If you’re accustomed to life with an adult dog, you may be seeking out some beneficial new puppy advice if you’re planning on expanding your canine family in the future.
Looking after a puppy is a fun and rewarding experience, but there are preparations before bringing your new puppy home.
Water and Food Bowls
It’s important to have food and water available to the new member of your family when you bring him home for the first time. He may be a little nervous and might not want to eat or drink immediately, but he’ll feel more comfortable knowing that it’s there should he need it. If possible, choose stainless steel food bowls rather than plastic.
Puppies like to chew. It’s their way of exploring new objects and they might also chew to relieve the pain of teething. But chewing plastic food bowls can be detrimental to their health. Chew marks in plastic bowls capture small particles of food, which can become contaminated with salmonella, making your puppy sick.
One of the best tips for new puppy owners is to opt for stainless steel dishes, and ensure they’re cleaned on a regular basis.
Have his sleeping area ready. Because the puppy is coming into a different environment he will have to adjust.
Make a microchipping appointment
Your new puppy may have been microchipped before you brought him home, but if not it’s very important that you make arrangements to have your pet microchipped as soon as possible. Anyone with first hand knowledge of a lost pet will tell you this is one of the most vital pieces of advice. More and more countries around the world are introducing microchipping laws which state that dogs must have a microchip, and for good reason. Research shows that dogs that are microchipped are 2.5 times more likely to be reunited with their owner should they become lost than dogs without the chip. There’s no reason to be nervous about microchipping – it’s quick, safe, and although your dog may feel a sharp pain, this lasts for just a second, much like a regular vaccination at the vets.
Chew toys & anti-chew sprays
If you value your furniture, your carpets, and your shoes, a good puppy tip is to be prepared and have some chew toys at the ready to try and deter your puppy from chewing on anything and everything he can get his little teeth on.
Puppies chew for a number of reasons, including to relieve the discomfort of teething, and because they’re naturally curious little things and want to explore. If your puppy begins to show signs of being interested in inappropriate or destructive chewing, focus their attention on appropriate chew toys and praise them for using these toys.
Advice from dog owners who have ‘been there, done that’ will often include using anti-chew sprays which repel the dog. These can be beneficial, but opt for those with bittering agents, rather than aluminium sulfate. Although aluminium sulfate is believed to be safe in small amounts, it has been found to cause abdominal pain, nausea, and sickness.
Remember that young pups have very different nutritional needs to adult and older dogs. The food that you’re feeding any existing dogs in your home may not be the best choice for your new puppy, particularly if the puppy has come straight into your home from it’s mother.
Puppy owners are advised to feed their dogs foods that are rich in Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which the puppy will have received naturally through its mother’s milk. DHA is a type of Omega-3 fatty acid which, according to experts in the field, is ‘important for proper neurological development of humans and animals’. DHA can be found in many dog foods, and in offal if you prefer to feed fresh offerings. If using a wet or dry dog food, the puppy varieties often contain high levels of protein which aids growth, and added calcium which is essential for developing strong bones and teeth.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice for your new puppy
Whether you’re an experienced dog owner or are bringing home your very first canine friend, having a new puppy in the home can be overwhelming! As a dog owner, you should never be afraid to ask for help.
Local dog walkers, friends with pets and veterinarians will all have a wealth of training tips for puppies to help you settle into a happy, healthy life with your new pup.