Bringing a new puppy home is a very exciting time for the whole family. Being prepared for their arrival will help for a smooth transition to life with your new best friend. It will not only be a learning phase for the human family members but it will also take a puppy some time to adjust to their new surroundings.
Here are just some of the things that a new dog owner can do to prepare for their puppy’s arrival.
Create a safe puppy space
When puppy arrives at their new home it important that they have a safe space set up to accommodate their needs. A comfy bed for sleeping, an appropriately sized crate, puppy toys, dedicated food and water bowls are all essentials for your new arrival. You may choose to only have the food bowl out at meal times but fresh water should be available to all times.
Try to pick a space for puppy where your family congregates so that they can feel a part of the action.
Make sure you also have plenty of suitable puppy food and treats to get started. It is often a good idea to check with the breeder, which type of food the puppies have been eating so that they can initially start on their same diet at their new home and transition to new foods over time.
Puppy treats are a great way to reinforce positive behaviours and build strong bonds between owner and dog. The treats should be soft, easy to chew and low in fats and calories. Remember that a treat is a sometimes food and should only make up about 10% of their diet.
Puppy proof your home and yard
Puppies are curious creatures, so make sure that harmful items that can be chewed and swallowed are out of reach. Also ensure that household and garden chemicals are kept safely away as many are toxic and can be fatal.
Have a leash and collar pre-prepared with your puppy’s ID information and organise microchipping ID with your veterinarian as soon as you can. This way you will be ready to go out on walks and do puppy socialisation.
The ride home
Keep the journey to puppy’s new home quiet and calm. If travelling by car, its best for puppy to travel in a small travel crate with a comfy blanket inside. If the journey home is a long one, be prepared to make plenty of toilet stops and have supplies ready to clean up after your new pup.
Puppy’s first day home
It can be very tempting to get over excited when you first bring puppy home but try to keep it calm as puppy acclimatises to their new home. If possible try to spend at least one or more full days at home with your puppy so that they feel supported as they learn the new smells and spaces of their new home.
Sometimes a puppy will show that he is scared by crying excessively, panting, trembling, shaking or hiding. This may be an indicator that your puppy is overwhelmed by all of these new experiences, so perhaps consider keeping puppy to a small area of the house and to try to keep the environment a bit quieter. Explaining to children of the house that they will need to be calm, gentle and quiet and give puppy some space as he gets used to his new environment could really help.
If you have other pets at home, introduce the puppy to them slowly and make sure they are fully supervised at all times
You can begin to introduce your new puppy to the place you would like them to go to the toilet, straight away. Take them to this spot every two hours in addition to after they wake, when they finish eating a meal or finish playing. Patience and persistence are the key with toilet training.
Be sure to choose the right size crate for your puppy – which will allow them to stand up, turn around and lay down. To begin crate training your puppy, put them in the crate for short periods of time, building up to longer stays in the crate. Allow puppy to have toys and treats to eat in their crate so that they learn that it’s a nice place to be. Initially leave the crate door until puppy seems comfortable spending time in the crate. Once comfortable, the door can be closed for short periods increasing to longer periods.
Puppy’s first night at home
The first few nights with a new puppy can be tough, so it important to establish a routine straight away. The puppy needs to understand that night time is for sleeping, not playing, so all toys and treats should be removed. If puppy cries out during the night, put him on a leash and take him outside for the toilet, then bring him back in and put him straight back in his crate/bed.
Many breeders will send their puppies to new homes with a toy or blanket that they have grown up with and has the scent of their mum on it. This can help to relieve some separation anxiety and may help to calm puppy if upset.
For the first few nights you may like to keep puppy’s crate near your bed so that they understand that you are nearby if they need you. The use of a crate for sleeping also helps to establish some boundaries.
Once you puppy has settled into their new home you many want to organise the following;
- A veterinary visit
As the vet to give your puppy a health check and to discuss vaccinations, microchipping and future de-sexing.
Registration is aimed at encouraging responsible pet ownership and is mandatory in all states and territories of Australia with some exceptions. Registration is done via the local council and requires and annual fee to be paid and for the pet to wear their registration tag at all times.
- Pet insurance
Pet insurance is very much an optional extra but it can help cover veterinary visits or unexpected medical or emergency expenses.
Bringing home a new puppy is such an exciting time which comes with a lot of responsibility. Preparing for their arrival will help you to be ready for anything that comes with being a puppy parent.