Congratulations on your new addition! We look forward to meeting him or her. In the meantime, we have put together some information but please feel free to ask any of our veterinary nurses for further advice.
Crate training your puppy has many benefits. Speak to one of our veterinary nurses if you need any advice on this. The benefits of crate training include:
- A safe space to put puppy when supervision is not possible
- Beneficial for toilet training
- A den for the dog to go to if overwhelmed
- Keeps puppy safe when travelling
- Reduces the risk of separation anxiety
During your puppy’s first few weeks at home their socialisation is one of the most important things to consider. It is important for your puppy to experience as many new situations, smells, sounds, people and animals to become a confident and well-rounded individual. Watch your puppy’s body language carefully and if they show any signs of fear (lip licking, yawning, looking away), then take them to a greater distance from the thing they are scared of and use treats to encourage a positive association until they are ready to get closer.
At this age puppies are not fully vaccinated so cannot experience these things while walking, however this shouldn't stop you from carrying your puppy to new places, travelling in the car and inviting new people around to the home. There are also various videos online to expose your puppy to new sounds.
Training classes are a good way to combine socialisation and learning valuable skills for the future. Make sure to book on early as classes fill up quickly.
Most breeders will send you home with the food that the puppy has been weaned onto. We recommend sticking to this diet for the first few weeks while the puppy settles in as long as it is a good quality puppy food. Once the puppy has settled into its new home a new diet can be introduced slowly if recommended. Please feel free to speak to a member of the team about diet.
Puppies should be fed in 3 meals until 6 months of age when they can gradually reduce to 2 meals a day. Puppies can have a sensitive stomach so be careful with treats. The puppy’s own kibble can also be used for training treats.
Enrichment toys such as Kong’s, LickiMats and treat balls can also be used with food to provide mental stimulation.
It is important to get your puppy used to being handled as soon as possible. This includes handling paws, ears and the mouth. This ensures the puppy is comfortable with handling which reduces stress levels for future vet/groomer visits.
Brushing should be introduced early, especially in long haired breeds. This is to ensure the dog is comfortable with this and will make it easier in the long run. Tooth brushing should also be slowly introduced to reduce the risk of dental disease in the future.
We recommend getting life time insurance as soon as possible with a reputable company. Please ask us about 4 weeks free insurance.
Exercise should be regulated and only gradually built up in all puppies. This is due to the joints needing time to mature and growth plates needing time to fuse. If your puppy is a breed that is high risk for joint problems then this is especially important. Smaller breeds of dogs mature earlier than larger breeds. Some larger breeds take until 2 years to fully mature.
The type of exercise your puppy does is important to reduce the risk of any joint problems developing. Restricting high impact exercise such as ball games, agility or running/ cycling with your puppy until they are fully developed is recommended.
Ensure that your puppy wears a well-fitting collar/harness. It is also a legal requirement for your puppy to wear an identity tag as well as have an up to date microchip.