So, you’ve decided to get a puppy…
With this blog; we’re going to make sure that you’re totally prepared for your new family member!
Let’s talk about what you’ll need to do and have on hand BEFORE your new puppy arrives in your home. Then, lets go over what to do, to make sure you and your puppy start on the right paw together.
You’ll also find MORE tips and advice in our articles vault, so you can be sure that you’re covered on all of the need to know basics, for surviving AND thriving with your new puppy.
When it comes to what type of bowl to use for your puppy’s water (we’ll talk about why you shouldn’t feed your puppy exclusively from a bowl soon) we reckon a stainless-steel bowl is always the best way to go. Plastic bowls can leach chemicals into your puppy’s water and ceramic bowls can break if they’re knocked over (or if it accidentally dropped.)
Stainless-steel bowls are also practically impossible to destroy by chewing so no need to worry that young “Fido” will be able to swallow any chewed off bits. We’d recommend having a few stainless-steel bowls, this way, you can rotate and clean the bowls, always having a clean one out for your puppy.
2. Collars & Harnesses
Did you know that one of the most common mistakes people make, when they first take their puppy out for a walk, is that they have their puppy on a collar and lead? If your puppy pulls into the collar while you’re walking together, they’re actually learning that pulling is OKAY, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
To avoid this, we recommend putting your puppy on a harness when you’re not working on teaching them about lead manners. This way, your puppy has a very clear signal about when it is okay to pull and when it is not. Then, when your puppy is on their flat collar, use that opportunity to train them to walk with you and to understand that pulling into the collar wont get them what they want.
There are two main types of toys you’ll need to get for your puppy. Toys which they can chew and explore safely with their mouths and toys which you reserve for training, like soft stuffed toys with squeakers in them.
Chew toys can also include toys which dispense treats, these give your puppy a whole lot of enrichment for times when they might be alone or required to stay in their exercise pen for a longer period of time.
Just remember not to leave your puppy’s stuffed toys and toys with squeakers out for your puppy to freely investigate. We want to make sure that these toys stay special and interesting to the puppy and that we can use it as “currency” when we train with them. This will also prevent your puppy from “dismembering” their stuffed toys and squeaky toys; which means no expensive vet visits to remove non-edibles from your puppy’s belly!
You’ll want to have a comfortable and cosy place for your puppy to sleep when they’re in their crate or exercise pen. Just don’t be tempted to go buying expensive beds. Puppies tend to be insistent chewers and could easily destroy the brand-new bed you’d so lovingly purchased them only the day before.
We’d recommend just using a couple old towels or maybe an old faux-fur blanket to give them something soft and warm to sleep on. They’ll be super easy to clean and it won’t be a huge deal if any of it gets a little chewed. Something that should help preserve your puppy’s soft bedding, is to only have it in their crate or exercise pen when it’s time to sleep, that way, they’re already tired and less likely to get “jazzed up” and chew the soft stuff.
If you or someone you know, is introducing a new fur-family member into the household, just remember that the first few nights at home will set up your new puppy’s expectations of how things work with you.
If they cry in their crate, don’t let them out straight away, wait for them to be quiet and then do a slow count to 5.
Once they’ve been quiet for a good 5 to 10 seconds then you can reward them by dropping a treat into their crate.
Want to learn more about how to prepare for your new puppy?
Check out part 3 on “Preparing for a puppy; the new puppy owners guide to surviving AND thriving with your new puppy”