General advice about caring for your new puppy or dog
General advice about caring for your new puppy or dog © Dorota Holden

As a new puppy or dog owner, you will be aware of the responsibilities that come with dog owning and caring for your dog. However, you will also benefit from the incredibly rewarding and pleasurable experience of dog ownership.

In time, with the correct training and care, your puppy or dog will hopefully become a well-adjusted adult who is a pleasure to own and a credit to you and the dog society at large.

This section includes information for when you first bring your puppy or dog home and provides support and tips on socialisation environment, feeding, walking and much more.

Collecting your new puppy from the breeder

Remember to take:

  • comfortable dog carrier.
  • cosy blanket.
  • water and food for longer journeys.

When you collect your new puppy it will probably be nervous being taken away from its litter and environment for the first time. Here are some tips on how to make your new puppy as relaxed as possible:

  • Try to minimise exposure to loud noises.
  • Settle your puppy in a carrier.
  • Don't let children or adults handle the puppy too much if it's nervous.
  • Keep your puppy well ventilated.
  • If the puppy shows signs of distress sit quietly and comfort it.
  • Make sure you give your puppy comfort breaks and take spare bedding - puppies are inclined to wee when nervous or excited!
  • Ensure you follow socialisation guidance from the breeder and continue this training for at least a further eight weeks.  Use the Puppy Socialisation Plan for guidance through this period.

Finally, remember to buy your dog identification tag, more information about the Control of Dogs Order 1992 is available here.

Check It Chip It - Everything you need to know about compulsory microchipping

Check It Chip It is a one-stop website for everything you need to know about compulsory microchipping, from checking a microchip to advice, tips and downloads for breeders, vets, dog owners and more to ensure all dog owners and breeds are complying with the law.

Microchipping with Petlog

The Kennel Club believes that microchipping makes a clear link between a dog and its owner. More than 100,000 dogs are lost or stolen each year, with many having to be kept in kennels before being re-homed. Having a microchip means they can be reunited quickly with their owners, reducing the stress for dog and owner alike.

By law, from 2016 all dogs must be microchipped and contact details MUST be kept up to date. 

Having your puppies implanted with a Petlog microchip means that they will be registered on the UK's largest lost and found database for microchipped pets. Registration on the Petlog database provides your puppies and their owners many benefits including:

  • A 24 hour/7 day a week, 365 days a year dedicated UK based lost and found line.
  • Petlog Premium service giving the new owners additional benefits including a mobile app and lost pet alerts.
  • Registration for life for every owner.
  • Database managed by the Kennel Club.
  • Petlog works with 12 of the 15 leading microchip suppliers.
  • Petlog is ISO 9001 and 27001 complaint - ensuring all data is handled and stored to the highest most stringent standards.

Find a Petlog implanter in your local area.

Here's some additional advice from our partners in pet nutrition - Eukanuba

Early development

Your puppy is likely to be 8 weeks old when you first meet him. With the help of his mother and breeder, he will already have taken some important steps to becoming a well-balanced and socialised dog.

  • The neonatal period (Birth-2 weeks old)

In the first days of his life, your puppy relied entirely on his mother to feed him and keep him warm. However, your breeder will have handled him gently, introducing him to human contact.

  • The transitional period (2-3 weeks old)

The sensory capabilities and motor skills develop quickly as physical changes enable your puppy to see, smell, hear, taste and touch his new world for the first time. By the end of this period he will have learned to walk. Your breeder will have ensured the secured living area was large enough to remove himself from the sleeping area to urinate and defecate.

  • The awareness period (3-4 weeks)

He will have started to learn how to eat without suckling and it is possible that his mother may have started to discourage feeding from her. At this sensitive time, your breeder may have started to introduce him to solid feeding.

  • Initial socialization (4-8 weeks)

The greater the variety of positive experiences your puppy has before the age of 8 weeks old, the more prepared he will be to cope with the day-to-day experiences in life. Your breeder knows this and will have handled him frequently. To prepare him for life without his mother, your puppy will have been weaned from suckling her to eating solid food and he will now be self-sufficient in feeding and drinking.

New Owner - Puppy Socialisation (8-16 weeks)

Your breeder should pass to you an information sheet on all the socialisation activities they have completed with your puppy and advice on the actions you need to continue with. The Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust has produce an online plan to help you complete comprehensive socialisation which will be the foundation of your puppy's future wellbeing:

Sleeping and eating arrangements

Create designated sleeping and eating to help him acclimatize to his new home. Always ensure he has fresh water available.

Choose wisely where your new puppy will sleep. It is important that he can see family life and is not in a draft with suitable dog bedding to sleep in. You must also choose a place for him to eat with enough room for food. Always ensure fresh water is available for him.

Choosing a name for your puppy

A short, two-syllable name will avoid confusion with single-syllable commands.

  • Names should be short. A two-syllable name is best because it is brief and will not be confused with one-syllable commands such as "no" or "sit".
  • Be consistent. All family members should use the same name for the puppy
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Info Guide - Poisons
Info Guide - Microchipping
Info Guide - Pet Insurance
Info Guide - Looking after Senior Dogs
Info Guide - Managing your dog's weight

Related Topics

Caring for your DogCaring for your Puppy

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