New puppy time is one of the best times in the world. OK, so that might not be a scientific fact but we believe it to be true. The joys that you will get from welcoming a new bundle of canine joy into your home and your family are many. But it is important to be prepared too, as taking on a puppy is just as much a responsibility as it is a joy.
Take a look through guide and you should get a good sense of how best to prepare for the arrival of your new puppy into your home.
Collar and leash
The collar and leash is perhaps the first thing that you need to make sure you have, as it will be needed in order for you to take your puppy home. Make sure you get a collar initially that will fit snugly but will not be too tight; it should be able to hold two fingers between the material and your dog’s neck. Take a look at our full guide on finding the right size collar for your dog.
The leash is then crucially important not only for the initial journey back home, but also for obedience training. Make sure you pick up one which is strong and easy to grip. The leash you first use should be on the shorter side, though as your puppy starts to learn, you will then graduate to longer leashes.
Crates and playpens
Initially your puppy will need a crate to be transported back home in, but also to chill out and sleep inside. It will need to be big enough for them to stand up in, turn in and stretch in. This level of containment is not permanent of course, but it is just needed whilst your puppy is still very young, before they graduate to their larger doggy bed area.
You may also want to pick yourself up a play pen. This is a larger contained area in which you will be able to train your puppy in a controlled environment.
Your puppy will initially need to sleep in their crate or kennel, but it will be important that you make sure it is as comfortable as possible with a cushioned smaller dog bed within. It depends on your breed of dog, but around 2 months or so into their training, you will then be able to have your puppy sleep outside their crate or kennel.
For this, you will need to pick up a larger bed. There are lots of different options for you to explore, from oval beds to cosy mattresses to loungers and beyond. Find the right one which will suit the space that you have and the size of your growing pup.
There are two sides to the importance of grooming for a puppy. The first is that your puppy will need to be washed and groomed just as any other dog would need to be. The second side of this is that the grooming process is a really significant part of their obedience training. Puppies may at first be a bit confused or worried by being washed and groomed, as it is a completely new experience, but you will need to teach them, be gentle with them, and show that it is one of the more calming and relaxing things that you and your dog can do.
You will need not only patience but indeed a whole lot of kit. The key elements to grooming kits are shampoos, towels, nail clippers, combs, brushes, scissors, ear cleaning solutions and soothing wipes. Take it slow, be calm and gentle, and your puppy will soon learn that this is an important and refreshing part of life.
As well as welcoming your puppy into a loving home and teaching them with patience and care, one of the most crucial things you need to be on top of is their nutrition. Just like any other growing being, food and hydration is absolutely fundamental to their development.
In this way, it will be important for you to prepare by making sure you know how much food you will need per week, and by stocking up on the first few rounds so that you are ready to hit the ground running. Puppies need food which caters to their specific dietary requirements, which are different to that of older dogs. So you should explore the options of puppy food on the market, and consult a veterinarian if need more information.
Toys and treats
When you have a new puppy, one of the key things that you will be doing is training them. A key part of training your puppy is having some rewards to hand which will be there to reinforce learning and good behaviour. You will also need to make sure that these treats have been specially formulated for puppies.
Puppies are going to be bundles of energy, and will have a natural curiosity and playfulness which needs to be put to use somehow. This is why we recommend that you also make sure you have plenty of fun and creative toys for your puppy to play with. Not only is this important for your puppy to have fun and use up their energy, it also will be important for the development of their teeth and jaws.
When they are teething, typically within around the first 7 months, they will love biting. If you have some toys to hand, then you will be able to ensure that they have something to bite other than yourself!