What You Need to Know Before Getting a Puppy

Welcoming a cuddly little puppy into your home is an exciting time. However, there are various aspects of the process to research and to ensure that you understand well ahead of your visit to the shelter. Here are some essential facts to be aware of as you start this incredible journey towards becoming a proud pet owner.

When is the right time to bring a puppy home?

For both physical and emotional reasons, you need to avoid taking a puppy away from its mother at a very early age. If you are getting your dog through a breeder and they offer to let you take the puppy home before they reach the eight-week milestone, you should reconsider doing business with them. Most veterinary experts recommend that the safest time to adopt a puppy is when they are between eight – 12 weeks old. There have been many studies published that puppies adopted during this period tend to experience fewer behavioral issues later on in life.

What do I need to know about vaccinations?

Vaccinations are a necessary part of ensuring that your puppy is happy and healthy. The pup should be taken to a South Peak Veterinary Hospital for his or her first set of shots when he or she is no older than eight weeks. The vaccination schedule is quite extensive up until your puppy reaches four months of age, after which the frequency slows down quite a bit. While all vaccinations are essential, the most crucial ones will protect against parvovirus, rabies, hepatitis, and distemper.

What do I need to buy before adopting a puppy?

Puppies need lots of love and attention to thrive and transform into loyal, well-behaved dogs. However, that is not all that they require. Before visiting the shelter or the breeder, you will also need to invest in a few tangible essentials, such as a comfortable dog bed, a good quality dog food, a collar, and a leash, some dog shampoo, a few dog bowls, and perhaps some chew toys (unless you don’t mind your new pet making a meal of your slippers!).

How do I housetrain my puppy?

This is often the most challenging and frustrating part of adopting a new puppy. Housetraining requires consistency and can take longer if you are unable to keep enforcing the rules due to being away at work. Here are some tips to help streamline the process:

  • Put the puppy on a feeding schedule from the very start. Regulating what goes in will make it much easier to predict what comes out and when.
  • Take the puppy outside every 30 minutes, and keep a close eye on them when indoors. They will often exhibit signs that they need to ‘go potty’, such as circling or scratching at the door.
  • Avoid trying to housetrain before the little one has reached three months of age.

Now that you know all that there is to know about caring for a furry family member, nothing is stopping you from finalizing that adoption. Enjoy your new, loyal companion!