Welcoming a new puppy into your home for the first time is exciting! We know it can be scary too, there’s a lot to think about. There's a few key areas to focus on when it comes to what you'll need for your puppy; their sleeping routine, their toilet training and the rest! Below we’ve rounded up some advice to get you started, along with the bits you’ll need to buy.
1. Sleeping routine
Crate training your new puppy will give them a ‘safe area’ which will help when it comes to training and keeping them safe in the house. When choosing your crate, it’s important to make sure your pup will be able to sit, stand, lie down and turn around comfortably inside. Depending on their expected adult size, it may be worth opting for a bigger crate that will suit them in the future as well. To make crate training comfortable for your new puppy, make the crate cosy with some blankets and soft toys. When you first bring them home, they’ll often be given some of these with their mother’s scent on, perfect for making them feel at home. Most breeders will be happy for you to give them some blankets/toys in advance of bringing your puppy home to do this.
First night with puppy = comfy bed at the ready! Once you know the dimensions of your crate, choose a bed that will take up around half of this space. While it’s tempting to spoil your new puppy with a plush bed, you’re better choosing a cosy, but not too expensive option. As with many things you buy in puppy preparation, their bed is likely to be somewhat destroyed during the first few months! Beds covered in fleece or sheepskin are a good choice for crate sleeping. You can also opt for some heated pet pads; the warmth will remind your new puppy of being snuggled with their mum and other pups. Adaptil spray mimics the hormones that a puppy’s mother releases 2-3 days after giving birth, so spraying this around your new puppy’s bed at night may help them feel comforted.
2. Toilet training
Puppy pads are a must when it comes to toilet training, especially when your new puppy is too young to go outside. Watch out for signs that your puppy needs to go to the toilet; circling/ sniffing the floor are often a warning. When you see this, immediately take your puppy to the puppy pad and wait until they’ve been to the loo. Give some gentle praise once they’re finished, so they learn from the positive reinforcement.
Poochie bells are amazing for toilet training a new puppy. Train your pup to ring the bells when they need to go to the toilet and avoid in-door accidents! There are videos on Youtube to of how to train using these; it’s 3 simple steps:
- Associate & be clear
- Praise & repeat
3... Everything else!
Outside of the sleeping and toilet training routines we’ve outlined, there’s a few extra items you’ll want to have.
We know that puppies love to chew – they can’t help it. Prepare for puppy biting with some hard-wearing toys that will keep your pup busy for longer. It’s worth noting that unfortunately, puppy biting is never reserved for the things you’d like your puppy to chew on! Protect your puppy (and your possessions) by being mindful of where you keep common household items. A puppy biting favourite is often shoes; investing in a shoe rack with a closing door or finding an out of sight storage area is a good idea.
You’ll find yourself contemplating what to feed a puppy and there’re so many options it can be overwhelming! It’s important to know that puppies grow 20 times faster than adult dogs, so require nutrient-dense food to help them grow. You may want to feed wet. Dry, or a mixture of both. Any of these choices are suitable for a puppy, but it’s important to choose a high-quality food that is complete and free from grains and artificial colours or preservatives.
Pooch & Mutt’s Puppy Complete Superfood is a dry dog food made with 48% chicken. The kibble contains prebiotics to aid digestion, salmon oil & zinc for healthy skin & coat and chamomile & l-tryptophan for behaviour. Our wet food cartons are suitable for dogs of all ages. Chicken & Ocean Fish is a great option for puppies, as fish is rich in Omega 3! The wet food cartons can be fed alongside Puppy Complete Superfood.
If you choose a dry food for your new puppy, you may want to soak the kibble in hot water overnight, to soften it first. We know that each dog is different, so when it comes to feeding guides it’s best to consult your vet until you understand your dog and their individual needs. Whatever meal plan you decide on, it’s most important that you create a consistent routine that you can follow through on!
Water & food bowls
At puppy stage, it’s best to choose bowls that will be hard for your pup to tip over/chew! Go for basic, but durable; you can opt for a ‘nicer’ bowl when they’re a little older.
Collar & Lead
There’re lots of lead and collar options and everyone will have different opinions on the best choice. As a new puppy is not used to wearing a collar, it’s good to choose a nice soft one that won’t be too uncomfortable. Make sure you get an ID tag for your pups collar! It's most helpful to include a contact number, so someone can reach you easily if they need to. Harnesses can be good for support, especially if you plan on running with your dog when they’re older. A rope lead is good for training your dog not to pull; teaching a new puppy this is an important part of training as it keeps them safe! Puppy training classes can help you learn the basics of leash training.