Bringing Home a New Puppy!
Updated: Jul 9
So you’re getting a new puppy! Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a wonderful adventure. There’s so much to think about and I’m going to fill you in on some tips to help prepare for the arrival of the newest, furriest member of your family. We’ll be going into details like food, puppy essentials, tools for house training and great ways to socialise the little one.
The one universal law when it comes to what to feed your pup is… whatever it was eating before. If you can avoid it, you never want to suddenly change a dog’s diet, no matter what age they are. It can cause upset stomachs, and upset stomachs lead to not only a mopey pup but more than likely a bit of a mess for you…
When it does come time to change your dog’s diet you’re going to want to do so gradually, by slowly decreasing the old food, while slowly increasing the new food. In the beginning your puppy will need to be fed a small amount, multiple times throughout the day.
Be sure to pick a good quality, puppy friendly dog food. The labelling will always clearly state if it’s suitable for a puppy or not. Just like humans, dogs require different sets of nutrients at different ages, and the dog food companies have taken all of the hard work out of that for us.
A very well trusted dog food brand is Eukanuba. If you’re not sure, make sure you talk to your vet about the best pet food for your puppy.
***Disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links and as such I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you choose to make a purchase. Village Dog Walking does not intend to give veterinary advice, these posts are based on extensive research, experience, observation and opinion only and does not substitute veterinary advice. Please always consult with your veterinarian***
It’s also a great idea to have some training treats ready to go. Boat to
Bowl make wonderful products including training treats and they have a huge emphasis on sustainable sourcing. They’re a great South Australian company.
It’s very important to note that dog treats are intended to be used as rewards when training and are definitely not a meal replacement. It’s also worth noting that a small training treat works just as effectively as a big one, so break those suckers up to make the most out of them and to keep your dog nice and healthy.
Savour Life is another great Australian company to support and also have delicious treats. Not that I’ve personally tasted them…
Two bowls, one for water and one for food. Go for a good quality bowl that will last. You don’t need to buy a small bowl because your puppy is currently small. This is one thing it’s completely safe to let your puppy “grow into”.
I really love these Now House bowls. They’re dishwasher safe, they come with a non slip layer that also doubles as a lid for storage and travel, it comes in a few different designs, all of which are super classy and cute.
Puppy collar and possibly a harness and definitely a lead. I love the Fuzzyard products. They’re an Australian company and they have so many fun designs. These products are super durable and if you get a regular size lead there will be no need to upgrade when the time comes to get a bigger collar. It’s also a very sensible idea to invest in an identity tag with their name and your number.
I cannot speak more highly of Kong’s. These are such a wonderful way to keep your puppy entertained if you need to leave them alone for a bit, they are almost indestructible. I am yet to come across another product that is this durable. The dogs absolutely love them.
A favourite amongst the finest of dogs is your basic rope toy. Hours of entertainment plus it will clean their little teeth as they chew. These ones are rainbow and we love a rainbow here at Village Dog Walking.
It’s hugely beneficial to start getting your dog used to being brushed daily, even if they have a short coat. It helps with shedding, it’s a lovely massage and it’s a wonderful way to build a bond with your dog. These Kazoo puppy brushes, slickers, and combs are another great Australian product.
Now, it’s highly likely your puppy is going to try to destroy any bed you get them in the beginning so it’s a good idea to either not waste too much money while they’re going through their chewing stage, or invest in something that is built to last. You can get something like the Coolaroo and throw a blanket on top, comfortable in the knowledge that the blanket is going to end
up in strips but your will have saved on a bunch of soft cushiony beds being joyously shredded by your proud pup.
If your puppy is not house trained when it arrives, it is essential that you are able to commit the time to helping your puppy work out where to go to the toilet. This can be a time consuming process and is going to take patience but you will thank yourself in the long run.
1) A common method of house training a puppy is the use of training pads or newspaper. In an enclosed space, preferably tiled, cover the floor with newspaper or training pads (disposable or washable) and over time gradually decrease the amount of pads until you just have one. Now you’re ready to move that pad outside to wherever you want your pup to go to the toilet. Leave it there for a while and this will become an odour cue for your pup. It’s incredibly important that the space you were using with the pads is thoroughly cleaned to get rid of any lingering scents that your pup might mistake for a toileting option.
2) The most time consuming method is to helicopter parent your puppy and any time pup exhibits any signs of needing to go to the toilet, waking up from a nap, circling, sniffing, whining, etc. you quickly take them outside and once they have done their business congratulate them with a treat. They will quickly associate going to the toilet outside with rewards and everybody wins.
It’s not a bad idea to incorporate both methods, newspaper or puppy pads when you have to leave your pup at home alone and helicopter parenting when you’re around.
If you don’t have a grassy area outdoors, these grass pad dog toilets are easy to clean and a great alternative. They are actually hygienic enough to use indoors if you need to leave your dog inside for long periods! Though you’d want to make sure you are cleaning them regularly… They come in three different sizes to suit your pup!
You need to set up an area to leave your puppy in when you go out or when you just need some time to yourself, and you want to set this up as a place where puppy enjoys spending time. It’s not a punishment, it’s just their happy rest place and you should treat it as such. It should have a bed, water, some safe toys and if it’s still needed, enough room to lay down a puppy pad or some newspaper.
If you don’t have the luxury of a separate room to devote to Pupper, there’s some great fencing options. I would personally avoid the fabric ones, cute as they are, because a lot of puppies will very cleverly chew their way through and they are harder to keep clean. These play pens come in three different sizes, are easy to install and configure to the shape you want, they can be used indoor or outdoor, they’re durable and really affordable and they flat pack making them really easy to store or travel with.
for extra protection for your walls. The gates can stay in place while your puppy is learning the rules as there’s a gate within the gate so humans can pass through with ease.
If you're in Australia and you prefer to shop local you can check out My Pet Warehouse, they offer free delivery for orders over $49.99 and same day dispatch for orders placed before 2pm!
Socialising your puppy!
While your puppy is still young it is a great idea to introduce it to lots of people, adults and kids, and other animals where possible and as soon as safe (once vaccinated) It is very tempting to keep our pups to ourselves but this step is hugely important if you want to make sure you end up with a dog who is happy to be around all people and animals and isn’t solely obsessed with you. Though you will of course be their number one best friend forever.
There are lots of puppy schools around, often hosted by your local vet. One of the main purposes of this is that your puppy will get to meet lots of different dogs, of all shapes and sizes and lots of different people.
You might also consider finding a dog walker or a doggy day care, both of which are great opportunities for further socialisation with different humans and animals which means they aren’t completely dependent on you. This means when the time comes for you to take a holiday without your dog or when you are separated from your dog for any reason, they will be confident and happy with other trusted humans. This means less stress for you and less stress for your doggo. Everybody wins!
These are just a few ideas that might help you out while you’re preparing to bring your dog home, ultimately you need to do your own research and always consult with your vet.
Let me know in the discussion below if you have any other suggestions for things that will help when bringing a puppy home! I’m sure I’ve missed things! I’m also sure some of you will find some of my suggestions completely unnecessary and I’d love to hear from you too! I’m all about learning and totally welcome any feedback and I know for sure the comment section of blogs is often where we learn the most, so please join in!
And if you know someone who's about to get a puppy, feel free to share via the links below! I'd be ever so grateful!
Make sure you join my email list if you want to be notified when new Village Dog Blogs come out.
Until next time!