General advice about caring for your new puppy or dog
Congratulations! You have decided to get a new puppy or adopt a dog. Taking care of a new puppy/dog is a gratifying experience but could also turn out to be quite stressful. So its important you know what to expect and know how to deal with all the hustle and bustle and joys you are about to experience. As a new puppy or dog owner, you should be aware of the responsibilities that come with dog owning and caring for your dog.
In time, with the correct training and care, your puppy or dog will hopefully become a well-adjusted adult who is a pleasure to own and a credit to you and the dog society at large.
In this article you would be provided with information on how to welcome your new puppy or dog home and tips on socialisation, preparing the environment, feeding, walking and more.
THE DOG IS HERE.
What you should have ready:
- cozy blanket.
- Puppy food
- Chew toys
- Collar and leash
PUPPIES NEED SPECIAL FOOD
Like babies, puppies require a diet that is different from adult dogs. The reason is the same as the reason for babies needing different food than adults, different nutritional needs and different processing abilities. Young puppies still have a lot of growing to do to reach their adult size and to grow to that size and remain healthy, it is important that they obtain the right levels of vitamins and minerals their bodies need. Feeding your puppy inadequately in the first few months could stunts its growth.
PUPPY PROOF YOUR HOUSE
- This means tucking electrical cords out of sight
- Keeping your shoes and other items off the floor
- Placing the trash can in an out-of-reach area
- Keeping all small items like hair ties, rubber bands, bobby pins, that the puppy can swallow and choke on or cause intestinal blockages.
- It’s also a good idea to keep the bathroom door closed and off-limits to your puppy. Puppy gates are an easy way to section off areas of your home.
YOU NEED TO KNOW PUPPY POISONS
Common foods we enjoy on a daily basis are actually toxic to dogs. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, coffee grounds, garlic, and sugar-free food containing xylitol are some of the more toxic food for dogs. I must confess that my dog has eating some of the above and turned out fine afterwards. But breeds are different and having to stay up all night worrying if your dog would make it through the night is not worth it.
Here’s some additional advice from the UK Kennel Club for your perusal.
Your puppy is likely to be 8 weeks old when you first meet him. With the help of his mother and breeder, he will already have taken some important steps to becoming a well-balanced and socialised dog.
- The neonatal period (Birth-2 weeks old)
In the first days of his life, your puppy relied entirely on his mother to feed him and keep him warm. However, your breeder will have handled him gently, introducing him to human contact.
- The transitional period (2-3 weeks old)
The sensory capabilities and motor skills develop quickly as physical changes enable your puppy to see, smell, hear, taste and touch his new world for the first time. By the end of this period he will have learned to walk. Your breeder will have ensured the secured living area was large enough to remove himself from the sleeping area to urinate and defecate.
- The awareness period (3-4 weeks)
He will have started to learn how to eat without suckling and it is possible that his mother may have started to discourage feeding from her. At this sensitive time, your breeder may have started to introduce him to solid feeding.
- Initial socialization (4-8 weeks)
The greater the variety of positive experiences your puppy has before the age of 8 weeks old, the more prepared he will be to cope with the day-to-day experiences in life. Your breeder knows this and will have handled him frequently. To prepare him for life without his mother, your puppy will have been weaned from suckling her to eating solid food and he will now be self-sufficient in feeding and drinking.
New Owner – Puppy Socialisation (8-16 weeks)
Your breeder should pass to you an information sheet on all the socialisation activities they have completed with your puppy and advice on the actions you need to continue with. The Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust has produce an online plan to help you complete comprehensive socialisation which will be the foundation of your puppy’s future wellbeing: www.thepuppyplan.com
Sleeping and eating arrangements
Create designated sleeping and eating to help him acclimatize to his new home. Always ensure he has fresh water available.
Choose wisely where your new puppy will sleep. It is important that he can see family life and is not in a draft with suitable dog bedding to sleep in. You must also choose a place for him to eat with enough room for food. Always ensure fresh water is available for him.
Choosing a name for your puppy
A short, two-syllable name will avoid confusion with single-syllable commands.
- Names should be short. A two-syllable name is best because it is brief and will not be confused with one-syllable commands such as “no” or “sit”.
- Be consistent. All family members should use the same name for the puppy