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Bringing Home Your New Puppy…

Updated: Jan 28

Getting a new puppy is exciting and daunting in equal measure – for both you and for the puppy. To make the start of your adventure together a success, follow these 12 steps.

Photo by Matthew Foulds



The most important thing you can do for your pup is to have empathy. Get the right mindset and ‘magically’ things fall into place. As Kathy Callahan says “remember that you kidnapped this baby from another planet” In fact, before you do anything else read Kathy’s article “Kidnapped From Planet Dog” it’s short but may just save your life … and your sanity! Honestly – read it – carefully.

Once you understand your ‘Kidnapper’ status (!), we can move on:

Morning’s Best


Try to collect your puppy in the morning if possible – it gives you the whole day to help your bemused pup start to adjust to a new environment before you have to deal with bedtime … which may be challenging!



Warning!  The first few nights may be tricky.  You ‘kidnapped’ this 8-week-old being so you’ll need to give pup time and support to acclimatise.  Adjust your expectations!  You may be up multiple times a night; you may be sleep deprived.  This is ‘normal’!

Routine Is GOOD!

Find out what routine your Breeder had with the puppy; try to mimic that for the first few days/nights.  For example: What time does the Breeder get up?  What time were puppy’s mealtimes?  How did she feed the pups – bowl, food puzzle, indoor, outdoor?  What exercise/play routine was the pup used to?  When were nap-times?  What time was bedtime – was there a bedtime routine?


Ask the breeder what she feeds the puppies.  Look carefully at the ingredients label – is the food any good? What you put in your puppy will affect what you get out – poop and behaviour! So, it’s worth getting good quality food. Breeders are not necessarily nutritionists, don’t expect them to be!  This article shows you what to look for and what to avoid in pet food. Making a diet change is often wise but be sure to implement the change gradually, over the course of a week; think how your tummy might react to a sudden change of diet!


Update That Microchip!

By law, all dogs must be microchipped.  Your breeder should have done this but, now YOU must update the details on the microchip asap to correspond with your name and address. If the breeder hasn’t got the puppy microchipped, you should arrange this with your Vet.  

V is for Vet 

Before your puppy arrives, explore the offerings from local Vets in your area.  Visit a few Practises, speak to the Nurse, Receptionist or Vet – see if you ‘get along’.  This is an important relationship; ‘kiss a few frogs’, find your ‘Prince’!


Again, do your research.  Speak to other dog owners, including those who’ve had to make a claim.  Find out how their insurer handled issues.  There are lots of insurers out there – so be choosy! 

Comfort Blanket

Ask the breeder if you can have a piece of the puppy/littermates/mother’s bedding – something with a familiar scent on it, a kind of canine Comfort Blanket!  This can aid the ‘initiation period’. 

Sleep Zzzzzz

Your new puppy needs LOTS of sleep – 18-20 hours/day!  Resting is vital – it’s when your puppy’s brain processes information and prepares for the next challenge. So, make sure pup has a safe, secure and quiet place to sleep – day and night – and don’t disturb a sleeping pup!

Things to buy….

Adaptil – a plug-in that releases a ‘mother-dog’ pheromone which can help pup settle.

Snuggly Heartbeat Lamb – a soft toy with the sound of a sleeping dog’s heartbeat.  Some of our clients have deemed this the miracle sleep aid!

Enzymatic Urine Cleaner – on Planet Pup it’s ok to pee anywhere.  On Planet Your-Home this may not be the case!  So, practise regular toilet breaks and get a use an enzyme removing cleaner. 

Clix Long Line – speaking of pee-breaks. A long line is ideal for this – it prevents pup roaming too far but gives pup enough freedom to sniff (an important part of pee-process!) 

To Crate or not to crate?

Really, this is a personal choice. If you do use a crate and/or a puppy play pen, make sure you spend lots of time with your pup, during the day, in the spot you’re expecting pup to sleep.  If the crate/pen is in the utility room but, you spend all day in the lounge, it’s unlikely pup will feel comfortable in the utility room. So, try feeding your pup some of her meals in the crate/pen and build up a positive association.  Play games in there too, do training there, or just hang out there together.  And, to make it extra cosy, particularly in colder months, maybe put a blanket over the top, back and sides of the crate.

Hopefully, you feel (a little) more ready to welcome pup into your world; to empathise with the huge adjustment involved and to support this little being on his or her journey. If you’d like more information or to book a puppy prep visit or puppy training, please visit contact Joyful Dogs

Enjoy your puppy!

Kind thanks to Amy for this pic of handsome Yogi

Article written by Joy Knowles and Katie Slocombe

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