Congratulations on adopting a new puppy! Here are our 5 top tips for welcoming your new pup to your home.
How to travel home with my puppy?
Take a soft carrier, an anti-spill travel bowl, water, puppy potty training pads, wipes, paper towels and plastic sacks.
Line your travel bag/carrier with a puppy training pad so if your new puppy poos or vomits, you can just roll it up and dispose of in a plastic sack. Remember to replace the mat with a clean puppy training mat just in case. Top tip: don’t put blankets or toys in the carrier along with your pup, just in case they do have an accident on the way home. Plus, your puppy can enjoy all of their new play things when you arrive home.
It’s likely your puppy may not have been fed before he/she leaves to prevent any travel sickness, but you can offer water from a travel bowl on the way home.
Sit with your pup when traveling home, either the front or the back of the car, rather than the trunk. If you have family or friends with you; let your puppy sit next to someone in the back seat to reassure them.
When can I take my puppy outdoors?
You can take your puppy outside immediately, but avoid areas where your dog could pick something up, if they haven’t had all of their vaccinations yet. You can hold your puppy whilst walking up and down the sidewalk to get used to outdoor noises - don’t put them down on the floor. It’s also best to stay away from beaches and parks until your puppy is fully vaccinated.
You can start leash training, potty training and begin steps towards obedience, all before puppy goes outdoors fully.
How far can I walk my puppy?
You’ll need to be cautious not to over-walk your puppy as they are still growing and there is a possibility they might damage joints and cause early arthritis. The most common guide to follow is walking your puppy for 5 minutes for each month of age, for example, 15 minutes per walk for a 3 month old puppy, and walk them twice a day. Once your puppy is a year old, build up their fitness as you would your own. Some breeds will need more exercise, such as Huskies, whilst other breeds will be happy with an average walk two to three times daily.
Remember: do not to walk your puppy on a full stomach as this can cause bloating.
How much socialization should my puppy have?
The first 8-14 weeks of a new puppy’s life with new parents are extremely important in moulding how they feel and react to circumstances in the future.
Your puppy can be supervised in the back yard and if you take them to a friends house, check their own pets are fully vaccinated. Your puppy should meet as many types of people (tall, short, deep voiced, children) and other types of animals like pet rabbits and cats where possible.
It is really important that every new experience is positive for your pup. Take care in thinking about how you will introduce them to certain animals and people. Take each introduction slowly, introduce them in slightly different ways when things go positively.
Remember: puppies need lots of rest, they can sleep for up to 16 hours in any 24 hours, so it’s important - for children especially - to let puppy sleep when they need it.
How often should my puppy take a bath?
Puppies can get mucky so quickly, often by getting pee or poop on their paws or bodies whilst they are potty training. A lot like babies, puppies can have sensitive skin, especially white, pink-skinned breeds such as Jack Russell Terriers. Over stimulation of the fur can strip their natural oils and leave your pup with dry and itchy skin. Only bath your puppy when needed and use products designed specifically with puppies in mind.
What do I do if my puppy cries at night?
It’s normal that puppies will cry for the first few nights as they’ll want to be with you. Usually they’re not crying for their birth mom, but for their missed siblings who they were used to at night. The important thing is to create a routine as quickly as possible. Put puppy in their cage at the same time every evening and say a phrase like ‘night *pups name*’ so they start to recognize it’s time to sleep.
Using a Lords & Labradors crate cover over the cage can make the puppy feel relaxed and happy as the crate becomes more of a den, offering a feeling of security. A cozy bed, like the ‘cosy & calm’ can be placed inside the cage for added warmth and support. To start with, put a puppy blanket with the scent of their litter mates and their mom in with them (and one of your old shirts as they begin to bond with you) as this will also help to settle themselves.
The best way to approach the crying is to reassure your puppy from night one, and then gradually increase the time you’re leaving them. By night three or four they will begin to understand their routine and notice you will be back in the morning.