Choosing to get a new puppy may be very exciting, but you also need to be prepared for a great deal of responsibility. Some people say that raising a puppy is a lot like looking after a newborn child and they aren’t far wrong. Puppies take a lot of time and energy and can initially be expensive. As they grow, you will need to remain responsible for a variety of aspects of their care – from their preventative medications and vaccinations to meeting their nutritional needs. If you haven’t had a puppy before, this can be a little overwhelming. To help ensure you know what to expect, here are our top tips for preparing for a new puppy and ongoing puppy care.
One of the most important things that you will need to arrange, ideally as soon as possible after you bring your pet home, is identification. A collar and tag are still a very effective method of attaching your personal details to your puppy. However, because collars and tags can be removed, slip off or break, it is important to also consider a more permanent form of identification. Microchipping is the most effective solution. This process involves placing a microchip with your details under your pet’s skin which can be scanned if they are found. This will enable you to be contacted to reunite with them. Some puppies are pre-microchipped so check with your breeder if yours has one. If not, arrange this as soon as you can.
What your new puppy eats is crucial for their growth and development. However, moving to a new home can be stressful for them and for this reason, it is usually recommended that you provide the same food that they are used to for at least the first week while they settle in. If you do want to change your puppy’s food, speak to your vet about finding the best variety to meet your pet’s nutritional needs. Just bear in mind that any changes in your pet’s diet need to be made gradually – something your vet will be able to help with. Also be mindful that your pet’s nutritional requirements will change over time, and you may need to be prepared to switch up what your pet eats to meet these needs.
Pets need a lot of equipment, and a puppy is no exception. Some of the things that you will or could need to have in place before or shortly after your furbaby comes home include the following:
Something to chew on, particularly since puppies love to chew and will otherwise destroy anything that they can get their jaws around!
Toys to play with
Brush, nail clippers and other grooming accessories
Crate/stair gates to contain your puppy during training
Collar and lead
Although not essential, many pet owners choose to take out insurance against the beloved furbaby. Insurance can help to cover the cost of any treatments that your pet might need in the future. There are lots of different pet insurers and it is prudent to do your research and decide on which level of cover you need before you commit to a provider and policy.
First Visit to the Vet!
Ideally, you should register your pet with a local vet as soon as you bring them home. Once your pup has settled in, we recommend that you take them for an initial visit to your vet. This can be used for your professional to undertake a basic health check of your pet which will be used as a starting point for all future examinations and will enable the creation of your dog’s medical records. Your vet will also be able to advise you what vaccinations and other preventatives your pet will need and can create you a schedule of preventative care that will help your dog live a long, healthy and happy life.
For more tips on preparing for a new puppy, please speak to our expert veterinary team in Ashburn, VA who will be delighted to assist you.