Have you just welcomed a new pup into your pack? Or are you thinking that you might soon? Puppies are adorable, irresistible bundles of fun and a new puppy is exciting for everyone. But there’s a lot to think about for when they arrive at their ‘fur-ever’ home. So, we’ve pulled together our top tips for new puppy owners to help you feel prepared for raising a happy and healthy dog.


1. Your puppy’s first night at home
2. Preparing your home and garden
3. Vet check
4. Treats and chews
5. Mental stimulation
6. Gotcha day
7. Walkies
8. Training tips
9. Socialisation
10. A nourishing bowlful

For more new puppy advice, take a look at our puppy guide.

Owner cuddling puppy

1. Your puppy’s first night at home

After lots of playing and snuggles, our four-legged friends need somewhere cosy to relax and sleep. With a new puppy, consider crate training. Your pup’s crate is their own den to be filled with treats and toys that will let you leave them alone without the risk of any forbidden chewing. Make sure your dog has room to turn around inside their crate, while still having room for their food bowl, some fresh, room temperature water and lots of toys!

Your puppy’s bed will also need to fit in the crate; our advice is to get two beds for your new puppy in case of accidents. Popping their mother’s scented blanket in their bed will help to settle them, helping you both to sleep well.

Find more tips on crate training and your puppy’s sleeping routine here.

2. Preparing your home and garden

Pups will get their paws on anything and everything so, to keep them safe, it’s time to conduct a mini risk ‘paw-sessment’.

• Put away anything that your puppy could reach and chew – you don’t want your favourite walking shoes becoming their favourite new toy. This also includes moving or hiding any electrical cables.
• Check your garden’s fences and gates are secure so they can’t escape – their recall probably isn’t perfect just yet!
• Remove any plants that are toxic to dogs, such as tulips and hydrangea, and be wary of leaving ‘hoo-man’ food in their reach as foods like onions and raisins can be toxic too. The PDSA has a full list of hazards for you to watch out for.

Puppy finding treats under tennis balls

3. Vet check

When your new four-legged friend arrives at their ‘fur-ever’ home, get them registered with your local vet and book in for a health check within the first few days. They should have already had their first vaccinations so you can book them in for their second at their check-up appointment. Your puppy vaccinations will protect them from a whole range of nasty diseases. Just remember to check in with the breeder for which vaccine your pup has had prior to gotcha day.

4. Treats and chews

Your new puppy’s favourite piece of advice will be to ensure you’re stocked up on treats and chews. A chew will help to keep your puppy calm, quiet and occupied. Treats are a must for training, especially if your dog is food motivated. Pop down to your local pet store to find treats suitable for their age. Once they get to 4 months old, your pup will be able to enjoy our Naturally Meaty Treats.

5. Mental stimulation

Keep your puppy entertained and exercised with toys and mental stimulation games. A snuffle mat will put your dog’s sniffing skills to the test. The mat mimics long grass within which you can hide their favourite treats for them to find. Or, if you’re looking for a DIY version, fill some of the cups of a cupcake tray with treats and cover all cups with a tennis ball – your dog will need to find the scent of the treats and then work out how to get the ball out. Filling a Kong with their nourishing food is also a great puzzle to keep your four-legged friend entertained.

puppy on bed playing

6. Gotcha day

It’s the law that your puppy is microchipped so they can be identified if the worst happens and they go missing. So, this is one of the most important new puppy tips: check with the breeder that they have been chipped and ask for the microchip number and database to update with your details as soon as possible.

You’ll also need an ID tag for your dog to wear on their collar or harness in public places. Include your surname, postcode and mobile number but not your puppy’s name. In the unlikely event of your dog being stolen, it would be easier for a thief to attract your dog’s attention if they knew their name. Just remember to take their collar off before they go for a post-walk snooze in their crate to keep them safe.

7. Walkies

Your first walkies with your new puppy is so exciting. Ask your vet for advice on when you can take them to explore the big outdoors.

In the meantime, you can prepare at home to help make walks a positive and enjoyable time for you both. Get your puppy used to wearing their harness or collar and lead by letting them wear it inside and giving plenty of praise. Closer to their first walk, take them out for a socialisation walk; by holding them or popping them in a carrier, your pup will get used to the sights, smells and noises of outdoors without the risk of picking up any infections.

When it’s walkies time, start with short routes. Your local park could be a great spot to visit as the softer ground has less impact on your puppy’s growing joints.

8. Training tips for your new puppy

Looking for advice on how to train your new puppy can feel overwhelming as there seems so much to do, but a trained dog is a happy dog so dedication and determination are important. Make training easier for both of you by breaking it down into three easy steps:

• Repeat
• Reward
• Reinforce

Start with basic commands, like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, alongside toilet training too. For extra tips and tricks, check out your local puppy classes; they’re also great for socialisation.

two puppies playing

9. Socialisation tips for your new puppy

Help your puppy to become more comfortable and relaxed by introducing them to a range of different objects, smells, people and other dogs. Our golden rules for socialisation include:

• Take your time to avoid overwhelming your pup. Try one or two new experiences a day.
• Remember to reward your furry friends so they begin to feel relaxed around the new object or place.
• Read their body language; remove them from the situation and reassure them if they are anxious or overexcited.
• Search for a list of socialisation opportunities and print it off. Tick off the opportunities as you go to give your puppy the best chance to grow into a friendly and outgoing dog.

Golden Labrador puppy standing on Butcher's Puppy Perfect boxes

10. A nourishing bowlful

All pet parents want to be able to give their new arrival the best start in life. So right from the start, it’s essential that your pup receives the right diet to grow into a healthy and happy dog.

Our Puppy Perfect recipes have been specially developed to provide your pup with all of the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for healthy growth and bouncing energy, as well as supporting their natural immunity. These recipes contain salmon oil for all-important Omega-3 & 6, fatty acids and prebiotics to promote healthy gut bacteria. Being grain free, these recipes are naturally gluten free, containing no grains or bulkers.

For more new puppy advice, take a look at our puppy guide and set yourself up for being the best ‘paw-rent’.



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