Welcoming a puppy into your home is a great mixture of joys and grumbling as your new four-pawed family member finds their feet and settles into family life. From puppy snuggles, bonding and training to little accidents and the odd chewed belonging, it’s no secret that puppy ownership can be a testing time but nonetheless an enjoyable journey as you watch your pet grow, learn and develop.
Bow Wow Meow has been proud suppliers of top quality dog name tags since 1995 and over two million cats and dogs around the globe wear our tags, an essential item needed to guarantee your pet’s safety and security. However, a collar and tag are far from the only things that you will need to help your new puppy settle in as effortlessly as possible.
Being prepared for a puppy starts the moment you make the decision to welcome a dog to their forever home and this is never a decision that should be taken lightly. Dog ownership is a great responsibility with plenty of positives and a lot of dependence. Our pets can’t tell us how they feel; they can’t open packaged food and can’t unlock doors so they rely on us to be there for them and support their needs. This trust is essential to a long friendship between you and your pet.
Make sure you’ve got the bare necessities for your puppy before they arrive. If you have your puppy picked out from a few weeks old, some breeders will allow you to leave a piece of clothing which helps them recognise your smell and associate it with the comfort of their litter. You will need a collar sized appropriately (not too tight or too loose; adjustable collars are a great idea for the rapid growth stage) dog name tags engraved with all the required information, food and drink bowls, a suitable lead with enough length not to be stretched or strained, puppy food which your vet or breeder can recommend to you, toys designed to keep teething mouths busy (hard rubber chew toys are great for this) and a comfortably sized bed for their breed – it’s better to go big than having to constantly replace the bed as your dog grows.
Additional supplies which may be worth investigating include a harness – particularly helpful for small or strong dogs that could slip out of their collar or cause harm to their necks from pulling on the lead – and a suitably sized crate. Crates don’t need to dominate the room but should comfortably allow your dog to lay down, turn around and sit up without restriction. While sometimes seen as ‘cruel’, crates are safe spaces for your puppy to go to should they feel overwhelmed, and should never be used as a punishment when training your dog but instead used as an additional tool to help your puppy settle in.
The first time you bring your puppy home is always the most exciting and this is also the first opportunity for you both to learn a bit more about each other in the puppy’s new home environment. At first, your dog may be nervous, which is understandable considering it’s likely the first time they’ve been away from their mum and littermates. If this is the case, it may be wise to consider restricting their access to one or two rooms to start with and allow them to explore at their own pace. This prevents overstimulation and can help make your new friend feel more comfortable.
As the night draws in it’s important to get your new dog into a schedule. Playtime should come to an end and you should encourage a period of “calming down” before leaving puppy alone. Highly- strung dogs can develop anxiety if they are left alone after being worked up so it’s important that your dog is calm before leaving them to sleep overnight. If you have anything from the breeder, your clothing returned or a piece of blanket with mum’s smell on, it’s best to place this in the puppy’s bed. You can even wrap some sort of “ticking” object in a blanket or pillow which simulates a heartbeat and can be extremely comforting for puppy’s first night alone. Remember to check puppy in the night – little bladders normally can’t last too long but try not to run to them if they cry, whine or bark for attention as this can create an unhealthy habit that can be difficult to break.
The first night can be the hardest for your new pet but once settled your dog is sure to bring you years of joy and love as you grow, learn and develop together. The next important step is naming your pup – why not check out our suggestions on how to choose the perfect name for your pet?