How to Best Care for Your New Dog

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Getting a new dog is exciting! You will no doubt have done lots of research into which breed of dog would be best suited for your lifestyle and now it’s almost time to collect your new bundle of joy from the breeder. You will need to have some things put in place before he or she comes home. There are also lots of things you will need to do regularly thereafter. Here are some tips on how to best care for your new addition.

When unattended

It’s a good idea to get a cage for your new puppy. Whilst it’s great for them to run around and get familiar with their new surroundings, a cage will come in handy when you need to go out. If you were to leave a new puppy to its own devices, you may come home to find your sofa chewed to bits or your cupboards emptied. It could also get hurt or go missing, so for its sake and yours, you must keep them safe. Cages come in different sizes so do some advance research into what you need. A bigger cage will probably be needed as your dog grows. Many people prefer their dogs to sleep in cages at night also. If you would rather they didn’t, there are other alternatives available. What you decide it’s important that there is water and bedding available at all times to keep them hydrated and comfortable.

Traveling by car

If traveling by car with a dog in the back seat, a car seat or clip-in harness is a good idea. A dog left unharnessed in a car can be a distraction to the driver and can also cause injury in the event of an impact. There are lots of different clips and seats available for different breeds of dog.

Toilet training

All dogs need toilet trained. Puppy pads are widely available and will come in very handy in the early stages if they aren’t able to get outside in time. These pads soak up any urine, leaving your flooring free from any stains or smells. Toilet training takes different amounts of time for different dogs but it is good to try and get a routine in place as soon as your dog gets home. The sooner it is trained the easier all round. It isn’t wise to let your dog in the garden unattended if there are any means of escape. Keep it on the lead until you know that it won’t run away.

Regular exercise

Fresh air and exercise are essential for all dogs. Check what the recommended exercise levels are for your age and breed. It differs from dog to dog and they mustn’t overdo it. If your dog is small and you want to go walking but don’t want to have to carry it, dog carrier harnesses are widely available. These strap on to your chest just like a baby harness. Dogs love them and it leaves you hands-free.


Dogs love to play. There are loads of dog toys available in stores and online. From squeaky ducks to ropes or pretend toy bones, you will be spoilt for choice. Whilst buying a cheap import from eBay might be tempting, it is something that should be avoided. Buying from an authentic retailer ensures that you will be purchasing a safer product. This will give you the peace of mind that your dog is only playing with or chewing items that have been tested and are known to be safe for animals.

Dogs adore being around other dogs, so if you can, arrange some four-legged play dates! Taking them to the park is a great way to meet fellow owners. You will usually bump into the same people regularly and the dogs will love it!

Food and Treats

There are lots of different pet foods available so do some research into what you feel is best for your dog. If you are unsure, you will find lots of information online depending on its age and breed. Dogs also love treats so stock up on those although don’t be tempted to give too many. Buying a set of scales is a great idea so you can weigh the food and make sure your dog is getting the right quantities. It’s important not to over or underfeed. Make sure there is always a water bowl filled. You don’t want your dog becoming dehydrated.

Some foods like chocolate for example that can be lethal for dogs. Make sure you know what the potentially hazardous foods are and that anyone caring for your dog is aware of what could be dangerous.


Dog fur needs regular maintenance. Some breeds need to be brushed at least twice a day. You don’t want your dog’s hair becoming matted so make sure it’s tended to as needed. If your dog gets particularly dirty then baths are a good idea. Bigger dogs might need hosed instead. If you are doing the latter, try if possible, to have an outside hot water connection fitted so warm water is available.


Insurance is a must when you have a dog. Vet and surgery bills can be crippling to the wallet, so do some research into the best policies available. You won’t regret it!

Hire a dog walker

If you are working or have other daily commitments, meaning your dog will be left alone for long periods, hiring a dog walker is a good idea. Some dog breeds particularly hate being left for any length of time. It also ensures your dog can go to the toilet when needed. There are hundreds of dog walking companies who will come and take your dog out either daily or weekly.

If you are going away overnight or on holiday, there are Doggy Day-care companies who will have your dog come and stay with them. You can enjoy your holiday and relax knowing that your dog is being well looked after.