Bringing a new puppy home is such an exciting time; they’re set to become your best friend for years to come. New puppy owners, however, often feel the weight of responsibility as well as the excitement. Making sure you are being a good dog parent and choosing what’s best for them can be stressful at times. Our pet experts get asked all the time about new puppies; what do you need? Should they be crate trained? What’s the best food? What’s the best way to settle them? We know there’s a lot to consider when bringing them home but the first things to do is relax! We’ve put together the tips and tricks we’ve learnt over the years to help make the whole process of bringing your puppy home as enjoyable as possible!
How to puppy proof your home
Before your puppy comes home, it’s a good idea to puppy proof your home. When your puppy arrives home at around 8 weeks, they will be super inquisitive and want explore. Remember your puppy will have to learn not to chew, so you can make it a little easier by removing anything they’re likely to destroy. To start with it’s a good idea not to let them into every room at first, choose a room and then secure it with a dog gate. This will give them time to get used to the space and minimise the chances for mischief!
Things that are a good idea to move are electrical items, shoes, kid’s toys or cleaning supplies. Pet repellent spray is great to stop your dog chewing larger furniture items which can’t be moved.
Being prepared for your puppy before they come home will make life that little bit easier once they’re home. We’ve put together our top ‘must haves’ for bringing a new puppy home to make your life that little bit easier
- Cage - we recommend cage training from day one, it’s proven to help with potty training your puppy as well as creating a safe den space for your puppy to chill out in
- Puppy Bed - our Cozy & Calming puppy cage beds have been designed with training your puppy in mind, they’re made to fill half the cage to help with potty training
- Puppy Pen or Gate - these are a life saver for keeping your dog in a contained space, and the play pens are perfect for when you have to pop out so you know they’re safe.
- Food and Water Bowls
- Puppy pads - These are great whilst potty training
- Toys - plenty of teething chew toys as well as some soft toys are great for keeping your puppy entertained
- Blanket - your puppy will find it difficult to regulate their own temperature at first so having a blanket on hand for them to snuggle in is a good idea. We also recommend getting your breeder to get your pups mum to snuggle into a blanket that you can take home with you so your puppy can take mums scent home with them to help them settle
Teaching your puppy the ground rules
Knowing what your ground rules are before your puppy comes home and then sticking to them will really help with your puppy’s training. Are they allowed on the couch? Where in the house are they allowed? Who’s walking, training, feeding them? Starting as you mean to go on will make settling your puppy in so much easier. Consistent cue words are important, deciding things like if you’re going to use down or lay, or drop or leave, will help with puppy training so your puppy doesn’t get confused.
Creating a routine for your puppy
Having a schedule from the get go will help your puppy to settle, they will quickly adapt to their new routine and they will then know what to expect from their day. Having a set time for eating, sleeping and going to the potty will help them feel secure.
Slowly but surely
Introduce your puppy to new things slowly, coming home can be overwhelming for them! Putting some treats and a scented blanket in their cage or bed can help them to settle. You want their cage or bed to be their safe place so don’t rush this process, give them a treat and praise every time they take themselves in to their sleeping space so they know it’s a positive thing. You can phase this out once they seem entirely comfortable
Teaching your puppy their name
Knowing their name is so important for recall down the line and is probably the best command to start with in the first few days, you can build on their training with more complex commands after this. Keep saying their name and every time they respond, whether that’s a look or them running over to you, give them a treat and some praise. Trust us, they will pick this up in no time.
If you’re a first time dog owner, remember you’re not the only one so don’t panic. There’s plenty of blogs with information and advice which are made to help you. So if you’re unsure do a little bit of research and you’ll be fine. Staying calm and enjoying the puppy phase is so important, trust us it will fly by!