Once the decision has been made to get a puppy, an abundance of questions soon follows:
What kind of puppy do we want and where do we get one?
The energy level and size of the dog you choose should reflect both your lifestyle and living environment. Getting a big dog in a small house could spell disaster. And if you lead a more sedate life, be honest and pick a less energetic dog over a working breed.
If you have your heart set on a certain breed you may want to approach a breeder, but don’t forget that your perfect pooch – while maybe not a pedigree – might just be waiting for you at a local rescue centre. Our website has a list of both breeders and rescue centers to help you.
Preparing the home
Before you bring your new puppy home, take a look around your house and see things from a puppy’s perspective: Where can I pee? What can I chew? Is this good to eat? Consider the unexpected. Decide on ground rules as a family before bringing your new addition home. For example; do you let them on the sofa, or in your bed? Once you’ve decided – stick to it!
Find out what food your puppy is used to eating and try not to make any sudden changes to their usual regime. Any changes to diet should be made gradually; mixing the new food in with the food they are used to over a period of a week or two to avoid any tummy upsets. A range of foods especially tailored to the unique dietary requirements of puppies is now available and your veterinarian or our friendly staff can help you make the right choice.
Vaccinations & Vet Visits
An important part of being a dog owner is ensuring your pet is properly protected against disease and infection. Your puppy’s vaccination regime begins at 8 weeks of age when they receive their first injections to immunise them against Canine Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and a range of other diseases. They then have a booster at 10 weeks. They will also follow a worming program at 2,4,6,8, 10 and 12 weeks of age and then at 2 -3 monthly intervals thereafter.
Your visits to the vet are also an important time to ask questions relating to your dog’s health and being a responsible dog owner. Use this time to consult your vet on neutering and spaying your pet and request that your new buddy be microchipped to ensure accurate identification.
Training & Socialisation
Get with the program! Training is an essential ingredient to developing a strong bond with your pet and persistence will result in a dog that is responsive and safe in critical situations. Puppies need to be socialised with other dogs to understand the proper way to behave and learn manners from more mature dogs. However, check with your vet as to when they are ready to go out into the real world. You need to ensure their vaccinations are providing them with the protection they need, before they go out to meet and greet.
Toilet training strikes fear into the heart of many, but the key here is patience. Take your puppy outside for breaks often, even if it means getting up at unearthly hours! And praise them when they do their business outside. When indoor accidents occur, don’t make a big fuss – these things will happen – but learn from your pet’s subtle cues and encourage them to go to the door or ‘speak’ to you to let you know they need to go.
Getting a new puppy is an exciting time; it is demanding, but worth it! Get the basics right and you’ll be sure to have a well trained best friend for many years!
Feel free to pop in store and ask us for any advice you need, from feeding and grooming, to training and de-worming. We’re open 7 days a week and are always happy to help!