So, the big day has arrived and that precious puppy you have been waiting for is finally home with you. Initially, it can be a bit of a shock to the system - for both you and them! However, there are a number of things that can be done to ensure they settle in effortlessly and to make the whole process that little bit easier on everyone.
Day One for puppy in their new home
Try to avoid planning anything big for the day pup arrives. They will likely be feeling tired and a little overwhelmed. Certainly, a welcome party with relatives and friends is better done another day! Ensure the house is calm and quiet and that they have a space of their own, such as a crate with a cosy bed, where they can relax by themselves if they choose. Many puppies will have travelled a long way and may just wish to sleep for the first few hours.
Top Tip: As soon as you arrive home, bring the puppy to their new ‘toileting spot’ as they may well need to go. If they do, reward them with a yummy treat.
It’s important that the puppy learns to get along with everyone at home; whether two-legged or four-legged.
- Children: The sooner the introductions are done the better. The younger a pup when they first meet someone, the less likely they are to make strange. It’s vital to socialise them properly and the following article discusses the process in more depth >. Before the new arrival comes home, any young children must be taught how to act around them as they will often try to treat them as a cuddly toy at first. While this may seem endearing, puppies don’t usually want to be carried around or tugged at. Children should learn that a tired or sleeping pup must always be left alone. To avoid any accidents, little ones must be supervised when in their company.
- Other Dogs: Let them meet any other dogs in the back garden while both are on a lead. There shouldn’t be any food or toys about as this could lead to conflict. Take it slowly and allow anyone that becomes timid or overexcited to take a break. Until they can be fully trusted in each other’s company, they should always be watched when together.
If there’s one thing that a young puppy loves doing even more than sleeping, it’s playing. Encourage all family members to play and bond with the new arrival. Opt for long-lasting chew toys that aren’t easy to destroy; soft teddies rarely last long. Most love squeaky balls to chase around after and small Kongs filled with puppy treats to chow down on.
It’s very important to ensure that the new pup is continued on the same food that they were given by the breeder, at least initially. This is because a sudden change in their food can cause an upset stomach, which can be a serious matter in a little one. If keen to start them on an alternative diet, this should be done gradually over the course of a week by mixing the new food in with the old food in increasing amounts. Our vets can advise you on the best diet for your puppy, which will depend on their breed, age and activity level.
Dogs like to explore the world with their mouths and this can make for some real mischief. Treat them as you would a toddler and ‘puppy proof’ the house before they even get there. Keep cleaning products and medicines locked away and anything you don’t want to be chewed up needs to be put well and truly out of reach.