For the first few days after taking your puppy home it is advisable to feed it on the same food it has been used to. After your puppy has settled in, you can change the diet if you wish to. Any new diet should be gradually introduced over a period of a few days.
Small puppies (8 – 12 weeks old) need four meals per day. This can gradually be reduced to three then two meals by the time your dog is six months old.
Moving to a new home and away from its mother and litter mates is a stressful situation for your puppy. This means that your puppy needs a private place to retreat to. A soft warm bed placed in a puppy crate or a basket is ideal. Make sure no-one disturbs the puppy when it is in the bed.
A plug-in DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) diffuser may also help your puppy settle in.
Puppies will generally need to go to the toilet when they have first woken up, had a drink or some food, and after playtime. Take your puppy outside in the garden and give them a command – if they go to the toilet then you should reward them.
Never tell them off if they have an accident in the house, as they won’t understand why they are being scolded and it can have a bad effect on their behaviour.
Your puppy needs vaccinating against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirosis and leptospirosis. The vaccine course can be started when the puppy is six weeks of age, however, is most commonly started at eight weeks. Puppies need to be vaccinated twice within two to four weeks. The protection will start seven days after the second vaccination.
Other vaccinations, for example against kennel cough, are not part of the routine protocol and are only given when necessary e.g. before staying in boarding kennels.
Once your puppy’s vaccine course is complete, puppy training and socialisation classes are recommended as a good way of introducing the puppy to friends of his or her age group.
Basic training is usually included, and you will have the opportunity to meet like-minded people to chat to and to discuss questions. Feel free to ask at reception for details about classes in this area.