Top Tips for New Puppy Owners

New puppy

Getting a new puppy is very exciting, but it does not come without its challenges. No matter how prepared you may think you are, you are bound to face some difficulties.

Any research will tell you that the first few months are the most crucial when it comes to caring for and training a puppy, so these top tips could really come in useful!

Pick a toilet spot

You will want to toilet train your puppy as soon as possible. You should designate a specific area, lining it with newspaper, and encourage your puppy to toilet in this spot.

Ideally, this spot should be near the back door (or wherever else you let them outside) to prepare them for when they will be going outside.

Not only should you bring your puppy to this area when they show signs of needing the toilet, you should regularly bring them to this spot throughout the day to familiarise them with that area.

You should try to keep an eye on their toileting, looking out for changes in consistency or colouring, and report anything that concerns you to your vet as soon as possible.

Familiarise your puppy with being handled

Not only is this important so that your puppy is more friendly, familiarising them with being handled will make grooming and future visits to the vet much easier.

This is not to say that you should spend all day cuddling your puppy, as they need some time to play and explore.

Ensuring that you stroke them, as well as touching their paws, head and ears at least once a day will make them more accepting of it.  

Be sure to closely supervise your puppy when around children as their attitude towards ‘handling’ may not be as gentle as yours, and your puppy might be less patient.

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Introduce them to new dogs as soon as possible

The earlier you socialise your puppy with other dogs, the more sociable they will be, which can reduce your anxiety when it comes to walking your dog at the park or on the beach.

Begin with other dogs whose temperament you know well, such as close friends and family pets, or in a controlled environment, such as puppy classes.

It goes without saying that your puppy should not come into contact with other dogs until they have had all of their injections, but after that, the more socialisation the better!

Reward good behaviour

It is important that your puppy learns what good behaviour is as soon as possible, so you should not delay in rewarding them for doing something that pleases you (such as sitting on command, waiting for food, using the designated toilet area, etc).

This will help them to associate such behaviour with positive outcomes, meaning they are likely to continue to do it.

These rewards should not always be in the form of treats, but perhaps some fuss or a new toy.

Practice separation

Young puppies should not be left alone for too long, but you are going to need to go to work and to the supermarket, so it is important that they are happy to do their own thing when you are not around. Begin by going into another room for a while, closing the door so that they cannot join you.

You may then go upstairs for a while, before actually leaving the house, each time increasing the time you are away. This teaches your pet that it is ok to be left alone, and that you are going to return.

In spite of the challenges that adopting a new puppy can bring, seeing them grow into a well-behaved and happy dog is one of the most rewarding processes!

Ensure you register your new puppy with your local vet for routine vaccinations and discussions about neutering. If at any time you’re unsure about your puppy’s health, do not hesitate to seek advice from your vet as soon as possible. has a range of puppy products and food, as well as low-cost prescription medication, wormers and flea treatments.