurance before you bring them home.
Ensure that they are microchipped
It is now the law that all dogs in the UK must be microchipped, and in fact, part of the full remit of this law is that the breeder should have their puppies’ microchipped before they are rehomed. If you find that this has not happened, get your puppy chipped as soon as possible, or if they are already chipped, contact the microchip company and update the details with your own contact details and let your vet have them too.
Get a health check and if necessary, vaccinations
It is wise to take your new puppy along to the vet as soon as possible for a basic health check, and also, so that they can have their vaccinations if they have not already. Your vet will be able to offer you lots of advice and insights about caring for your puppy and when to arrange things like neutering-and so this first appointment can potentially be one of the most valuable that your dog will ever have. Remember that you shouldnt let your new puppy out of the house until at least a week after they have had their vaccinations.