Top tips for caring for your new puppy
Read our tips for caring your new puppy written by our veterinary and nutritional experts –
- Puppies love to chew, so before you bring your new puppy home, try to make sure that things like plants or electrical wires are kept well out of his reach. Take the same sort of precautions you’d take with a toddler, for example.
- Don’t overpower your puppy by introducing them, to too many people at once. Also, make sure not to introduce all of the other pets in the home at the same time – it can be quite intimidating for a young puppy.
- Housetrain your puppy properly as the chore of cleaning up after them is not one that you want to face for very long. No matter when they ‘perform’ in the right place, make sure to reward him and lavish him with praise.
- Don’t be tempted to feed him human food, even if it’s very high quality human food. He has a completely different set of nutritional and digestive needs, so make sure you feed him specially formulated puppy food.
- Start working on obedience from the earliest possible stage. Not alone will YOU be happier, but your puppy will also be happier as he’s taught what the rules of the house are.
- Don’t skimp on exercise. Your puppy needs to get out and about and be allowed to exercise his developing skeleton and muscles.
- This is the time to start thinking about bringing a male or female puppy to the vet for a little ‘family planning’. Unwanted puppies are not something you want your growing dog to be responsible for.
- Set aside plenty of time to play with your new puppy, as this is the way that he’ll learn to be part of the social pack that he’s now living with.
Tips for caring for your new puppy
- Feed dry food as opposed to tinned or wet food, as tinned foods tend to be over 75% moisture (i.e. water) and typically contain 4% meat content.
- Make sure your dog also has access to plenty of clean, fresh water along with their dry food.
- Ensure your puppy gets all the necessary vaccinations.
- Keep treats to a minimum. They should be used mainly for training purposes, or for very occasional treats. They won’t miss them, and you’re potentially harming your dog by overdoing it on the treats front.
- Puppies can be introduced to solid food from about four weeks of age. At this stage you will need to add some warm (not boiling) water to the kibbles to get a porridge-like consistency. Feed like this up to six to seven weeks of age.
- In the event of changing a puppy’s diet make sure to do so gradually, introducing the new food over a period of time, so as not to upset their sensitive digestive system.
- Puppies need to be fed regularly. For the first few months they should be fed four to five small meals daily. A puppy’s tummy is very small.
- As your puppy matures, the frequency of feeds can be reduced until reaching adulthood, at which stage feeding twice daily is recommended.
- Remember different breeds mature at different ages. A small breed (e.g. Pug) may reach mature body size as early as nine months, whereas a giant breed (e.g. St Bernard) will still be growing up to two years of age.
- Make sure your puppy gets all the necessary vaccinations from your vet. Also ensure that your puppy is wormed regularly.
- After exercising, place your puppy in another room for an hour or so. The puppy gets used to being left alone and this may help to prevent anxiety, which can often lead to excessive barking and chewing.
- It is good to get your puppy accustomed to travelling in the car at an early stage. Try to make the first few trips positive ones.