When you bring a new puppy home, most people (and we’ve been there!) have more questions than answers about how to take care of their new family member.
Bringing home your new best friend is an amazing experience, so you’ll want to make sure you have everything at home at the ready for him or her!
Here’s a checklist of things you’ll want to make sure you have ahead of time:
1. An appropriately-sized crate
Dogs are den animals, and they love the comfort and security offered by a snug space of their own. This crate should have three walls, and a gate your pet can see you and the home through.
It's very important to find a crate that is the right size, with enough space for the puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, if it’s too large, they lose the sense of cosiness that a small crate provides, and also can increase the chance they may have an accident in it. Inside the crate, you should have comfy bedding and blankets - but be warned, these might become a target for chewing!
As well as providing a place to play for your puppy, dog pens are great for blocking access to stairs and rooms you'd like to keep off-limits for the safety of your pet.
3. Puppy chew toys
Your shoes, furniture and even throw rugs become great toys for your puppy if you aren’t careful! They need to chew, so make sure you have plenty of dog toys for him or her to chew on. If you catch them chewing someone they shouldn’t be, redirect their focus and encourage them to chew on the proper toy.
Interactive puppy toys are always a good way to encourage brain development - toys that can be stuffed with fillings like peanut butter are great ways to keep your puppy occupied. Bring home a variety of toys for your puppy to see what they like best!
4. Leah, collar, and harness
Introduce your puppy to her dog leash and dog collar or dog harness, and get him or her accustomed to wearing it by letting them wear it in the house prior to taking going outside for walks. Please, don’t drag your puppy as they become used to this. They’ll get it over time, with lots of love, patience, and practice!
5. Puppy food and bowls
You’ll need to purchase veterinary-approved, high-quality pet food that is appropriate for your puppy. You can serve it in a stainless steel dog bowl (steel collects less bacteria over time than plastic), and there should always be a bowl of fresh water nearby. Come and see us for advice on the puppy nutrition that will suit your BFF best!
6. An enzyme cleaner
Even the best-trained puppy will have an accident at some point! The difference between enzyme cleansers and regular household spray is that the enzymes will eliminate odours that only your dog can smell. This works to reduce the chance they will remember that spot as a preferred destination to go potty! Pro tip - avoid any cleaning agent that contains ammonia—the chemical smells just like pee to a doggie!
For more of our Puppy Housebreaking tips, see here.
In January only, we’re offering FREE EXAMS for your new puppy or kitty.
Get in touch today to book yours!
Yours in good health,
From the desk of Dr. Gastis