A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WELCOMING HOME A NEW PUPPY
Welcoming home a new puppy brings some significant changes into both you and your new pet’s lives. To help you with this, we have put together a quick guide of the main things to keep in mind during your puppy’s first days at home.
1.- AT HOME
Keep your house safe and secure by removing things that can be broken, chewed or harm your puppy, and avoid leaving cleaning products within his reach. If you have a secure garden, you can let your puppy explore under your supervision. Otherwise, you should close windows and doors to prevent escaping.
It is very important that everyone in your household is in agreement about what the puppy can and cannot do. For example, decide whether your puppy is allowed to go into bedrooms or jump onto beds and sofas. These rules must be enforced by everyone, without exception. If not, the puppy will struggle to learn what he can and cannot do and may even display dominance over more permissive household members. Your puppy must have his own place in the house where he can rest comfortably in his own bed.
Children in the home can come to develop a very special relationship with the puppy, but to achieve this the children must recognise, accept and respect the puppy as a living being who has feelings, and they must not treat him like a toy. Rather than having separate playtimes, it is a good idea to include the puppy in the children’s play. You must also teach your puppy not to chew. It is best to use special toys for your puppy so that, during playtime, he can chew his own toys, but never anyone’s hands or feet. If this does happen, you must punish your puppy by halting playtime until later on, and firmly telling him “no”. The puppy will quickly learn how to behave, letting you avoid problems in the future.
2.- OUT AND ABOUT
Taking your puppy out for a walk is fundamental for his intellectual and physical development. It is incredibly important that he interacts and plays with other dogs, animals and people. Your puppy needs a fixed routine and must also learn patience early on. To achieve this, you must dedicate time to teach your puppy. For example, you can give praise by petting him and offering a small dog treat or biscuit as a reward so that he can learn that good behaviour earns rewards.
Training your puppy is very important and you must make sure to dedicate your time to it. You can even hire a trainer to help you.
3.- HEALTH AND HYGIENE
Regular grooming is an essential habit as it will protect your puppy’s skin and give him a lovely shiny coat, while also giving you the chance to detect any parasites or skin issues. Not only that, but grooming will also help you to form a bond with your puppy. The majority of dogs love getting groomed as long as they get used to it at a young age, meaning he may even let you brush his teeth with a special brush a few times a week. For dental health, you can also give your puppy special treats or hard bones which help with teeth cleaning. You must bathe your puppy at least once a month to keep him clean and fresh smelling. For this, you should use special soap for dogs, lukewarm water and towels to dry the puppy completely so he doesn’t catch a cold. It is also recommended to brush your puppy a few times a week with the correct brush to get rid of dead skin and other dirty residue.
Arrange an appointment with your vet to vaccinate and microchip your puppy. Make sure to inform yourself about worming and ask for advice about protecting your puppy from fleas and ticks.
Correct feeding is very important for your puppy’s wellbeing, especially when he is still growing, as nutrition plays a fundamental role in the optimum development of his physical condition. To start off with, puppies require several small meals per day, which you should gradually reduce to one or two per day. Spreading meals throughout the day helps your puppy’s digestive system and optimises nutrient intake. Your puppy must always have access to water, and it is equally important to avoid overfeeding as this can cause obesity.
It is important to choose a good food made specifically for puppies, and to only give the amount of food that corresponds to your puppy’s weight as he grows.
One of the objectives of good nutrition is to provide energy, but it is also fundamental for the development and maintenance of the body’s cells. This helps to prevent age-related illnesses in the future, as well as problems relating to your puppy’s digestion, skin, teeth and joints. A healthy food that satisfies your puppy’s nutritional needs will give him the best start in life.
Normally, dry food is recommended over other food types because of its many advantages. For example, it is easier to keep dry food fresh and uncontaminated, it is easier and more hygienic to handle, and its hard consistency is better for dental hygiene as chewing the kibble cleans your puppy’s teeth and gums.
Just remember: the most important thing you can give your puppy is your love and attention. Congratulations on the arrival of your new friend!