Getting a new pet can be one of the most exciting moments in your life, but, it can also feel daunting and scary. When getting any animal, it’s always advised to do plenty of research before bringing a new member into the family, so below are a few of our key pieces of advice for first time dog owners…
Preparing your home
Before you bring home your little bundle of joy it is important to prepare their environment so that they can settle in as soon as possible. A new home can be very stressful for your little pup, so we suggest making sure you have a few days free to spend at home with your puppy bonding and making them feel relaxed. New owners should invest in a dog crate to be placed in a cosy, warm area of the house. You may be given a small blanket that has the smell of your puppy’s mother and siblings on for comfort that you can put in the crate as well. You should get all the essentials before you bring your puppy home; these could include a collar, a lead, food and water bowls, puppy food (appropriate for their age) and a few dog toys to chew on. Puppies can chew everything in sight so make sure nothing is left on the floor that you would be upset about losing. Some people prefer to secure young pets in their crate overnight and when left alone…. otherwise your pesky pup may cause mischief and could endanger themselves in the process!
Finding a vet
If you have sourced your pooch from a breeder, they should have had their first vaccination, and they should be able to show you proof of this. If you adopt your puppy, they would also have had their first vaccination and, if they’re an older dog, they may have had them all. When you bring your puppy home you will need to fully vaccinate them, their last vaccination should be at around 12 weeks old. This is a great chance to find a vet and get your dog used to them. Vets are naturally quite scary places for animals, so try and make their first time there as relaxing as possible. We suggest that you consider getting pet insurance and do your research into which insurance provider is best for you and your dog – comparison sites can be helpful for finding the right cover and price for you.
Since 2016 it is a legal requirement to microchip your dog in England, Wales and Scotland. You should also make sure you keep all the details up to date if anything changes, in case your little pup goes missing. Some animal charities, like Battersea, microchip dogs for free in their centres in South East England. When you get your pup registered with the vet, they will be able to advise about microchipping, and can usually fit the chip on site. Read more about microchipping here.
What your dog learns when they are young can determine how they behave for the rest of their life, so it is important to start training them from around 12 weeks. Puppy classes are great as they mean your dog gets well socialised with other four-legged friends and gets used to a lot of noises and different smells. It’s also a fantastic place to meet other dog owners in your area. Who knows, you might even meet a new human best friend too! After all, you all have at least one common interest! Remember – consistency is key with canines so if you have multiple people training them make sure you all agree to use the same words and actions. It is also a good idea, if you haven’t already, to begin some separation from your puppy at this age to reduce their separation anxiety in the future.
You should hopefully now feel more prepared for the first few months with your puppy. We love seeing you out and about with your furry companions so make sure you tag us in pics of your pooch in Mountain Warehouse on Social Media!