New Puppy Tips and Tricks

Preparing to pick up a new puppy and bring them home for the first time is very exciting, but can be a little daunting as well! Here at Pet Medical, we want you to be able to start off on the right paw with your brand new pup. We’ve put together a checklist of things to think about before pup gets home and some tips for when pup is gaining confidence and getting used to everything.

Before puppy gets home

  • Puppies, like babies, need a special spot in the house to We recommend getting a crate (size appropriate for your dog – small for small breeds, large for large breeds) and a soft bed to put inside the crate. The crate is your pup’s “bedroom” and it should be kept a safe, calm and happy place for her to be. Set her up with some food, a water bowl and somewhere soft and warm inside the crate.
  • Ask the people you are getting pup from what, when, where and how much they have been feeding Quick food changes can upset little bellies, so we recommend changing foods slowly over two weeks.
  • Buy a range of different toys for your puppy to keep her Kongs and other food toys are fantastic for keeping little paws and minds occupied, whereas soft, stuffed toys are great to tug, chew and cuddle up to. Make sure you have these available so your pup can play and bite these, rather than nipping at your hands, feet or ankles.
  • To your puppy, everything is new and exciting! To keep her safe, we recommend setting up an enclosure where she can rest, play and spend time when you aren’t watching This sets her up to succeed so she doesn’t wee on the carpet or chew that expensive pair of shoes in the bedroom.

When pup arrives

  • Puppies between 4-16 weeks old meet new things with curiosity, rather than fear and caution. Make sure your puppy is exposed to lots of new things, but she needs to be in a positive emotional state when this Recognising when your pup is scared and taking her away from the scary situation is very important – this is where lifelong fears can be created!
  • Puppies sleep a lot – up to 18 hours a day! It’s very important that they are able to sleep enough because a tired pup is a grumpy pup!
  • Toilet training can be very difficult and consistency is the Take pup outside after naps, food, water and playing. If you can’t be watching puppy closely, have her confined to an easily cleaned area. Note that punishing pup for accidents will just make her more likely to hide from you next time!
  • A puppy should never be left alone or unsupervised to play with Both kids and puppies need to learn how to play gently and safely with each other and only adults are able to pick up subtle change in puppy behaviour that may indicate she is not as happy as the kids are to be playing!

If your puppy is having trouble settling in with her new family, our Pet Medical Behaviour and Puppy Pre-School team can help. Call 6541 1555 to schedule an in-person or telephone consult.