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Taking Care of a New Puppy

With the New Year comes new opportunities, new choices and new friends! In regards to the latter, many of you may have received a furry family member (with teeny-tiny paws!), either for Christmas or as a personal undertaking. Well fear not! We have the perfect guide on how to care for the cutest member of your family. Read on and prepare to learn!

Ethical Purchasing:
At Village Vets, we believe every pup deserves a good home. We also believe every pup deserves a good birth and proper care and treatment thereafter. We encourage you to first seek adoption shelters for your new forever- friend. However, we understand that the friend that’s right for you might not be available. When buying from a breeder, please make sure that the pup’s health and welfare is put first in your chosen source. We detest puppy farms and the mistreatment of animals in general.

Head over to our Village Vets Website for more information on our puppy manifesto and to access our puppy contract. We also offer a free pre and post purchase consultation with our specialist teams. The pre-purchase consultation will explain the contract and discuss which type of dog would be suitable for your home and lifestyle while the post-purchase consultation is a free health check that should be done on every new puppy as soon as you get them. Now, time for the exciting bits!

Essential Items and Must Haves:
If you’re serious about this you will need a few essential items to help you on your way. The first things we recommend getting are a dog crate and comfy, you-smelling blanket. The crate will give your dog a place to rest and an area to call their own, while the blanket will keep them warm and allow them to familiarise your scent with safety. Next, you’ll need a toy or enriching treat that will keep your pup’s mind off of misbehaving, chewing on the good couch in the sitting room or going toilet in the kitchen. At this early stage, food isn’t really a concern. You can keep feeding your new friend whatever your Reputable Breeder or Adoption Centre was feeding them, though if you wish, you can change over gradually at a later date. Also, stock up on plenty of newspaper because that’s what you’ll be using in the downtime from toilet training! Finally, our own Pet Health Plans are ideal for any accidents that happen when your pup is figuring out their place in the world. From as little as €17 a month, you’ll receive free visits to all of our clinics, annual booster vaccinations, annual urine and blood tests, 10% off neutering and 20% off all Royal Canin Diets! See our website for more information.

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Toilet Training Tips:
Scolding your pup for toileting accidents is the worst thing you can do. It is up to you to know when to bring your new pup outside for his business. This can include: First thing when they wake up, after eating, drinking or even playing. Routine is somewhat important, though your pup will display some indication of when it’s time for the toilet, such as: Excessive circling, sniffing or general restlessness. The goal is, of course, that when you open the back door your pup will immediately run out, do his business and then come back. That level of reliability will take time and a good routine.

So... You’ve managed to get your new puppy outside before he could get down to business in the sitting room. This is exactly what you want to be doing, weather depending of course! Once your pup has completed his task, offer him praise and a high value treat. This will trigger the “I do this I get treats and toys!” response from your pup. Reward based training is the best kind of training! However, it is important that your puppy is not given free access to go outside; he will need to learn to ask first in the same way he must learn not to go toilet in the house!

Puppy Playtime:
One of life’s many joys is playing with a puppy. Their innocence, toddler-like movements and wild curiosity is a thing to behold; enriching for both pet and owner. Playtime with your new friend is an important aspect of a puppy’s development. It teaches them socialisation skills that will be necessary for them to have later on in life. You can play with your puppy indoors or in the garden, it’s entirely up to you and what best suits their needs. At this young age you can also introduce your children to your pup during playtime and allow them to bond (which can happen almost immediately), leading to a much better relationship further down the line. Having a few different kinds of toys at this stage can be helpful, but don’t go spending a fortune on anything too snazzy; simple toys often work best (and you’ll need new ones anyway, once they grow older and their teeth grow sharper).

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Walking Your New Friend:
One of the hardest aspects of owning a new pup is bringing them on walks. At this tender age, your new friend’s walking ability is quite limited. Get your hands on a simple, decent collar and a simple, decent lead. Put both on your pup and allow a period of acclimatisation as he/she gets used to the weight and feel of both the collar and lead.

When you feel that your pup is ready, start by taking them on an easy walk, perhaps a few times around the garden or up and down the driveway. Gradually increase the walk’s duration, issue commands such as ‘Halt’, ‘Heel’, ‘Go’ and offer praise and treats when these commands are followed. Remember, as much as this is a learning experience for them, it might be just as much for you! And don’t worry, if you encounter any boo-boos or hurting paws on your walk you can visit our Emergency Clinics’ website. With the above tips and tricks in your repertoire, you’ll be more than capable to handle any puppy that happens to enter your life! They say (whoever they are) that it takes a town to raise a child, but with a puppy all you need is some helpful tips from Village Vets. In any case, we’re sure you’ll have the most well-behaved and cutest puppy in all of Ireland. Always keep in mind: If you’re unsure of anything or need some advice, we’re only ever a phone-call away. And be sure to take plenty of pictures – they won’t be that small for long... But they’ll always be cute!