Getting a new puppy is always exciting whether you’re a first-time pet owner or have had dogs all your life. But it’s also a big responsibility.
Puppies require a lot of care and attention, and it’s important to be prepared before you bring your new fur baby home. Here are some puppy healthcare tips to help you get started.
Things to Consider Before Getting a New Puppy
Puppies are a lot of fun and can bring much joy into your life. But before you take the plunge, there are some things you should think about first. Below are some things to consider before deciding to get a new puppy.
Can You Afford a Puppy?
Puppies are not cheap. When budgeting for your new furry friend, you’ll need to factor in the cost of food, toys, supplies, vet care, etc. Be honest with yourself—can you afford a puppy right now?
Do You Have Time for a Puppy?
Puppies require a lot of time and attention, especially during the first few months. Are you prepared to potty train, feed, bathe, play with, and walk your puppy daily?
Where Will Your Puppy Sleep?
Your puppy will need their own space to sleep, eat, and play. Do you have enough room in your home for a crate or other designated area?
What Kind of Dog Is Right for You?
There are hundreds of different breeds of dogs out there. Do the research and find out which breed(s) would best fit your lifestyle and personality type.
Who Will Watch Your Puppy When You’re Away?
Whether it’s a dog sitter, daycare, or boarding kennel, you’ll need to make arrangements for someone to watch your pup when you can’t be there yourself. It is important not only for vacations but also for workdays and other times when you’ll be away from home for extended periods.
Do You Have Other Pets?
Before adding a new puppy to your family, it’s important to consider the dynamic of adding another pet to your existing ones. If you already have adult dogs or other adult animals, introducing them slowly and carefully is key. A well-thought-out introduction process helps ensure peace in your home for all pets.
Do You Have Small Children?
Small children and puppies can be a risky combination. Children may unintentionally hurt puppies by pulling their tails or ears or by dropping them—even if they don’t mean to hurt them.
Where Will You Get Your Puppy From?
Be careful when choosing where to get your new pup. There are many unscrupulous breeders and “puppy mills” out there who care more about making a profit than they do about the welfare of their dogs. Look for reputable breeders who care about the health and well-being of their animals.
Are You Ready for Some Surprises?
No matter how well you plan or how much research you do, raising a puppy will always come with some surprises. Be prepared for potty accidents, chewing everything in sight, barking and whining at all hours, Separation anxiety, lots of energy, destroy anything that gets in their way! All these behaviours are normal, but that doesn’t make them any less challenging, especially if You’re not expecting them!
What the Previous Owner Should Have Done Before You Bring Your New Puppy Home
There are a few things the previous owner should have done before you take your new puppy home.
First Round of Vaccinations
One of the most important things on this list is ensuring that your puppy has had their first vaccinations. It is vital for protecting them. Your puppy’s vaccinations should be up to date, and you should also ensure they have had their booster shots.
Toilet training is another essential thing that the previous owner should have started working on before you take your new puppy home. Puppies have small bladders and will need to go frequently, so it’s important to start teaching them where they should go as soon as possible. With patience and consistency, your puppy will learn where it should go to the toilet in no time.
Introducing your puppy to new situations and people is important for socialisation. It means your puppy will become used to being around different types of people and animals and learn how to behave accordingly.
Preparing to Bring Your New Puppy Home
A new puppy is an exciting time for any family. But before your furry friend comes home, there are some things you need to do to puppy-proof your house and make sure they have everything they need.
Creating Space and Buying Toys
One of the first things you’ll need to do is create space for your puppy to play. If you have a garden, ensure it’s secure with high fences and no gaps they can squeeze through. Setting up a small pen indoors with some toys will suffice if you’re short on outdoor space.
You’ll also need to buy some toys for them to play with – chew toys are essential for teething puppies and will help stop them from chewing on your belongings. Balls, tug-of-war ropes and Kongs are all great toy options.
Providing Somewhere for Them to Rest
Puppies need a lot of sleep, so providing them with somewhere quiet and cosy to rest is important. If you have the space, a crate is ideal as it gives them space to retreat when they want some time alone.
If you don’t have room for a crate, setting up a bed in a quiet corner of the house will work just as well. Make sure their bedding is warm and snug. You could also bring along a blanket from their breeder’s or rescue centre as it will smell familiar and be comforting for them.
Removing Anything Poisonous or That You Don’t Want Them Chewing
Puppies like to put everything in their mouths, so removing anything poisonous or that you don’t want them chewing on from around the house is important. It includes plants (some houseplants are poisonous to dogs), medicines, cleaning products, power cords and small objects they could choke on.
It’s also a good idea to pick up loose items around the house, such as shoes, clothes and towels, as puppies love nothing more than chewing on these!
Finding a Vet
As soon as you know you’re getting a puppy, find a vet that you’re happy with and register them. You must feel comfortable with your vet as you’ll rely on them for advice and support throughout your dog’s life.
Once you’ve found the one you like, give them a call and arrange an appointment so you can introduce your puppy to their new vet team!
Getting Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is crucial in case your puppy falls ill or has an accident – vet bills can be very expensive! It’s best to arrange cover as soon as possible after bringing your puppy home so they’re covered immediately should anything happen.
Many different policies are available, so read the small print before buying one to know exactly what’s included.
Getting the Right Food
When preparing your home for a new puppy, it is essential to make sure that you stock up on the right food for them. Adult dog food should not be given to puppies as they do not require the same nutrition and calories as adult dogs. Instead, look for a complete and balanced diet designed for puppies that meet their nutritional needs and growth stages. Discuss any questions with your veterinarian, as they can provide valuable insight into puppy care, including what type of food might work best for your growing puppy’s diet.
Booking Puppy Training
A key part of any puppy-ownership training plan should involve booking pet care classes or even a puppy school. Working with an experienced instructor can help you learn key skills such as basic obedience commands and good manners and empower the pup with important skills such as house training. In addition to attending puppy classes and training sessions, familiarise yourself with other topics related to pet care, such as nutrition, grooming and preventative health care.
Final Thoughts Bringing Your New Puppy Home
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time for any pet owner—but it’s also a big responsibility. There are many things you need to do to take care of your new fur baby, from vaccinations and veterinary care to training and socialisation. Following these tips can help ensure your puppy’s happy and healthy life!
For any of your puppy needs, get in touch with us today!
About Matraville Veterinary Practice
Your pet isn’t just an animal to you but a family member. We care for all creatures, great and small – as if they were our family. At Matraville Veterinary Practice, we’re here to ensure your furry (and not so furry) loved ones have a long, happy, healthy life.
With our large team of friendly, dedicated staff, we’ll take care of your pet’s every need.