Day-to-day puppy care

Advice from our partners in Pet Nutrition - Eukanuba

It's exciting bringing a new puppy into your life. You probably can't wait to show your friends the cutie you picked out. Here are some things you can do to help your puppy feel as comfortable as possible in his new home:

Day-to-day care

  • Teach children not to be rough with your puppy - no pulling the ears, whiskers or tail.
  • Act calm and quiet around your puppy.
  • Provide a warm, soft bed (or box/crate) in a cosy place out of the way.
  • Give your puppy a soft, indestructible toy or two (large enough that they can't be swallowed).

Basics for your puppy

Below are the basic items you should always have available for your puppy:

  • Food and water bowls

Stainless steel is easiest to keep clean and doesn't break.

  • Collar

You should be able to fit two fingers under the collar when it's on your puppy. Check the fit often because puppies grow quickly!

  • Lead

For toilet walks or for spending time in an unfenced location, your puppy will need an appropriate lead and harness.

  • Toys

Playing with toys helps your puppy's balance and motor skills. Chew toys can help him shed his baby teeth. Stay away from toys that can be swallowed.

  • Vacuum cleaner and lint brush for carpets and upholstery

Unless you've strategically picked out a breed that doesn't shed, hair will be everywhere your puppy has been.

  • Exercise

Once your puppy has completed his vaccination course you will be able to visit dog exercise parks and beaches together - check with your local authorities for a list of dog-friendly places.

Skin and coat care

Keeping your puppy's skin healthy and his coat shiny requires good nutrition and regular grooming.Make the experience enjoyable and calm. Gentle brushing with a soft brush for short periods of time is best for you and your puppy to bond.

Bath-time blues

Did you know that puppies don't require very frequent bathing? In fact, too much bathing can be drying and harmful to the skin.

• Human shampoos and household detergents are unsuitable.

• Use a gentle soap-free shampoo designed for dogs - check with your vet.


Your puppy has temporary teeth until about four to six months of age, so don't be alarmed if you see teeth falling out before then. You may notice more chewing behaviour as your puppy starts teething. Provide your dog with appropriate things to chew, for example, chew toys and dental treats. Start brushing your puppy's teeth as a game. Like this he will get used to it for daily tooth brushing when adult. Never use human toothpaste, they can be harmful for dogs. Reward him with a treat when done.


Check your puppy's ears regularly. Seek advice from your vet if you see signs of ear disease such as:

  • Scratching one or both ears incessantly
  • Head shaking or tilting to one side
  • An unpleasant odour
  • Discharge from the ear
  • Redness, inflammation or swelling, pain
  • Stumbling or circling to one side
  • Lethargy and depression.

To determine how to best clean your puppy's ears, or if you suspect an ear problem, see your vet.


If you suspect an eye problem, take your dog to the vet immediately as any delay may result in permanent

eye damage. Signs include:

  • Red, inflamed eye
  • Excessive tears
  • Eye partly closed
  • Eye discharge - watery, yellow, greenish or blood-stained
  • Cloudy appearance to the eye
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Rubbing the eye with paws or along the ground.


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