Getting a new puppy is one of the greatest joys any pet owner can feel, and it is a time to be excited and to have fun – but it’s important to know what you’re getting into and what is required of a good pet owner. All dogs have different requirements, and each breed will have specific demands.
Knowing which dog is right for you is a decision best made before you adopt. However, even after you have brought your new puppy home, there are some important things to remember to help keep them healthy and happy.
Puppies are curious and energetic, often more so than adult dogs. It is important to know how much to feed your puppy to help them grow up healthy and strong. Give them toys to play with, but don’t be afraid to let them explore other objects around the house as well so they become familiar – just be sure to supervise them so they don’t eat your remote control or hurt themselves.
We also recommend baby-proofing gardens and stairs so your puppy doesn’t accidentally escape or find themselves trapped.
As soon as your puppy is exposed to the outdoors and other dogs, they are at risk of catching infections; their first outing should be to your local vet to begin their vaccination treatment.
It is a legal requirement to get your puppy microchipped, so this would be a good opportunity to do both. Microchipping is cheap and painless, and will give you some peace of mind in case your puppy ever goes missing.
Finally, your vet will be your number one advisor about keeping your dog healthy and happy throughout his or her lifetime, so introduce them early and let them start to build a bond.
Once your puppy has received its vaccinations and your vet has cleared them to go for walks in public places, begin socialising with other dogs.
Of course, this might be a bit scary for your puppy at first, so you can control the situation by keeping your puppy on the lead and introducing him or her to other dogs slowly and calmly. It may be easier to meet your puppy with other dogs off the lead, but do so in a secure area away from roads.
Meeting a variety of dogs of different sizes, ages and temperaments will help your dog start learning the dos and don’ts of doggy etiquette.
Owning a dog is, and should be, an enjoyable experience. But like teaching children limitations and boundaries, it’s important to do the same with your new puppy.
Introduce them to your rules early on and begin training right away so they respond to your commands.
Also, help them get used to spending time alone from the beginning. Don’t make a big deal out of hellos and goodbyes, and even if you spend a lot of time at home, giving your puppy a few positive sessions alone in their crate or room will help reduce separation anxiety in the long run.
The important thing to remember when adopting a new puppy is that they look to you to be their companion and their protector. It’s easy to be their companion, and by giving them the medical and social protection they need early on, you’ll prove yourself to be a good and caring pet owner.