Bringing a new puppy into the household is exciting. However the decision can sometimes be daunting with so many things to consider. We hope this information will help you to choose your perfect puppy.
Choosing your new puppy
Finding your new pet will take time. Consider a rescue pet if you can – shelters are full of dogs of all shapes and sizes. Ask about their history and make sure you have a vet check before you commit finally, in case you are taking on a pet with medical problems.
If you definitely want a puppy, only go to a reputable breeder and never buy a puppy on impulse or in a hurry.
Good breeders will often have waiting lists and will be able to show you the mother and the litter before you choose your pup. Puppies should stay with their mother until around 8 weeks – younger than this without explanation should be questioned.
Beware of the increasing black market in puppy farmed and illegally imported dogs, many of which come with disease problems. In particular never buy a puppy at a car boot or other sale, or by meeting a ‘breeder’ somewhere that is not their home. It is also not unknown for sellers on the internet to rent and furnish a house solely as a cover for selling these puppies, which may have travelled a long way and have passports completed fraudulently. Be suspicious of any puppy which is particularly smelly or in poor condition, and seen with other breed pups or without littermates. Taking one of these puppies on will only encourage the trade and risk importation of a number of nasty diseases (including rabies) and parasites into the UK. You run a very real risk of purchasing a poorly puppy with chronic health problems and often a very short life span with no recourse to the seller.
It is best to get to know the breeder, see the litter when the puppies are small and then go back to collect your chosen puppy when it is ready to leave its mother.
If a breeder claims a puppy is vaccinated you should ask for the vaccination record and check the vets signature and practice. Any doubt – start the vaccinations again when you have the puppy.
Things you need
- A crate – helps with toilet training and night time crying.
- Suitable bedding for the crate – a vet bed is excellent, easy to wash and soaks liquid up, but stays dry on top.
- Food and water bowls – we recommend puzzle bowls to keep your puppy occupied and moderate speed of eating.
- Collar – we have a selection at the surgery that you can fit on your pup’s first visit.
- Name tag – it is illegal to have a dog in a public place without a collar and ID tag with your name and address.
- Contact phone number is helpful and our tags also have our emergency number on in case of accident. You can order one in reception.
- Houseline (lead) is an invaluable aid to prevent behaviour issues.
- Toys – a Kong© toy is a must have for puppies! We can teach you how to get the most out of this toy!
- Food – initially the same as the breeder has used, but our nurses can then advise you further!
- Poo bags – buy doggy ones or nappy sacks will do. Always pick up poo where people, particularly children, walk – all pups come with worms! Bag it and bin it or take home – never leave bagged poo out on a walk.
- Adaptil© diffuser – plug in a week before arrival or we can help you fit an Adaptil© collar on your puppy.
- Leave a blanket or similar item with mum and other litter mates to acquire familiar smells prior to picking up your new puppy.
- Although dogs are best carried in a closed secured crate in the rear compartment of the car, the front of the car is the most stable for first time travel, this will reduce the chance of travel sickness. If your puppy is in a basket or carrier, the front foot-well will be fine. Don’t carry your puppy loose in the car.
Your puppy’s first visit to Mill House Veterinary Hospital
For everything you need to know about caring for your new addition, as soon as you collect him or her, make an appointment to see one of our Veterinary Health Advisers. As well as weighing, checking development, advising on nutrition and sorting out flea and worm treatment, they will be able to help you with all the ‘common puppy problems’ and reassure you that everything your puppy does is normal and also easy to rectify with the right approach.
All our advice, first flea and worm treatment and cuddles are free. We are always here to help you, and genuinely want to make your puppy’s first visit to the surgery a welcoming experience.
Your puppy will need to learn how to communicate with other dogs from an early stage. Socialisation skills are where our Puppy Playgroup classes will really help. Your puppy can start this once they have had their vaccination and we only take healthy pups of the same vaccination status, to minimise disease risk. The classes are held in a completely different building to the main surgery too.
Further details of these classes can be found in reception in our ‘Guide to your new puppy’ leaflet, or simply ask for more details next time you visit.