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Getting a new puppy is a very exciting time for any dog lover. Especially if it’s the first time! The first 30 days with your new pup are a crucial time to build a strong bond, influence their good habits, set boundaries, and of course, start the house-training.
Therefore, we have created this article to guide you through the first 30 days with your new furry friend. Including information on how to prepare your house for the new arrival along with a reliable puppy checklist.
We have also incorporated a special section that covers the best enrichment toys for your new puppy. It features an exclusive interview with qualified veterinary nurse, Beth Walker from @enrichingpaws on instagram! So, let’s get to it.
No matter where you got your new puppy from, the first day is likely to be overwhelming for them. Try to find a balance between supporting your puppy and giving them room to adapt. Let your pup come to you for attention using puppy treats and enrichment puzzle toys filled with puppy-friendly goodies.
It’s also important to ensure you have rules in place so your little pup doesn’t form any bad habits. Some ways to do this are:
Placing a baby gate or pen to create a comfortable confinement space for your puppy when you cannot supervise.
Put away items like remote controls, shoes, and laundry to prevent chewing.
Provide a dog bed or blanket for your pup to relax on so they have their own comfortable space.
Your new puppy will want to explore its new home safely. When introducing your puppy to their new home keep a lead attached to your puppy’s collar as they sniff around their new territory. As they do so, you can sit on the floor nearby and observe.
Frequently talk to your new puppy and use their name often. This way they will get used to the sound of your voice and become more familiar with their name.
Puppies start learning behaviours from the day they are born, so it is never too early to start training desired behaviours and familiarise them with their new routine. Letting them get away with naughty behaviours because they are little will only teach them the incorrect behaviours that will be tricky to break when they are older. So it is important to start early and re-direct their attention from destructive behaviours like chewing on furniture and biting to desired behaviours like chewing on chew toys.
During Day 1, think about establishing the routine you want to stick to with your new puppy. This means having the same bed-time, eating at the same time, and regularly toilet-train them outside. Bearing in mind, very young puppies up to 10 weeks old usually cannot hold their bladder for more than an hour. However, 10–12-week-old pups typically can hold it for 2 hours. To make toilet training easy and potty accidents minimised, make sure to respect their little bladder and take them out frequently.
When your new puppy does go to the toilet outside, make sure to give them praise, pats, and treats. Always take them to the toilet around 10-15 minutes before bedtime. When they are relaxed, calmly place them within their designated sleeping area.
The first night can be a challenging one as your new puppy may wake up a few times and whine. If they do, take them out for a toilet break and then put them back to bed. If you stick to a bedtime routine, your puppy will recognise this and settle quicker. You can then repeat the routine you choose with your little pup every day.
By Day 7, your lovable new puppy will be much more settled in the home. During the first week, ensure you've registered your pup with the local council, microchipped them, and scheduled a vet check-up. Puppies need multiple vaccinations, so make note to plan this in advance!
To prevent diseases, it's best to avoid taking your new puppy out until you fully vaccinate them. They can start exploring elsewhere once they have their final booster. Most vets recommend this will be around 10-14 days following the vaccination when your pup will be between 14-16 weeks old. If you do want to slowly introduce your new puppy to other animals, make sure they are healthy and up-to-date with their vaccinations.
By Day 7, your furry friend will hopefully have adjusted to their daily routine. Of course, despite regular toilet intervals, there will be some accidents in the house along the way. The best way to deal with this is to put your puppy safely in their crate when you can't watch them.
The first 3-17 weeks of a puppy’s life is also a vital time for social and behavioural development. This means it’s good to carry them around whenever you go outside, so they get used to new sounds, familiarise with new sights, and feel calm around strange people.
Repeat your routine each day so that your new puppy will adjust and become used to a regular schedule that suits you. Feel free to venture out once vaccinations are complete and slowly introduce your pup to other people and children. This will help your puppy grow to be well-socialised.
By two weeks in, your new puppy will be well and truly settled in! Stay consistent with your training and be patient. Remember that a puppy will want to please you, but this doesn’t mean they will get it right all the time. They are still learning! Continue to praise them when they do well, giving them a pat or a treat.
During this time, you will know what your puppy's urine and faeces usually looks like. So, keep an eye out for any signs of urine tract infections or intestinal parasites that can be common in puppies.
For example, your new pup may show a urine tract infection by needing to pee more frequently than usual. They may also strain to wee or cry out and whine to show it’s painful. Look out for blood in their urine too. The criteria for normal puppy stool are:
Colour: Your puppy’s poo should be brown as this shows they are absorbing nutrients as they should be.
Frequency: Your new puppy should be consistently going to the toilet outside 2-4 times a day. If they are needing to go far too often then this could indicate a urine infection.
Condition: There should not be any foreign objects within your puppy’s stool.
If you are concerned, don't hesitate to give your vet a call and they will be able to advise further.
Congratulations you made it to Day 30, and hopefully all has been a success! By the time Day 30 has come around, your new puppy will be very confident in their surroundings. They'll also be showing their own distinct and adorable personality.
Keep up with the toilet-training as they will get there, it just takes more time. Remember to only use positive reinforcement such as giving your new puppy treats and pats when they do well.
By Day 30, your new puppy will be ready for their next vaccinations. You’ll also be looking at starting them on regular medications to prevent fleas, ticks, internal parasites, and heart worms.
Day 30 is a great time to look into finding a dog groomer that suits you. Sussing out the different prices, qualities, and personalities of the grooming facilities. After all, regular grooming ensures your pup’s fur coat stays in great condition. A lot of groomers will offer puppy grooming, which is a great opportunity for your puppy to learn that a groomer is a happy and safe place as well as familiarise themselves with the new sounds and grooming tools.
Of course, you can easily do some grooming at home. We have a variety of grooming products available on our website.
If you have another dog who hasn’t formed a bond with your new family member yet, don’t worry. The process can take time. Your dog may need longer than 30 days to get used to your new energetic fluff ball.
If your dog seems to be having a hard time, try rewarding them with treats when your new puppy comes near. It will help your dog see the new puppy as a positive rather than a negative.
All in all, try to enjoy the early puppy stages despite the challenges! Watching your new puppy grow into a happy and healthy family member is a memorable experience to have.
To finish off, let’s discuss enrichment toys for your new puppy. Having a playful new puppy is exciting and you’ll want to keep them entertained during the day. Toys that keep your pup engaged can stop them from getting bored, boost their confidence, and teach them problem-solving skills.
Puppy enrichment toys help to provide a safe and preferable sniff and chew environment, so they won't chew on your favourite slippers! They are great for controlling a puppy's energy and reducing stress.
So, what enrichment toys are best for your new puppy?
Lickimats are a great choice for your new puppy. They help to calm and soothe, releasing positive endorphins as your pup licks their favourite treats off the mat.
We asked Beth Walker a qualified veterinary nurse at Enriching Paws, which enrichment dog toy is best for new puppy owners. With her valuable experience, Beth responded:
“A snuffle matt or a Lickimat is probably the best way to start, and I think they're super underrated. A lick or snuffle mat can be beneficial in training a young puppy. They can help us build positive associations with scary things and calm down chaotic pups."
"When it was vaccine time for my little puppy, we took a Lickimat to add a blob of sticky primula to while she had her injection! She was far too busy licking to notice the needle and thought the vets was a great place to just go and have a snack! The licking is also really soothing for a high-stress environment like the vets.”
WestPaw enrichment toys are fantastic as they are durable and challenging. This means they are great to chew on for your teething pup. Plus, they come in a variety of sizes depending on the size of your dog. If your pup needs more of a challenge as they grow, WestPaw’s small and large toppl can be combined for a tougher experience.
Beth loves dogs and puppies and uses lots of toys to keep them entertained. But her favourite toy brand is WestPaw.
“If I had to only purchase from one brand again, I'd probably pick West Paw. While the toys can feel a more premium price point, I think they definitely warrant it. Out of everything in my collection they seem to hold up well to all sorts of chewing and I love how different toys within the brand can be used together.
For example, combining the small and large toppl to create a kibble dispenser. It’s nice to have the option to mix things up and increase the 'difficulty' as the pups get more confident with the toys.”
SodaPup enrichment toys such as the Enrichment Treat Dispensing Can Toy for Puppies are designed to soothe the tender mouths of teething pups. They also help your playful new puppy to fight against boredom as they try to receive the treat inside. Just simply fill the Can Toy with treats like kibble, canned dog food, peanut butter, or your favourite dog treat recipe. This will keep your lovable furry friend entertained for some time!
Beth tells us, “As someone who works from home, if I have a big meeting and restless pups, I like to utilise my SodaPup toys or Westpaw Qwizl for a more challenging enrichment treat. They usually take a bit more effort to release the treats and keep the pups occupied and stimulated when I’m busy!”
So, there you have it, that’s what Beth has to say. But which enrichment toy will you choose for your new puppy? Check out our most recommended variety below.
To end our insightful interview about enrichment toys with Beth, we asked if she had any tips for our readers who are starting out on a 30-day journey with their new puppy. Here is the helpful advice she had to give:
“I think most importantly, don’t panic! Getting a new puppy or dog can sometimes feel intimidating. With so many social media platforms available, you can have lots of conflicting advice and opinions. It can make you feel like no matter what you do it's wrong! Just remember that you know your dog better than anyone else, even if you are new to it.
Don't be afraid to ask for help, but also don't feel pressured into doing anything a certain way. Just take time to enjoy them. The puppy phase is over far too fast, and you'll always wish you'd just embraced it more. Owning a dog is such a privilege and we just don't get to enjoy them for long enough.”
We hope this 30-Day guide will help you with your future new puppy endeavour! See some of our most recommended puppy products below to get you started.