The day your new puppy comes home is the start of a new life, and a great adventure for all of you, one which we hope you will enjoy for many years to come, as your puppy becomes a real part of the family. For your puppy, it's also a big upheaval – he or she will be missing Mum and brothers and sisters, and will have to get used to a whole new house, lifestyle and people.
Decide in advance where he'll eat and sleep – he needs peace and quiet for both. A puppy crate is ideal, or somewhere like the utility room or a room that is not used too often – just make sure anything your pup might be tempted to chew is out of the way! Just like human babies, puppies need their sleep – so don't disturb him when he's napping, and make sure he has somewhere quiet and comfortable to snooze out of the way of a busy household.
There are many different types of pet food, but choosing the right one
for your puppy is what really matters. What constitutes the right food
for your puppy varies according to his neuter status, how old he is,
what size he is, what breed he is and any special considerations that your vet might identify. Ask advice from your vet what would be the most suitable
food for your puppy.
Divide the daily amount of food (the pack will tell you how much you should feed per day) into 3 or 4 portions, and feed him his meals at regular intervals, so that his tummy doesn't get overloaded. At 6 months, you can get him down to 2 or 3 meals per day. Supervised feeding of your puppy is always recommended.
With toilet training, the key is to identify the place where you want your puppy to go, take him there often, and every time he performs make a huge fuss of him, with praise and treats. Take him out frequently – after play, feeding, exercise, entertainment, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and at least once an hour. Stay with him, so you can reward him there and then, and if nothing happens wait a few minutes before you bring him in and then try again in an hour. Accidents will happen, especially at night time. If you are there when it's happening, interrupt him and take him out to the right place, and reward him then. Don't punish him if you weren't there, because he won't understand. Puppy crates can help with house training, because he won't go where he sleeps.
However delightful your puppy is, never forget that he's going to grow up – and to be a happy, well-adjusted adolescent and adult dog, he needs good training. Your training methods should always be kind, calm and reward-based – never shout or hit, because that will simply upset him.
You can teach yourself via books or the internet, but a great place to start is at puppy classes at local dog groups. Ask us for details.
Chewing is a part of puppy teething – you can't stop it, but you can give him some good chew toys (some of which you can stuff with food or treats, so he has a built-in reward) and make sure he can't get at anything you don't want him to chew.
Puppies can and do become seriously ill or die from infectious diseases that could have been prevented through vaccination.
We vaccinate your puppy against Parvo, Distemper, Leptospirose, Hepatitis and Parainfluenza.
We advise the following vaccination program:
Thanks to our heated houses fleas are the whole year around. Fleas transmit tapeworms, cause skin irritation and in severe cases your puppy will become anaemic.
We have strong and effective flea killers available which you can safely use on puppies from the age of 3 days onwards. Please ask us for advice on the best product for you and your puppy.
We advice to start flea treatment from puppy onwards, the whole year around.
Worms are parasites which live in the puppy's intestines, affecting how he digests his food and how much goodness he can extract from it. They are contagious for us, especially for children.
A regular worming regime should be started as soon as you collect your puppy.
We advice starting worming at 8-9 weeks with a suitable wormer then continuing monthly form 12 weeks to 6 months, after which 3 monthly is usual sufficient. We also recommend protection against lungworm by using Advocate spot-on treatment. The appropriate worming regime depends on each individual dog's circumstances and thus should be tailored to your dog's requirements.
During your first visit our vet will discuss the best worm and treatment for your puppy.
We believe strongly that having your dog microchipped will help to ensure a safe return should your dog ever become lost or stolen. We can microchip your puppy from an age of 12 weeks onwards. Your animal will be registered with Petlog. You will be sent a certificate confirming your ownership and address, plus how to amend your details should you move home.
Puppy buyers must ensure a breeder has microchipped the dog and registered with an microchip database before taking the dog home.
Anyone who does not have their dog microchipped after 6 April 2016 will have 21 days to have the dog microchipped, and failure to do so may result in a fine of up to £500.
We can neuter your puppy from 6 months onwards, depending on the breed. Our vets will discuss it during your visit.
It is wise to insure your puppy. The treatment of a nasty skin infection can cost hundreds of pounds and the treatment by an orthopaedic specialist for a broken leg cost over the thousand pounds.
Pet insurances vary greatly from company to company.
Some policies only pay claims for 12 months, some limit the amount you can claim per condition. Some will restrict cover for elderly pets or even cancel your policy when your pet gets too old! Policies like these are often inexpensive but don't always provide the level of cover that you expect.