Puppy Care 101: Top Tips for First-Time Dog Owners (Part 2)

sad looking dog on the floor

At a time where companionship is treasured, puppies can bring immense joy into our homes and lives. As a new owner, it can appear like there’s a never ending list of things to know and prepare. Here is our puppy care guide to prepare your companion’s first few months at home. Check out Part 1 of our top tips here!

Regularly groom your dog to bond and keep them clean

Petting your dog often, and also physically checking them is not only important for you to form a connection with them, but also flag any skin diseases early. Run your hands down their neck and along their back and stomach to check for lumps and bumps, and regularly brush your dog to prevent matting of fur too. Observe their eyes, nose from time to time to check if they are free of discharge. Gently fold back their ears and clean them weekly. You wouldn’t want their paws to turn into claws either, so  safely trim their nails just as they are long enough to touch the ground. 

Choose your accessories wisely

Explore whether a collar or harness (round the entire body) would be a better, comfortable fit for your puppy. For example, flat-faced (brachycephalic) dogs, or those with windpipe issues should wear harnesses at all times instead of collars. Consider getting both for different activities you embark on together. Material wise, a nylon leash would be easiest to wash – getting multiple will allow you to change it daily without trouble.  It is also worth putting your contact details on a name collar just for your pet’s safety. 

Behaviour training is key, but also… Let them play 

Training through positive reinforcement can allow you to build a relationship of trust, rather than fear with your dog. But also remember to provide them with plenty of opportunities to play. Provide them with a wide range of puppy-safe chewing or training toys so that they get to choose what’s right for them at whatever stage.  A happy dog is also an active dog – ensure they are getting their daily fix of exercise at least three times a day. 

Find a supportive dog community. A happy dog needs friends too

Not only does your dog need to connect with you, but other members of the family and other pets too.  Remember to scout any dog communities closest to you, as dog owners can offer words of wisdom and would be where you can find social activities too. Not all of our jobs allow us to be home 24/7, so puppy sitting is a great way to hire help with expertise so that your mind is put at ease. 

Growing with your pet is an exciting journey that lies ahead, show them love and you will both learn from each other in a number of unexpected ways. Read more about puppy wellness on our blog for more information.