Four-legged additions to the family should have everything they need when they arrive at their new home. But what does their new family need to provide so that puppies feel comfortable and secure? The experts from Maxi Zoo know.

Good breeders usually give a baby dog their first essentials for when they arrive at their new residence – such as a toy, favourite treat or food so that they are well provided for from the start.

The pet experts at Maxi Zoo have put together these five major tips for you so that your newest member of the family feels at home and gets the best possible care.

1. Starting off

The first 16 weeks are important in forming a puppy’s character, which does not mean that it won’t still be capable of learning. But what a dog learns in those first few weeks of its life will be firmly imprinted in its mind. From good breeders, you won’t get puppies before the tenth or twelfth week. So you need to use the time after that as intensively as possible to feed your puppy’s brain with important information. That includes impressions of its living environment, but also the right behaviour towards man and animal. Before you start, first give your little pupil one or two days to get acquainted with its new home. Make sure it has a fixed place of its own, where it can rest undisturbed. Even effervescent puppies need their peace and quiet and should not be constantly bothered by members of the family. Give it one or two toys appropriate to its age. That is more than enough.

2. Nutrition

Juvenile dogs require extremely high quality food specially formulated for the puppy’s needs (such as Select Gold Junior). In case of large breeds, the food ration should be determined using growth tables. Even the best quality food can cause growth problems if you feed too much of it. The three important components for healthy growth are protein, minerals and energy.

3. Puppy Basic Supplies

–       Bed. Dogs prefer a fixed place where they can go to withdraw and sleep. For a puppy, buy a cushion that will be big enough when they’re fully grown. While they’re still small, you can surround the place where they sleep with a soft blanket to create a feeling of security.

–       Bowls. Dogs need a feed bowl and a water bowl. An anti-slip base makes eating easier for impatient puppies.

–       Dog collar and lead. The collar should be puppy size, adjustable and lined if possible so that it doesn’t hurt your four-legged friend. A harness is also practical and prevents puppies from slipping out. We recommend short nylon leads for walking. The lighter and softer the material the better.

–       Toys. Toys should always be appropriate for your pet’s age. Avoid things that are small enough to be swallowed or objects that your dog could chew into dangerous, small pieces.

4. Walking

A puppy is not yet as strong as a full-grown animal. It is important that your puppy’s first walks are short. Even if your frisky companion appears by no means tired you should not demand too much of them. Also the puppy should not be walked for more than 5 minutes at a time for each month of their age. Jogging or running with the bicycle should only be started when the dog is full-grown.  Generally a three to four year old dog can be walked three times daily for a maximum of around 15 minutes.

 5. Puppy playgroup

The dog’s socialisation phase takes place from the fourth to sixteenth week of its life. During this time the dog should get to know as many as possible of its own kind, but should only have positive experiences with them. The socialisation phase should benefit greatly if, during this period, your little pet visits a puppy playgroup. The right time to visit a puppy playgroup is when your new puppy has settled into his new home.

When searching for a new puppy playgroup, recommendations are best. You can get them from your vet, from new acquaintances at the (dog) park or from friends with dogs. You’ll also find offers on the internet or in pet magazines. If you’re unsure whether the club or the trainer is the right one for your little pal then just go there (without the dog) and have a look at the puppy playgroup yourself. When you find a suitable puppy playgroup and you think your dog is in good hands, then you can agree to a trial session and come along with your dog.

If you any more questions regarding your puppy’s care and development, come by your local store and our pet experts will be happy to help you and give you great tips!