How to take care of your new Puppy


DIY and how-to

Brown puppy lying on a pink patterned blanket, looking at the camera with big eyes.

How to take care of your new Puppy

Bringing a new puppy into your home will change your life forever. Puppies are a lot of work, but they also bring plenty of joy to your world. Whether you are getting your first puppy or just need a refresher course, this is what you need to know. From welcoming your new puppy home, to training and health information, these tips will help you get your puppy on the right track to adulthood.

Consider your needs – Firstly, you need to examine your lifestyle and consider what you are looking for in a puppy: pure breed or mix, big or small? Other factors include grooming and exercise needs, temperament and potential health issues. Research and patience are essential at this point. When you have found the right puppy, you will know you have a friend for life.

Puppy-proof your home Before you bring home your cute little fur ball, you need to puppy-proof your home. This process is similar to toddler-proofing a home, but there are differences. Get an idea of the puppy-eye-view of your home. Electrical cords, potential toxins, and breakable items should be placed completely out of reach. Remember that your puppy can jump, climb, chew and scratch, so place what you can very high up or in a locked cabinet.

Choose a nameAs your puppy joins the family, the all-important job of naming this new addition is a priority. Obviously, you will be using your dog’s name constantly throughout his life, so your choice should be a wise one. Pick something that has a nice ring to it and is not too long. It should be easy to say and simple for your puppy to understand. You may want to name your puppy something that describes his personality or appearance. Or, you may want something very unique.

Puppy essentialsYour new puppy will need certain items from the very start. Some are essential for your pup’s well-being, while others are quite helpful. The most important items include a leash and collar with identification, food and water bowls, and chew toys. Stodels has a great range of toys from tug ropes, plush toys for cuddles, durable rubber toys and a whole lot more. Stainless steel dog bowls are always a great option as they are easy to clean, durable and longer lasting. You should also get a nice dog bed and, preferably, a crate or kennel. Some of these items can last as your puppy ages, but bear in mind that most of them will need to be replaced when your puppy grows. Collars may be adjustable to a certain point. A kennel can be purchased in a larger size for the future, but should be blocked off with boxes or other objects to make it the right size for the puppy. Be prepared for the expenses associated with dog ownership so you can budget accordingly. Keep an eye out for great specials in your local Stodels store.

Feeding your puppyYour puppy’s diet can make all the difference in his future health and well-being. Before you decide on a puppy food, do your research. Talk to your vet, other pet professionals, and fellow dog owners. Remember that if the food you initially choose does not meet your expectations, you can gradually switch to another food. In today’s dog-friendly world, the choices of diet seem endless. Some owners like to feed premium foods, while many feel that holistic or natural diets are best. While researching puppy food, consider the quality of ingredients, inclusion of proper nutrients and taste. Basically, the food should be good for your puppy and he should like eating it. Remember to always have fresh water readily available for your new furry friend.

Finding a vet You should preferably find a good vet before you get a puppy. Within a few days of taking your new puppy home, you should bring him to your vet for a general exam. Your vet can help identify any potential health issues early on, and advise you on caring for your puppy long-term. Over the course of your puppy’s first six months, you will see a lot of your vet. This begins with vaccines and usually leads to a spay or neuter. Typically, puppies should be spayed or neutered around six months of age. The puppy vaccination series is one of the most important aspects of your puppy’s early life so ensure you have these done. Another aspect to remember is tick and flea control, ask your veterinarian or store assistant for the best possible flea control for your puppy. Remember age and weight is very important to know when looking at this as you don’t want to overdose your new friend.

House-training House-training is one of the first things you will teach your new puppy. This process can sometimes be quite arduous, though some puppies catch on earlier than others. You should begin house-training as soon as you bring your puppy home, but it takes patience. Puppies are generally not able to control their bladders and bowels until about 12 weeks of age. If your puppy is younger than this, just be patient. Starting early can help get your puppy on a routine. As he grows and develops control over his bodily functions, he will know what to do. As a general rule, you should take your puppy to the designated “potty spot” immediately after eating or drinking. However, accidents happen – so be prepared, consistent and patient. Try using Pennplax Doggie Training pads and All for Paws pee pad holder when leaving your beloved friend alone at home. A pheromone spray is also available that will attract them to this pad so you will have less mishaps.  You can then slowly but surely move it closer to the exits and wean them into going to the designated area on their own.

Remember with training it is highly recommended that treats be given when they follow a command correctly or do something right, such as urinating in the garden as opposed to on the carpet. You will find that puppies will respond very well to this and will try their best to get it right for that delicious treat. Remember not to give treats unnecessarily or else they will just expect them and not associate the treat with a reward.  Look out for the great range of M & C healthy treats in a Stodels store close to you.