Company of Animals

Bringing your puppy home

Be prepared

Ensure that everything is in place before you bring home your new puppy. Bowls, beds, toys, food etc should all be purchased beforehand so that you have everything you need.

If you are not already, get registered at a local veterinary practice and then book an appointment to have your new puppy vet checked 24 – 48 hours after getting them home. This will give you peace of mind that your new pet is healthy and also give you the opportunity to discuss important healthcare issues such as vaccinations, worming and parasite control. If you bought your puppy from a breeder then you should have a puppy pack which lists the details of previous treatments. Take this with you for your vet to study so they can continue appropriate treatment for worms, fleas etc.

Remember the first few days can be scary for a new puppy, they have just left their Mom and siblings for the first time so be patient and help your puppy to feel confident and comfortable in their new home.

Settling in

Avoid having lots of visitors for the first week or two and if you have young children then limit the time they spend with the puppy until they have acclimatized to their new surroundings.

If you have other pets in your home, make sure that initial introductions are positive. Don’t expect your existing dog or cat to instantly accept the new arrival. Put puppy in their crate, play pen or behind a stair gate so that existing pets can get used to their presence but without feeling uncomfortable with the level of interaction.

Sleeping arrangements

Decide where your new puppy is going to sleep and encourage them to use this place from day one. If you are going to use a crate or play pen, then have these set up already and start to introduce your puppy to them gradually in a positive way. You should try to feed your puppy in that place, put their toys in there and spend time sitting on the floor next to them (whilst they are in there). DON’T shut your puppy in the crate and leave them, this is likely to be extremely traumatic for your puppy and may cause future problems such as separation anxiety.

Consider having your puppy sleep in their bed or crate in your bedroom for the first few nights until they have settled in and then gradually move his bed away towards the area that you would like them to sleep in. Or alternatively, set up camp yourself to spend a few nights sleeping near to your puppy; gradually moving away as they become more relaxed.

Not only does this help your puppy to settle more quickly, it also helps with house training as you are likely to be alerted in the night if they need to potty.

Fiona Whelan ~ Pet Behaviourist

Fiona has been working at the Training and Behaviour Centre as a behaviour specialist since 2002, and previously ran her own training and behaviour establishment in Lincolnshire for seven years so has a wealth of experience as a behaviour counsellor.