If it’s your first time owning a puppy, you’ve come to the right place! Owning a new puppy is a big responsibility with many things to take note of – and this blog post is a beginner’s guide to helping first-time owners understand the needs of your new puppy. As you get to know your new puppy, treat it like meeting a new baby who will need plenty of guidance and loving care to develop into a healthy and strong grown-up!
It is important to provide a happy, safe and healthy atmosphere for your puppy as he or she grows up. We share 4 key needs of your puppy – Nutritional, Environmental, Maintenance, Behavioural – that are integral to a proper growth process!
A puppy’s digestive system is weaker and more delicate as compared to adult dogs, so what you feed is a very important factor in his development. Regardless of whether you have adopted or bought your puppy, he would have a pre-existing food (which usually tends to be dry food specially formulated for puppies). While we may not agree with feeding the same brand, a sudden change in food can result in stomach discomfort and upset, or even vomiting and diarrhoea. Any change in food for your puppy should be a gradual transition, rather than a sudden switch in brand or type of food (e.g. from dry kibbles to raw diet). Puppies also need to eat much more than adult dogs – between 3 to 4 meals a day as they provide them with sufficient energy to last through the day and helps with growing. Finally, ensure that your puppy has fresh and abundant water at all times!
Some smaller breeds of puppies or picky eaters might need to consume high-calorie supplements to provide essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Similar to any food change, adding in any supplements (even naturally derived supplements) should be a gradual process to prevent a sudden surge of supplements into your puppy’s body before he is ready for it. If your puppy is a breed that is prone to shedding, add in coconut oil into his food for skin and coat support!
Puppy proof your house
Puppies are super curious and love exploring new places, and chewing up new things! Puppy proofing your house is a preventative measure to keep your house the way you want it to be (with all your furniture and clothes intact as best as possible). Small actions including tying up curtain ropes or window cords, covering up electrical wires, placing baby gates in off-limit areas of your house, and placing toxic chemicals (e.g. bleach) in higher cabinets that your puppy is unable to access.
Dogs, just like humans, need their own space which they consider their territory. Reserve a space for your puppy to call his ‘den’, which is simply a rest area for him to find comfort and security. This rest area should include a bed for your puppy, which is not only cozy but also trains your puppy to stay within that area.
In the first few weeks that your puppy comes home, spend time doing basic training around the house and outdoors! Setting the tone right from the get go helps to establish a stronger bond between you and your puppy, but this takes lots of time, patience and commitment. Establish a routine of eating time, going out time, and potty spot in the house.
Nail clippers, shampoo, comb/brush and eye/ear cleaner
A huge part of maintenance for your new puppy is grooming him or her. You should clip your puppy’s nails regularly – but take care not to over-cut into the blood vessels running through the nail. Get ready a blood coagulant in case you accidentally over-trim your puppy’s nails. You’ll also need to get shampoo to bathe your puppy, along with grooming tools to regularly brush your puppy’s fur and clean his eyes and ears!
Food & water bowls, leash, collar/harnesses, identification tags
Apart from providing clean drinking water supply, your puppy also needs to be brought outdoors to soak in some natural sunlight, and to socialize with other dogs! It’s good practice to have a collar with some sort of identification tag attached to your pup at all times, just in case he or she happens to run away while you’re outdoors.
Puppies are playful, and love toys! They have a natural tendency to chew, which provides exercise and builds up their jaw strength. Get a variety of chew toys ready, and rotate your puppy’s toys so that he doesn’t get bored of the toys! They are after all, super curious and easily excitable, so switching around with new toys will keep him interested and excited to play!
As part of training your puppy, treats are an integral part of positive reinforcement! Treats are important in establishing a daily routine for your puppy’s trainings, as they can be used for training and serves as a delicious reward for your new puppy to look forward to! We advise you to get natural, single-ingredient treats made from natural ingredients with little to no added preservatives – and to feed treats in moderation! Too much of a good thing might not necessarily be good!
Ultimately, your new puppy should have a clean and safe environment to live and grow in. Taking care of a puppy extends to providing an optimal environment for him or her, which all contributes to a long-term commitment! Before getting a new puppy, consider if you are able to provide all the necessities and that you have the time and patience. Above all, though, bringing home a puppy is always an extremely heartwarming and rewarding experience – and the joy that your new puppy can bring to you is often immeasurable! We hope that this blog post has helped you with understanding more about caring for a new puppy, do leave a comment to share your stories and experiences!