Is a puppy right for you?

Mar 1, 2024 2:31:08 PM

From the outset your new puppy is going to need a big chunk of time - from the first few steps in his new environment until he is fully grown, has mastered some basic training and is slightly calmer! There are no shortcuts here if you want a happy pet who settles in with you and your routines. Having time and patience are right up there on the ‘must have’ list.

It is likely that you’ll be collecting your puppy aged between 8 - 12 weeks so in many ways they are like a newborn baby. Get ready for some sleepless nights and crying! Your home will be a whole new world to them, and the first time away from their mum and litter mates, so this will be a huge adjustment.

Puppies have a checklist of demands:

Training:             You can start immediately and there is no shortage of reading, videos and classes to attend to learn how to do this effectively. Basic training includes toilet training, not chewing, sit, down, come (recall is key) and walking nicely on a lead.

Socialising:         Having a dog that enjoys the company of other dogs and humans is a joy and comes mainly from exposing them gently - for increasingly longer and busier times - to social situations from an early age. A well socialised, non-reactive dog can be included in so many more adventures and makes life easier for everyone. It can take time and training to achieve, again depending on the breed.

Feeding:             Good nutrition starts from birth and carries on throughout your dog’s life. We can advise through all of your dog’s life stages, from weaning to joint care! Always feed a good quality diet according to their development stage. Fresh water should also be available – even if they sometimes walk, bathe and play in it!

Exercise:             Most dogs benefit from one or two walks every day so you must be able to build that into your routine. It’s also good to have some back up if you are unable to take your dog out, especially if you are out of the house for more than a couple of hours during the early stages. When they need to ‘go’, they need to go!

Vet care:             You’ll need to register your pup with a local vet – for regular check ups, vaccinations, flea and worm treatments and any other healthcare issues you might encounter during their lives.

Insurance:          It’s not a legal requirement but having your dog insured can provide some welcome financial support should you ever face large, unexpected medical bills. Choose your policy carefully and watch out for things that aren’t covered.

Microchipping:  This is a legal requirement that takes seconds and will ensure that your dog can always be traced back to you in the event he is lost or stolen.

Equipment:        This is the fun part! It’s easy to get carried away here but as a minimum you will need: dog bowls for food and water, a collar and lead, a dog bed (or somewhere warm and cosy), poo bags, a couple of toys (one to cuddle, one to chew!) and a crate if you plan on using one. A crate is optional but in the early days it makes a lovely den if you cover the top and sides with a blanket – and it gives your puppy somewhere to retreat to if he starts to feel overwhelmed. 

The alternative to a puppy is to take on an older dog. Unless you are lucky enough to know the current owners, this is likely to be a rescue dog with a special set of needs of their own. Whilst the dog rehoming charity will have some understanding of the dog, they might not know everything – and sometimes very little is known if they have come to them as a stray. Finding out as much as you can beforehand will give you a clearer picture and information to base your decision making on. Matching dogs with any behavioural issues to a suitable home is something dog charities take very seriously – to minimise the chance of the dog not fitting in and being returned. Adopting a rescue dog also has many benefits including giving them the opportunity to experience all the joys that come with being part of a family. An older dog can be calmer and less demanding than a puppy although that’s not always the case!

Whether you opt for a puppy or an older dog, find the right breed for you. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes with varying personalities. It’s important that you research different breeds so that you can find one whose traits suit you and your expectations.

With careful consideration and commitment bringing the right dog into your life will yield great rewards with a fun, loyal and loving companion.

More puppy information

We have more articles on puppy care in our archives: 

https://www.trophypetfoods.co.uk/blog/caring-for-your-first-puppy

https://www.trophypetfoods.co.uk/blog/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-puppy-nutrition

 

                                                                                                    

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