The basics when caring for your puppy

The day your new puppy comes home is the start of a new life, and a great adventure for all of you... 

One that we hope you will enjoy for many years to come, as your puppy becomes a real part of the family. For your puppy, it's also a big upheaval – he or she will be missing Mum and brothers and sisters, and will have to get used to a whole new house, lifestyle and people.


Decide in advance where they'll eat and sleep – they need peace and quiet for both. A puppy crate is ideal, or somewhere like the utility room or a room that is not used too often – just make sure anything your pup might be tempted to chew is out of the way! Just like human babies, puppies need their sleep – so don't disturb them when they're napping, and make sure they have somewhere quiet and comfortable to snooze, out of the way of a busy household.


There are many different types of pet food, but choosing the right one for your puppy is what really matters. What constitutes the right food for your puppy varies according to their neuter status, how old they are, their size, breed and any special considerations that your vet might identify. Ask for advice from your vet regarding what would be the most suitable food for your puppy.

Divide the daily amount of food (the pack will tell you how much you should feed per day) into 3 or 4 portions and feed them meals at regular intervals so their tummy doesn't get overloaded. At 6 months, you can get them down to 2 or 3 meals per day. Supervised feeding of your puppy is always recommended.


Toilet Training

With toilet training, the key is to identify the place where you want your puppy to go, take them there often and every time they perform, make a huge fuss of them, with praise and treats. Take them out frequently - after play, feeding, exercise, entertainment, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and at least once an hour. Stay with them so you can reward them there and then and if nothing happens, wait a few minutes before you bring them in and then try again in an hour.

Accidents will happen, especially at night. If you are there when it's happening, interrupt them and take them out to the right place, then reward them. Don't punish them if you weren't there because they won't understand. Puppy crates can help with house training, because they won't go where they sleep.


However delightful your puppy is, never forget that they're going to grow up - and to be a happy, well-adjusted adolescent and adult dog, they need good training. Your training methods should always be kind, calm and reward-based - never shout or hit, because that will simply upset your puppy.

You can teach yourself via books or the internet, but a great place to start is at puppy classes at local dog groups. If you need advice, you can ask us for details.


Chewing is a part of puppy teething, you can't stop it but you can give them some good chew toys (some of which you can stuff with food or treats so they have a built-in reward) and make sure they can't get at anything you don't want them to chew.