Puppy care essentials
So you’ve finally chosen the perfect puppy after choosing the perfect dog breed for you. While they are undoubtedly adorable, parenting a new pup is no walk in the park. As you prepare to welcome your puppy into your home, there are several points of care to consider. What puppy care essentials will your new addition need to help them settle in?
Create a comfortable environment
When welcoming a puppy into your home, it’s essential to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Being separated from their mothers can be a distressing experience for your new addition. A puppy bed with lots of bedding and pet-friendly blankets can make your pup feel like they are back with the security of their litter. A large crate will give them a sense of security, as dogs have a natural instinct to be in a den. When they are tired or nervous, they can retreat to this safe space for some downtime.
Feed your puppy right
Puppies leave their mothers at around eight weeks old. Feed the diet they are used to at first, introducing new foods gradually. Do your research and make sure the food is suitable for your pup’s breed and size. Feed them several small meals a day. Remember a full-bellied pup is a happy pup so buy two bowls, one for water and one for food.
Provide lots of affection
It’s very important to let your puppy know they are loved and are part of the family, so provide them with lots of care and affection. When bringing your new pet home have some dog toys for him to play with. This will keep them occupied and help you to build a bond up through play. Five toys should be enough at first, and you can rotate them frequently to reduce boredom.
A chew toy can help puppies through those pesky teething stages which cause irritation on the gums. A plastic ring, which you can store in the freezer, will help soothe their gums.
Keep your puppy clean
The phrase “mucky pup” exists for a reason – your pup is going to enjoy playing and getting dirty! Whether it’s from splashing around in the rain or rolling gleefully in the mud, it’s all part of being a dog – and you should be prepared to bathe them often. Stock up on puppy shampoo, as human shampoo is too acidic for dogs and may cause them damage over time. After their bath it’s good to give your pup a groom so make sure you have some brushes to keep their coat healthy and avoid matting in long-haired dog breeds.
House training is of high priority, so you should also establish a toilet routine for your puppy. You’ll need patience, planning and plenty of positive reinforcement! Accidents do happen so it’s wise to keep an anti-bacterial spray handy to clean up after puppy messes and eliminate smells. Instead of punishing them for having accidents indoors, provide plenty of positive reinforcement when they use the toilet outside. We have a handy guide on how to toilet train your pup.
Get your puppy microchipped
In the horrible event that they ever get lost or stolen, having your dog microchipped greatly increases the chance you will be reunited. Every dog in England, Scotland and Wales must be microchipped and registered by the breeder on an authorised database by the time they are 8 weeks old.
A microchip is a small electronic device coded with a unique number. It is implanted under your pet’s skin and stays there permanently. Once inserted, your pup won’t be able to feel the microchip. If your puppy disappears and ends up at a veterinary clinic, rescue centre or with the police, authorities will be able to scan them. They can then check the microchip database online and then safely return them to you.
Keep them healthy
To ensure your puppy stays in good health, take them on regular walks. Walks help to familiarise your puppy to the world around them. They will be naturally introduced to new sounds, smells, people and animals. Remember to take a lead, harness and plenty of poo bags with you.
Crucially, do not let your puppy outside before having them vaccinated. You will also need to make sure that you have a collar and ID tag for your puppy. Stay up to date with dog collar laws, as it is a legal requirement for your dog to wear a collar when outside of your home.
It is essential that you register your new puppy with a vet, so if any health complications arise they can be dealt with immediately. When you first get your pup, schedule an appointment for a check-up as soon as possible, just to make sure they are completely healthy. This will also ensure they have regular access to flea and worming treatments.
Make sure that you have insurance in case of any mishaps. Find out more about covering your pet with us at www.argospetinsurance.co.uk.
Argos Limited is an Appointed Representative of Home Retail Group Insurance Services Limited which is authorised and regulated as an insurance intermediary by the Financial Conduct Authority.