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How old is your dog?

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What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
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0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
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2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
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3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
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6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
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12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
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18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
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3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
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8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

Preparing for a Puppy

Dr Leoti Morkel - Vet profile picture

Dr Leoti Morkel - Vet

BVSc from University of Pretoria

Dr Leoti Morkel has spent most of her career in clinical practice, operating her own veterinary hospital and boarding kennels. Leoti has wide-ranging clinical experience including small and large animals, as well as wildlife.

Preparing for a Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and joyous experience. However, it also requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth transition for both the puppy and your household.

Taking the time to prepare adequately will help create a nurturing and welcoming environment for your new furry family member.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for the arrival of your new puppy, covering everything from puppy-proofing your home to establishing a routine and gathering essential supplies.

1. Puppy Proofing Your Home

Before your puppy arrives, it's crucial to make your home a safe and secure environment. Start by identifying potential hazards such as toxic plants, chemicals, and electrical cords. Use childproof locks to secure cabinets and remove any small objects that could be choking hazards. Ensure that all household cleaning products are stored out of reach.

Consider setting up a designated area for your puppy, such as a crate or a playpen.

This space will serve as a safe haven where your puppy can rest and relax. Make sure the area is comfortable, well-ventilated, and equipped with appropriate bedding and toys.

2. Establishing a Routine

Puppies thrive on routine, as it provides them with a sense of security and predictability.

Start by establishing a consistent schedule for feeding, bathroom breaks, exercise, playtime, and rest.

Puppies have small bladders, so frequent bathroom breaks are essential. Set aside time for training sessions to instill good behaviour and basic commands.

When it comes to feeding, remember to introduce new food gradually to prevent upset tummies. Ensure that fresh water is always available for your puppy.

3. Socialisation and Training

Socialisation is a critical aspect of a puppy's development. Introduce your new puppy to various people, environments, and other animals in a controlled and positive manner. This exposure will help them become well-adjusted and confident adult dogs.

Enrol in puppy socialisation classes (or puppy schools) or seek the guidance of a professional trainer to ensure proper socialisation and training.

Your puppy will benefit from establishing basic training routines from day one. Teach your puppy their name, basic commands like sit, stay, and come, and reward desired behaviour with treats and praise. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful training. Patience is crucial during this process, as puppies take time to learn and adapt.

4. Essential Supplies

Gather the necessary supplies to ensure your new puppy's comfort and well-being. These include food and water bowls, a collar/harness and leash, a comfortable bed, grooming supplies, appropriate toys, and puppy-friendly treats.

Invest in a high-quality puppy food, ensuring it meets their nutritional needs.

Preparing for a new puppy requires careful planning and preparation. By puppy-proofing your home, establishing a routine, prioritising socialisation and training, and gathering essential supplies, you can create a welcoming environment for your new furry friend.

Remember, patience, love, and consistency are the foundations of a strong bond between you and your puppy.

Cherish this exciting time and enjoy the journey of nurturing your new companion into a well-rounded, happy, and healthy adult dog.

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