So, you’ve decided it’s time to welcome a gorgeous new puppy to your family – congratulations! Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience. But hey, being a puppy parent is no small feat! It’s like a whirlwind of cuddles, accidents, and endless tail wags. Fear not, though! We’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of caring for your new best friend.

Bringing Your Puppy Home
Bringing your new pup home is a momentous occasion! It’s incredibly exciting, but it is also an extremely important moment. You will want to make sure that you have created a safe space for your pup to explore and that you’ve puppy-proofed your home, removing any potential hazards like loose wires or small objects they might chew on. You’ll no doubt have bought them a lovely cosy bed, some toys, and some treats to make them feel right at home.

But, remember, the journey to their new home might be overwhelming for your little buddy. So be patient and make sure you give them time to adjust. While it is tempting to invite everyone around to meet the new addition and smother him or her with love, taking the time to let them find their confidence and settle in first will certainly pay dividends in the future.

If you already have dogs at home, then you will want to think about how you introduce them. They say first impressions count and that’s true for new canine relationships too. Your older dog will certainly be inquisitive, they will want to investigate the new pup and get to know all their smells. However, this might be a little overwhelming for the new puppy and so you will want to manage the situation carefully. We recommend bringing your puppy into the home, in a crate, to one of the rooms you use the most. Give him or her a little bit of time to take in the sights and smells before bringing your older dog into the room. Let the older dog get all that initial smelling done through the crate, giving the pup a bit of a safety net. Once you feel the initial excitement has passed, then you can take them both outside for a real face to face meeting. Just be sure to always keep an eye on your puppy (larger dogs can cause injuries to puppies simply by being over enthusiastic).  And remember, gentle cuddles and soothing words will go a long way in reassuring them that they’re in a loving environment.

Vets, Medicines, Vaccinations, and More!
Just like us, puppies need regular check-ups to stay healthy. Schedule a visit to the vet soon after bringing your pup home. Just remember, as most puppies leave their mothers at 8 weeks of age, their vaccination programme will not have started. Until they have been fully vaccinated you should avoid taking them out in public or letting them walk on public paths/roads. Be especially careful when you first take them to the vet and make sure you don’t put them on the ground during these first visits.

Your vet will set up a vaccination schedule and perform a health check to ensure your furry friend is in tip-top shape.

Speaking of health, don’t forget about those pesky parasites! Fleas, ticks, and worms can make your pup uncomfortable and even sick. Your vet will recommend the best preventive measures to keep these critters at bay. Your puppy will need regular worming until it is 12 weeks old and will then follow a vet advised schedule from then on.

Ah, the age-old question – what to feed your precious pup? Quality nutrition is key to your puppy’s growth and development. Opt for high-quality puppy food that’s specially formulated to meet their nutritional needs. If you need help choosing the right diet based on your pup’s breed, age, and activity level, you can always pop in store to see us at Rooke’s. We’ve got a huge range of options based on your own personal preferences and budget.

Just remember, portion control is crucial! Puppies will eat more while they are young (and more regularly too).  In fact a young puppy is likely to be on up to 4 meals a day. This is because their stomachs are small. But by weighing your puppy regularly you can make sure you continue to feed them the correct amount for their age and size. By 6 months of age, your puppy will probably be eating twice a day. Once your puppy is fully grown, you will move them on to an adult food and will adjust their total daily portion sizes accordingly.  Overfeeding can lead to obesity, larger poos and a whole host of health issues down the road. Make sure you follow the feeding guidelines on the food packaging and adjust as needed based on your pup’s appetite and growth.

Treats are a great way to reinforce their good behaviour, support your training and strengthen your bond with your puppy, just make sure they’re puppy-friendly and given in moderation as this is a sure-fire way of over feeding your puppy without realising.

Puppies are bundles of energy just waiting to be unleashed! Regular exercise is essential for their physical and mental wellbeing. You will need to take your pup for daily walks to explore the great outdoors and burn off some of that excess energy. However, as mentioned before, you need to leave this until after their final set of puppy vaccinations.

Make sure you do not over exercise your puppy either. While it is wonderful to be in the great outdoors with them, over-exercising a puppy can cause joint issues in later life. This is because a puppy’s bones are not fully fused until they are 6 – 12 months old (more for giant breeds). Over exercising them puts added stress on their ligaments and tendons which can cause issues in later life. We recommend walking no more than 5 minutes per day per month in age. So a 3 month old puppy only needs 15 minutes of exercise a day.

Playtime is equally as, if not more so, important than walking! We recommend engaging in interactive play and training sessions to help keep your pup stimulated and happy.  But remember, moderation is key – not just for their joints, but for their mental stimulation too. An over tired puppy is often mistaken for a naughty puppy. Overstimulation in puppies is very common. If you suddenly notice them tearing around getting the zoomies or biting at you or the furniture, it’s time for them to settle down and have a bit of rest. Puppies will sleep for up to 16 hours a day so don’t expect them to be up and playing at all hours.

Ah, the joys of puppy training! Teaching your pup good manners and basic commands is not only essential for your sanity, but also for their safety and wellbeing.

Start with the basics: Sit, stay, come. Keep training sessions short and sweet, and always use positive reinforcement. Treats, praise, and belly rubs are powerful motivators for your eager-to-learn pup.

And consistency is key! Establish a routine and stick to it. Puppies thrive on structure and predictability, so be patient and persistent in your training efforts.

Oh, and don’t forget about socialisation! Introduce your pup to new people, places, and experiences from a young age to help them grow into confident and well-adjusted adults. But, just like the play and exercise, don’t overdo it. Proper puppy socialisation is about teaching a puppy how to relax and behave in different environments. It isn’t about being handled by lots of strangers and having lots of other dogs come to meet them. This can be counterproductive. Real socialisation should include you continuing your basic training and rewards in new environments around new people, sights, smells and noises. It is this sort of training that will hugely benefit you in the future when it comes to taking them out on off lead walks and maintaining a recall.


Ultimately caring for a new puppy is a labour of love and a lot of hard work. It’s a journey filled with laughter, cuddles, and the occasional chewed-up shoe. But hey, those puppy kisses make it all worth it, right? So, embrace the chaos, cherish the moments and enjoy every step of the way as you embark on this paws-itively wonderful adventure.  And remember, at Rooke’s, we are always on hand to help whatever the question may be.

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