Bringing your new puppy home
The first few weeks you spend with your beautiful Labrador Retriever puppy should be stress-free and enjoyable! It can be a very unnerving experience if it’s your first time becoming a dog parent. But fear not, we’re here to help you with how to prepare for its arrival. Read on to find out more…..
1. It’s family dicussion time!
We won’t play it down – making the decision to get a dog is BIG. It’s a huge commitment and you need to be sure your family is prepared and onboard. If you all work together, welcoming this new addition to your family will be magical. Needless to say, there is always one who will be the chief carer (usually mum or dad). This person will be the main one to feed, walk and care for it. However, if you all want the puppy, you should agree on some responsibilities to share. If you have a family meeting beforehand, you can map out the different rules and responsibilities so everyone is clear before arrival. Everyone should be on the same page about everything, for example – is the dog allowed on beds and the couch?
2. Be fully equipped
Make sure you have everything you need before your new family member arrives! This will make the settling in process much smoother. Here’s what you need:
- A comfortable bed
- Food and water bowls
- TOYS – lots of them. Puppies need to be constantly entertained and when you’re tired, you’ll be very thankful for the toys taking your place. Especially chew toys, will help ease the pain puppies are experiencing while they are teething
- Appropriate puppy food – check with your vet to make sure you’re buying the correct food
- Lead and collar – they won’t be needing the lead until all injections are made but it’s best to be prepared. Maybe you need to tie them up when you have visitors who are more anxious around dogs!
- Dog gate – it’s a good idea to keep your puppy in a certain section of the house when it first arrives (preferably one without carpet). They will not be toilet trained yet so it makes cleaning up a lot easier for yourself
3. Prepare Your Home
Everything needs to be puppy-proof! This means practically clearing EVERYTHING away that could potentially be in your puppies reach. Here are some things to look out for
- Electrical cords – cover or unplug them! You can buy electrical cords covers from online or DIY stores
- Move ALL food out of reach – even food on the edge of counters, you’ll be surprised how high a puppy can jump when he’s feeling peckish
- Put all medications away – make sure all medications are removed and put somewhere safe out of reach. People usually leave their medications on bed side tables which is easily reached by a puppy
- Close the toliet lid – might sound ridiculous but your puppy will be very curious, it might try to drink from it and fall in
- Keep doors and windows close – don’t risk your puppy escaping into the outside world, if they have the chance they will. Again, they are very curious
- Ensure any sharp objects are safely in draw away from your puppys reach
- Secure your bins – this is actually a BIG one. Bins are on the floor and not too hard for a puppy to access. All of the different smells coming from it will attract them instantly. Get a secure bin so you can avoid your puppy getting his paws on anything he shouldn’t
4. Have a training plan prepared
You need to make sure you’ve got a training programme prepared for your little one. This gives them a routine from the moment they enter your home. Start with the basics, such as ”sit” and ”drop” then ease them into a healthy routine. Introduce them to their bed as soon as they arrive so they know it’s their place to relax. Many puppies take a while to warm up to it, so guiding them with yummy treats can be helpful. You can also take your puppy to obedience classes which is great for bonding and helping you implement good techniques. These trains are professional so will help you learn the best ways to communicate with your dog and get them to listen to your commands. Remember, the sooner you start, the faster your puppy will learn! Don’t waste any time.