The First 24 Hours
Be aware that whilst the first 24-hours will be extremely exciting for you, it can be a stressful time for your puppy. Bear in mind that they have just been separated from their mum and will not know what is going on, or that they are moving to a new home.
Do whatever you can to create a relaxed and settled environment for them. Then, over time, your puppy can get used to more and more space and explore the rest of your house. Maybe the sitting room to begin with and then your pup will grow in confidence and start exploring the rest of the house.
Try not to overload your pup, as you don’t want to make them feel overwhelmed. Let them come to you when they want to play- they will do so when they are ready. Also, ensure you give them lots of cuddles to help them feel safe, loved and protected.
In the first few months, having a crate to go back to when things get a bit too much and to sleep inside can often help puppies to feel calmer and less stressed.
The First Vet Check
It is a good idea to bring your puppy to your vet for a puppy check within the first few days. This is useful to enable a full nose to tail examination. There are many congenital conditions that can be noticed at this stage, from heart murmurs to dental problems or hernias. The vet can also check for signs of infectious diseases or parasites such as worms, ear mites or fleas, which are all very common in puppies. You will need to bring your vaccine card and any records you have from the breeder along to your appointment. Vets will discuss worming including lungworm, flea treatment, diet and insurance amongst other things. The vet can prescribe any necessary preventative medications, as well as some really useful information for yourself as a new puppy owner.
What Should I feed My Puppy?
Owners may find that the breeders have provided complicated diets that are difficult to maintain and are not necessarily the ideal diets. These may work for the breeder but might not be the best option for you and your puppy at home. Having said that, it is suggested to carrying on with the food that they have been eating at the breeder’s for at least a couple of weeks. In general, stick to premium diets with foods such as Hills and Royal Canin both being good choices. Feeding a raw food diet has become very popular in recent times. There should be caution about the use of raw feeding as it has been shown to have some contaminates in such as E.coli and Salmonella, in the exact same way that we wouldn’t eat raw food ourselves. If you opt for raw feeding, then please make sure that you are well informed before doing so and be conscious of the risks of uncooked meats for your puppy and the rest of the family.
Foods To Be Aware Of
When you get a new puppy, it is important to be mindful that there are some common toxic foods to be aware of. Please see below, some examples of foods that are toxic for dogs:
Grapes and raisins- these can be toxic even in very small amounts and can cause fatal kidney failure.
Chocolate- this is toxic to dogs (especially dark chocolate) and can cause fitting and even death.
Artificial Sweetener Xylitol - this is found in chewing gum and certain sugar-free foods like baked goods. It is highly toxic to dogs.
You should also take caution with items that cause blockages or problems, such as certain dog toys, children’s toys, socks, corn on the cob, peach stones and certain cooked bones. Whilst cooked bones aren’t considered toxic, we wouldn’t recommend giving these to your dog in case the bones splinter or cause blockages.
Does My Puppy Need A Microchip?
In a law that came into effect in April 2016, puppies must be vaccinated before they reach 8 weeks of age. This means that most puppies are microchipped before they leave the breeder. If they haven’t already been microchipped, you should get an experienced vet to do that for you.
What Is A Microchip?
A microchip is a small chip (about the size of a grain of rice) that is inserted into the back of the neck. When scanned, this will provide a number, which correlates to details on central databases. Thankfully, this means that if your precious pup ever gets lost, their microchip can be scanned and you will both be reunited. It’s really important to make sure your details are correct and to update them if you ever move house. It can be easy to forget to do this but you really should make sure that you are prepared as we are sure you won’t ever want to be separated from your beloved four-legged friend. You can make any necessary microchip changes online. The Petlog website is a good place to find out more.