10 mistakes to avoid when bringing your puppy home
Not being dramatic, but there is nothing that sparks more joy than puppies. Bringing your bundle of furry fun home will possibly be the best day of your life – so it's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement.
However, owning a dog comes with serious responsibilities, many of which are overlooked by first-time pup parents. Welcoming a dog into your family must be done with care to avoid any future issues when your dog begins to mature.
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With the help of PetSafe®, we have rounded up the ten biggest pitfalls to avoid when bringing a dog home. From crate disasters to overstimulation and more, read on to ensure your pooch can settle in with ease…
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Don't give him them roam of your home and garden
Introducing your new pet to too many new places, smells, and people, too quickly, will be confusing. Instead, let him/her explore one small space at a time, in its own stride, with you by its side.
Help your pup get used to their new surroundings
Help them to get used to his new surroundings as quickly as possible by showing them where the important things are – like their bed and bowls - straight away.
Don’t introduce them to the family all at once
Everyone will be desperate to meet their new four-legged family member but try to do this one person at a time - calmly and quietly. Keep a close eye on any little ones and discourage them from picking them up – place the pup in their lap instead to cuddle.
Don't move them when they're sleeping
Puppies have lots of energy to burn – and tire quickly too. If yours drops off to sleep in a strange place, leave them there. Over time they will learn where their bed is and start napping there more often.
Don't confuse the crate
Crates are a popular means for dog owners to provide their pup with a comforting, cosy spot to relax and sleep – so make sure that's the only way you use it. By sending your pet to their safe place for no reason – or when being naughty – the dog will associate it with punishment, rather than their little comfy, quiet space.
Ensure your pet thinks of their crate as a safe space
Don't invite friends and neighbours over to meet them straight away
Minimize their stress - and unnecessary excitement - by asking visitors to let the pooch settle, in peace, for the first few days. It's very important that your puppy is socialised and gets used to house guests, but not straight away. Let them get used to their new family's faces before adding more to the mix. Ask them to wait off for a week or two.
Don't keep them away from other family pets
Bringing home a new puppy is a lovely moment for the whole family, including current family dogs – and it's important to introduce them quickly, so that they can bond and learn to live together.
Socialise your puppy with other pets at home as soon as possible
But watch that the adult dog's behaviour is appropriate towards the puppy. Your dog may growl a little – which is fine - but if the puppy becomes agitated, move the puppy away and try again another time. Also, make sure your pet's vaccinations are up to date before they meet so as not to pass on infections to the pup.
Don't expect too much
Dogs don't inherently know what to do and how to behave – they don't know not to pull on a lead or bark when someone knocks on the door. Like people, they need to be taught.
Don't let them play with unknown dogs
As long as your puppy is at least ten weeks old at their second vaccination, it will be safe to take them out seven days later. By then, your dog will be immune to distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus.
Keep your fur baby away from unknown dogs to begin with
Now's the time to take your pup for walks in public places, to introduce car journeys and to attend puppy classes. Before then, keep him/her away from unknown dogs – and even where they walk.
Don't let them break the rules
Start enforcing rules straight away. Your puppy needs to learn the house rules from the very beginning and praise them for good behaviour. Set your rules ahead of time and stick to them.
Don't leave training until later
It's easy to get caught up in puppy excitement and let all routines go out of the window. But it's important to start training very early on.
Get training ASAP!
The sooner you start – even just for a couple of minutes at a time – the easier it is for him/her to learn basic commands. From eight weeks, your puppy can start to be taught simple skills such as sit, stay, and come
Don't forget to book a vet's appointment
It's important to book an appointment for your new puppy to see a vet shortly after they’re brought home. Choose one in advance based on research and recommendations and prepare for your first visit by noting down details such as your pup's food, vaccination records and any documentation you have. And make sure your little friend travels there safely, and legally, in a dog carrier, seat or crate.
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