Caring for a new puppy

Caring for a new puppy

You finally have that gorgeous puppy you’ve been dreaming of. With these handy pointers you can spread the puppy love and minimize some of the chaos that goes with having a new furry family member.


Pup-proof: If possible, dog-proof your house before your puppy arrives. Little dogs like to chew and shred, so electrical cords, expensive pillows and other dangerous or easily destroyed ornaments should be put away.

Make time: On the day of your puppy’s arrival, take time off from work; if possible, take several days. Your new family member will be curious, anxious and a little confused. Every puppy needs to start socializing as soon as possible once it is fully vaccinated. Puppy parties or training classes are an ideal start. It should meet new people, new experiences and surroundings, as well as meeting up with different dogs. You can be a huge comfort to it by being there for help and support.

What’s in a name: Name your pup and use its name often when you speak.

Nose it all: When your puppy does arrive, let it sniff around freely under your supervision. There will be hundreds of new smells for it to check out and get used to.

Bedtime: Buy a large pen and turn half of it into a bed. This will provide your puppy with its own place to feel safe in. Plus it is a place for your pet to stay when you can’t keep a careful eye on it. Put an old sheet or old towels in its bed so it has an extra-soft, warm place to snooze.

Comfort zone: Your new pet may whimper or howl at night. Wrap a softly ticking clock in a towel and place in the pen to create a calming effect. Just make sure puppy can’t chew through to the clock!



Easy does it: Start off by feeding your puppy the same food it was fed when you got it. Then slowly switch to what you would like it to eat. Choose a diet that is formulated for the eventual adult size of your puppy.

Territory: If you have other pets, ensure your new puppy has its own water and food bowl so it doesn’t feel threatened while it eats.

Seek & destroy: Look for indestructible toys so your puppy can chew while teething. Cute stuffed animals may be fun to purchase but they are impractical. Choose toys your new pet can’t destroy or accidentally swallow.



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Fence me in: Before letting your pup out in the garden, do a thorough check for holes. You don’t want your puppy to dig or crawl under a fence and go missing.

Safe space: Be sure you have no poisonous plants or other dangerous items it may eat.

House smart: Start house-training immediately. Take it outside first thing in the morning and several times a day.

Site-specific: Place your puppy in one spot in the garden and stay with it until it does its duty, then praise and pet it. Your puppy will learn the spot and what it’s supposed to do there.

Be nice: Don’t scold your new puppy, even if it does something bad. It’s likely confused and getting used to its surroundings. Scolding could teach it to fear you.

Puppy talk: Before training your puppy to perform tricks, start by teaching it to recognize its name and the command “no”. Then move on to simple one-word commands with different vowel sounds so there is little confusion. “Heel,” “sit,” “stay” and “down” are four of the basics.

Good dog: Remember to always reward your puppy with tons of affection when it does well.


Most importantly, have your puppy checked out by a veterinarian within a couple of days of bringing it home. Be sure it stays up-to-date with its vaccinations, is microchipped for identification, is neutered if this is advised by the veterinarian and gets the regular checkups it needs as it grows.


And last but not least, have fun with your new bundle of joy!

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