It’s time to welcome the newest, squirmiest and downright most adorable member of the family. The world’s a big, scary place for wee waggers, but there’s lots you can do to help your new best friend settle in.
When you visit your puppy at the breeders, ask to leave an old sweater or tee shirt there. When the pair of you turn tail for home for the first time, that cast-off clothing isn’t to be sniffed at – having your scent and his home scent nearby is reassuring. On the journey home, even the perkiest of pups may be nervous at leaving his litter, so keep things quiet and calm. Using a carrier will help prevent curious canines jumping on the car dashboard, and take plenty of bedding and towels – no matter how hip your hound, remember he isn’t housetrained! Soft fleecy blankets, such as this Double Fleece from Charley Chau, are comforting and – importantly – wash and dry well.
Home might be where the heart is, but it’s also a place where your new pup needs to feel safe and secure. Kit him out with his own cosy corner, and his own bed such as this Huntington Pillow Dog Bed from Walter’s Wardrobe – the waterproof top will help minimise any ‘wee’ accidents.
Toys are a vital part of helping your miniature mutt settle in. Use them to reassure, comfort…and distract those tiny teeth! For fidgety fidos, these Snuggle Puppy toys from Smart Pet Love have a triple purpose – they incorporate a heartbeat sound and heatpack to reassure timid tykes used to sleeping in a litter, and later they’ll be great for puppy play. Kong-style dog toys, made from strong rubber, will be up to a bit of ‘ruff and tumble’ and are ideal for pups that like to chew.
Give your pup a day or two to settle into his new routine, then it’s time to cut a dash with a new collar. To start with, just put it on him for a few minutes while you’re in the room, and build it up gradually – puppies love to get paws, claws and even jaws caught in anything new! A soft, lightweight collar such as this Puppy Collar by Bunty is ideal – he’ll hardly know he’s wearing it, and you can adjust it as he grows. To stop dapper doggies getting too hot under the collar, make sure it’s not too tight by checking you can easily fit a finger under it. For the finishing touch to his brand new outfit, a dog tag engraved with your contact details rather than his name will help keep him at the top of the pup parade.
Now click back, relax and get to know your new canine chum – it’s time for some puppy love!