New Puppy Bible

Welcome to the wonderful world of puppy parenthood! In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through every step of the journey, from the moment you bring your new fur baby home to their transition into adulthood. Get ready for a fun and educational adventure as we cover essential topics, tips, and tricks for raising a well-adjusted and thriving pup. Get ready for a lot of puppy pics, and we mean, A LOT!

What's in our Guide?

  1. Tips for the First Day Home
  2. Puppy-Proofing Your Space
  3. Puppy Nutrition 101
  4. Feeding Schedules and Portion Control
  5. The Importance of Socialization
  6. Potty Training Secrets
  7. Puppy Health Essentials: Vaccinations, Vet Visits, and More
  8. Grooming Your Puppy
  9. Positive Reinforcement Training
  10. Puppy Toys and Enrichment
  11. Handling Common Puppy Behavior Challenges: Nipping, Barking, and Chewing
  12. Crate Training
  13. Sleep and Rest for Your Puppy
  14. The Joys and Challenges of Puppyhood
  15. Growing Up Together

puppy blog

Welcoming Your New Fur Baby: Tips for the First Day Home

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and joyous moment. Your furry friend is about to become an integral part of your family, and the first day is a crucial step in building a strong bond. However, it can also be a challenging experience, both for you and your new four-legged companion. To make this transition as smooth and memorable as possible, here are 7 tips:

  1. Prepare Your Home: Before bringing your puppy home, ensure that your living space is safe and secure. Puppy-proof your home by removing any hazards or items that your curious pup could chew or swallow. Ensure that all toxic substances, sharp objects, and small items are out of reach. Additionally, create a designated space for your puppy with a comfortable bed, food and water bowls, and a few toys. Don't worry, we've got a little more on this next too!
  2. Be Patient and Calm: The first day can be overwhelming for your puppy. They are leaving behind their familiar surroundings and joining a new family. It's essential to remain calm and patient. Greet your pup with a gentle and reassuring tone, helping them feel safe and secure in their new environment. Try to avoid having any mates round or guests, so they can settle in with just you too!
  3. Start with a Tour: Introduce your puppy to their new home gradually. Begin with a guided tour, allowing them to explore one room at a time. Keep a watchful eye on them to ensure they don't get into any trouble, and gently redirect them if necessary. As long as they've had all their vaccinations, they should be okay to explore outdoors too!
  4. Introduce the Essentials: On the first day, focus on establishing a routine. Introduce your puppy to their food and water bowls, and provide a comfortable place to rest. Setting a regular feeding and bathroom schedule will help your puppy adjust to their new life.
  5. Supervised Exploration: Allow your puppy to explore their new home under your watchful eye. Encourage them to investigate, but be ready to intervene if they start chewing on furniture or cords. Provide appropriate chew toys to redirect their attention.
  6. Quiet Time: Whilst you might want to cuddle and squeeze them all day, puppies need plenty of rest, so ensure they have a quiet, comfortable space for napping. A crate can be an excellent option for giving your puppy a cozy, secure den where they can relax. We've got more on this later on too, as we know how hard it can be leaving your pup all on their own!
  7. Positive Reinforcement: Puppies learn through positive reinforcement. Use treats, praise, and affection to reward good behavior and discourage unwanted actions. This helps your pup understand the rules and expectations in their new home.

puppy essentials

The first day home with your new puppy is a memorable and exciting time. By following these tips and being patient, you can create a positive and loving environment for your furry friend. Remember, building a strong foundation during those early days will set the stage for a lifetime of happiness and companionship with your new fur baby.

Puppy-Proofing Your Space: Creating a Safe Haven

Puppies are naturally curious and full of energy, which can lead them into all sorts of adventures – some of which you'd rather avoid! That's why it's essential to puppy-proof your space and transform it into a safe haven for your new furry friend. As promised, here's a little more detail on how to do so:

  • Remove Hazards: Identify and eliminate potential hazards such as toxic plants, electrical cords, small objects, and chemicals that could pose a danger to your puppy.
  • Secure Bins: Puppies are notorious for their love of rummaging through garbage. Investing in dog-proof bins can save you from messy mishaps and potential health risks for your pup.
  • Use Baby Gates: Block off rooms, stairs or areas with baby gates to keep your puppy away from places they shouldn't be. This helps you keep a closer eye on them and prevents accidents.

By taking these precautions, you'll ensure that your home is a safe and welcoming space for your new fur baby to explore and thrive. 

Puppy Nutrition 101: Choosing the Right Food

When it comes to providing the best start in life for your furry companion, selecting the right food is a decision that will have a profound impact on their health, happiness, and overall well-being. For the first few days you may want to stick on the food provided by the adoption shelter or breeder to prevent there being too much "new" in one go, then it's time to pick what you think's best!

Every puppy is different, and their nutritional requirements can vary based on factors like age, breed, and individual health considerations. Look for options that prioritise real meat as the first ingredient, and have a high nutrient density to support all that growth. High-quality, natural ingredients provide essential proteins and nutrients, ensuring your puppy's growth and development is on the right track. Avoid products that contain artificial additives, fillers, and unnecessary preservatives.

As puppy's gut microbiomes are still developing, we also recommend looking for a gut-friendly option that includes pre or probiotics to help develop and balance their gut flora. 

Once you have found your forever food, whilst tempting to switch right away, doing slow can lead to digestive issues. To ensure a smooth transition, gradually introduce the new food over a week or more, mixing it with their current diet. This approach minimizes the risk of upset stomachs and helps your pup adjust comfortably.

Scrumbles: From Puppy To Adult We've Got You

We started Scrumbles back in 2018, following from continual periods of upset tums with our rescue kitty Boo and pup Smudge. After some very expensive vet trips, our floof's were prescribed a probiotic paste, which worked wonders. This got us thinking, "why doesn't this exist in pet food?" ... and Scrumbles was born!

We start with the gut with all our recipes, adding gut-friendly pre or probiotics, using all-natural ingredients, and avoiding nasties like added sugar or salt which cause mayhem for the gut. We also avoid hard-to-digest red meat, and common allergens like gluten, soy, dairy and egg for sensitive puppies. 

Our full range of dry food, wet food and treats is suitable for puppies, however we do also offer a specific Puppy & Toy Breed Dry Food.

 Benefits for You

Benefits for Puppies

Easy to store, no freezer-space required Regular pooping
Simple serving, simply dish-up and go Consistently pretty poops
Recyclable packaging Glossy and thick fur
Affordably priced Higher energy levels due to plenty of proper meat
Delivered to your door Body-weight management
Very accessible, available online and in-store Healthy immune system 
Plenty of flavours and textures available

 

So, what are you waiting for? Give us a try today with 20% off your first order using the code: NEWPUPPY20

Feeding Schedules and Portion Control: Setting a Routine

It's not just what you feed that's important, it's also how and when! Feeding schedules are paramount to your puppy's well-being. Dogs, especially young ones, thrive on routines, and knowing when to expect their meals helps them feel secure and happy. 

From when you bring your pup home to 8 weeks, it's typically recommended to serve four meals a day. From this point you can reduce down to three until they're 6 months, and then down to 2. 

Every puppy food is different, so it's important to work out how much your puppy needs to avoid malnourishment or upset tums. Regular vet appointments are also key, where they'll have a weigh in session to check that they're growing at a healthy rate and adjust their portion size accordingly.

-> Here's more on How Much To Feed Puppies 

The Importance of Socialisation: Building a Well-Adjusted Pup

Socialisation is one of the most important aspects of puppyhood, helping them become a well-adjusted and easy-going adult. Not only this but it's also a big confidence-builder for your pup, reducing the likelihood of anxiety-based behaviour issues later on. As well as preventing the likelihood of aggressive tendencies, and building a deeper connection between the two of you based on trust. For effective socialisation our top five tips are:

  1. Start Early: The critical socialization window for puppies is between 3 and 14 weeks of age. Expose them to various people, animals, environments and situations during this time.
  2. Gradual Exposure: Introduce your pup to new experiences in a controlled and positive manner. Pay attention to their comfort level, and don't rush them into situations that may overwhelm them. Slow and steady wins the race!
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Use treats and praise to reward your puppy for good behavior during socialization experiences. This creates positive associations with new people, animals, and places.
  4. Puppy Classes: Enroll in puppy classes, which are excellent opportunities for your pup to learn how to interact with other dogs in a structured and supervised environment.
  5. Consistency: Make socialization an ongoing process. Continue to expose your pup to new experiences throughout their life to ensure they remain well-adjusted and confident.

-> Or for more tips, check out our full Puppy Socialisation Checklist.

puppies socialising

Potty Training Secrets: Making Housetraining a Breeze

Soaking your socks in puppy wee is an essential part of any pet parents story, however, if it starts happening on the reg, it's not so great. Properly housetraining your puppy is essential for their health and happiness, as well as for maintaining a harmonious home. When done right, it lays the foundation for a well-behaved and stress-free life with your canine companion. They key components of potty-training are:

Consistency is the golden rule of housetraining. Dogs thrive on routines, and your puppy is no exception. To maintain consistency take your pup out at least every two hours. Including first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime. This helps them learn the schedule and makes accidents less likely. Use the same door to go outside, so your puppy associates it with potty time. You should also create a toilet catch-phrase, one's we've used are "Busy Girls" and "Go Wee Wee".

Crate training can also be a game-changer when it comes to housetraining. Dogs instinctively avoid soiling their sleeping area. So in-between outdoor trips and periods of zoomies, it's important to keep them in their crate so they learn to hold it in.

Pay attention to your puppy's signals that they need to go. These may include circling, sniffing, or whining. Anticipate these cues, and take your pup outside promptly.

Clean up any accidents pronto! Of course, accidents will happen, especially during the early stages of housetraining. However, when they do, clean up the mess promptly with an enzymatic cleaner to eliminate any lingering scent that may attract your pup back to the same spot.

Positive reinforcement is our final tip. Whenever your puppy does do their stuff outdoors, give plenty of verbal praise, strokes and cuddles. This will help them learn they've done the right thing, and keep on doing it for more praise!

-> For more tips on How to Toilet Train a Puppy

Puppy Health Essentials: Vaccinations, Vet Visits, and More

Becoming the lucky pawrent to a puppy isn't all cutes and cuddles, it also comes with the significant responsibility of ensuring your furry friend's health and well-being. It might feel like a daunting task, but we've got you covered with the crucial aspects.

1. Puppy Vaccinations: Vaccinations are a vital part of your puppy's health regimen. These shots protect them from serious diseases and ensure they have the best possible start in life. The first set of vaccinations is typically administered between 6-8 weeks, followed by the second set at 10-12 weeks. Costing around £40-£90 for both sets. Typical puppy vaccinations include:
    • Distemper: Protects against a contagious and potentially fatal virus.
    • Parvovirus: Guards against a highly contagious and severe gastrointestinal infection.
    • Rabies: Required by law in most areas and essential for your puppy's safety. Remember to keep records of vaccinations for future reference and when boarding your pup.

-> The Low Down on Puppy Vaccinations

2. Regular Vet Visits: Routine vet check-ups are essential for your puppy's health. During these visits, your veterinarian will: Perform a thorough physical examination, address any concerns you may have, such as behavior or dietary issues, administer necessary vaccinations, recommend preventive treatments for parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms.

3. Dental Care: Maintaining your puppy's oral health is often overlooked but crucial. Dental issues can lead to serious health problems later in life. Introduce brushing your puppy's teeth early and consider dental treats or toys designed to promote healthy gums and teeth.

4. Flea and Tick Control Preventing fleas and ticks is an essential aspect of grooming and health maintenance. To combat ticks, make sure to regularly check your puppy all over for the yucky-looking things, and remove right away. If you don't one, make sure to remove it right away, gently, using a tick-remover. To prevent fleas, regular grooming and bathing is key, as well as washing their bedding and cleaning their crate. Flea collars can also be used from seven weeks old. Again, if you do find any, use a flea comb or tweezers to remove them.

-> What Does a Tick on a Dog Look Like?

5. Puppy Worming To keep your puppy worm-free, it's crucial to follow a vet-recommended worming schedule. Puppies typically require deworming treatments every 2 to 3 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Afterward, a monthly schedule is generally recommended. There are various types of worming treatments available, including oral medications, topical solutions, and injections. The choice of treatment may depend on your puppy's age, weight, and any pre-existing health conditions. Your veterinarian will guide you in selecting the most appropriate option.

-> More on When To Worm Puppies

A healthy puppy is a happy puppy, and a happy puppy means joy for years to come, so get yourself prepped and familiar with the above and you'll both do just fine!

Grooming Your Puppy: Keeping Them Clean and Healthy

We all want to show off our gorgeous little bundles of floof, but grooming goes beyond just looking good, it's also important for their health and hygiene. A well-groomed puppy schedule should include:

  • Daily Brushing: Brushing your puppy daily helps keep their coat in excellent condition. It's not only about removing tangles and dirt; it's also a fantastic bonding activity. Different breeds have different coat types, so make sure you're using the right brush for your pup. For long-haired breeds, gentle detangling brushes work wonders, while shorter coats may require a bristle brush.
  • Bathing: Puppies don't usually need frequent baths unless they've rolled in something particularly smelly or dirty. Using a puppy-specific shampoo, bathe them gently and ensure that you rinse thoroughly. Be cautious about not over-bathing, as it can strip their skin and coat of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.
  • Eyes and Ears: Check your puppy's eyes regularly, cleaning away any discharge with a soft, damp cloth. Similarly, examine their ears for dirt or signs of infection. If you notice any redness, odour, or excessive wax, consult your veterinarian for advice. 
  • Nail Trimming: Trimming your puppy's nails is an important part of grooming. Long nails can cause discomfort and affect their ability to walk properly. Be cautious when doing this, as cutting too short can hurt your pup. If you're unsure, ask your vet or a professional groomer for guidance.
  • Teeth Care: Oral hygiene is vital for your puppy's health. Regularly brushing their teeth with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste helps prevent dental issues. You can also provide dental chews or toys to aid in keeping their teeth clean.

puppy bath

Positive Reinforcement Training: Building a Bond of Trust

Positive reinforcement training is a method that rewards your puppy for good behavior using treats, praise, or playtime. It's based on the idea that when a behavior is followed by a positive outcome, your puppy is more likely to repeat it. This approach helps your puppy learn, thrive, and feel loved and supported.

The Benefits of Positive Reinforcement:

  1. Enhanced Communication: Positive reinforcement strengthens the communication between you and your pup. It allows you to convey your expectations clearly and encourages them to understand and follow your commands.
  2. Builds Trust: Trust is the foundation of a strong human-puppy relationship. By using positive reinforcement, you create a safe and loving environment where your puppy feels comfortable making mistakes and learning from them.
  3. Encourages Good Behavior: Positive reinforcement focuses on acknowledging and rewarding the behaviors you want to see more of. This approach helps your puppy understand what pleases you and motivates them to repeat those behaviors.
  4. Stress-Free Learning: Unlike punishment-based methods, positive reinforcement is stress-free and non-threatening. Your puppy learns in a happy and relaxed state, making the training process enjoyable for both of you.

Tips for Effective Positive Reinforcement Training:

  1. Timing is Crucial: Reward your puppy immediately after they perform the desired behavior. This helps them connect the action with the reward.
  2. Use High-Value Treats: Choose puppy treats that your puppy adores. These special treats become powerful motivators for good behavior.
  3. Be Consistent: Consistency is key in positive reinforcement training. Everyone in your household should follow the same rules and commands to avoid confusion.
  4. Keep It Fun: Training sessions should be fun and engaging. Short, frequent sessions are more effective than long, tiresome ones.

Positive reinforcement training not only helps you raise a well-behaved pup but also strengthens the bond of trust between you and your furry companion. It's a method that builds a positive, rewarding relationship, making your puppy feel loved, secure, and eager to learn.

-> Need some help? Best Puppy Training Classes in the UK

Puppy Toys and Enrichment: Mental and Physical Stimulation

Your furry friend's well-being goes beyond just nutrition and grooming. Mental and physical stimulation are vital for a happy, healthy puppy. Providing both interactive and stimulating toys is key to keeping your puppy engaged and entertained. These toys not only prevent boredom but also help in building cognitive and physical skills, making for a well-rounded and contented pup.

Choosing the right toys can be as fun as watching your puppy play with them. Puzzle toys challenge your pup's problem-solving abilities, while squeaky toys provide a delightful sensory experience. Interactive toys like treat-dispensing balls can keep them mentally engaged and physically active. After all, there's no such thing as having too many puppy toys!

Handling Common Puppy Behavior Challenges: Nipping, Barking, and Chewing

From those razor-sharp puppy teeth to seemingly endless barking and the mysterious disappearance of your favorite shoes, it's no secret that raising a puppy can sometimes feel like a handful. However, with the right strategies and a little patience, you can overcome common behavior challenges like nipping, barking, and chewing.

Taming Those Sharp Puppy Teeth

Puppies love to explore the world with their mouths, but those needle-sharp teeth can make their enthusiasm a little painful. Here's how to tackle nipping:

  • Socialize and Bite Inhibition: Early socialization with other puppies teaches your furry friend bite inhibition, the ability to control the force of their bite. It's an essential skill for gentle play.
  • Redirect and Reward: Provide plenty of chew toys and redirect your pup to them when they start nipping. Praise and reward them for chewing on appropriate items.
  • Consistent Commands: Teach commands like "no" or "gentle" to help curb excessive nipping. Be consistent with these commands during playtime.

-> More on How To Stop A Puppy Biting

Barking Babble: Addressing Excessive Vocalization

Puppies bark to communicate, but excessive barking can be bothersome. To help prevent it becoming a problem, step one involves identifying the reason behind the barking. It could be due to boredom, fear, excitement, or a need for attention. Depending on the reason, a different solution may be needed but typically ensuring they're getting enough exercise and mental stimulation will help. A tired pup is a quieter pup! You can also try these tips:

  • Training and Socialization: Use positive reinforcement to train your pup to bark less. Reward them when they remain calm in situations that usually trigger barking.
  • Puppy-proof your home by removing or securing items that your pup might be tempted to chew. Think of it as baby-proofing for your fur baby.
  • Offer a variety of safe and interesting chew toys to keep your pup occupied. Interactive toys can also provide mental stimulation.
  • Keep a close eye on your puppy and intervene if you catch them chewing on the wrong things. Redirect them to appropriate toys and reward good behavior.

Remember, puppies are learning about the world, and with your guidance, they'll grow into well-mannered and loving companions. So, embrace the challenges, savour the puppy moments, and watch your fur baby transform into the perfect companion!

Crate Training: A Safe Space for Your Pup

Seeing a puppy or animal in an enclosed space always brings us a tinge of sadness, but ultimately it's an invaluable tool provides your puppy with a safe haven, a space to call their own. 

It's not about confinement; it's about comfort and security. A well-introduced and appropriately used crate can become a sanctuary for your pup, a place where they can relax, sleep, and find solace whenever needed. Whether you're house training, traveling, or simply offering your pup a cozy retreat, crate training can foster a sense of security and help build a strong bond between you and your furry companion.

-> How to Crate Train in 5 Easy Steps

puppy crate

Sleep and Rest for Your Puppy: Creating a Bedtime Routine

Just like hooman babies, puppies need their beauty sleep. And not just a little bit of it, puppies sleep a lot, often up to 18-20 hours a day, divided into short cycles. They are most active during the day and may have bursts of zoomies that are followed by deep rest. Just like human babies, puppies grow and develop during their sleep, making it crucial to provide them with a comfortable and peaceful sleeping environment.

puppy sleeping

Quality sleep plays a significant role in your puppy's physical and mental development. It is during deep sleep that their bodies grow and repair tissues, and their brains process the day's experiences. Adequate rest also enhances their ability to learn and helps in building a well-adjusted and happy puppy.

It's essential to establish a bedtime routine (for the both of you). Here's how:

  • Try to put your puppy to bed at the same time each night. Consistency helps regulate their internal body clock.
  • About 30 minutes before bedtime, engage in calm, relaxing activities to signal that it's time to wind down. This can include a gentle play session or a short walk.
  • Ensure your pup's sleeping area is comfortable and quiet. Use a cozy bed or crate with soft bedding. Make it a den-like space where they feel secure.
  • Take your puppy for a final wee wee break right before bedtime to avoid nighttime accidents.
  • While it's essential to keep your puppy hydrated, consider limiting their water intake in the hours leading up to bedtime to prevent overnight trips outside.
  • Avoid feeding your puppy a large meal close to bedtime, as this can lead to nighttime digestive discomfort.
  • Spend a few moments cuddling and offering affection to create a strong bond with your puppy before they drift off to sleep.

It's important to remember that puppies, especially very young ones, might wake up during the night and need your attention. Be patient, gentle, and understanding when responding to their needs. However grouchy you may be the next day!

The Joys and Challenges of Puppyhood: What to Expect

Every pup is different, so every pet parents experience is different, however be prepared as it's guaranteed to be one of the best, yet challenging, periods of your life. Here's a little helping hand on what to expect.

#1 Unconditional Love and Affection One of the greatest joys of puppyhood is the boundless love and affection your furry friend will shower upon you. Their wagging tail, loving gaze, and endless cuddles will warm your heart and make each day feel brighter.

#2 Sleepless Nights Get ready for some sleepless nights! Puppies, like human babies, need time to adjust to their new surroundings. Be prepared for late-night potty breaks and the occasional cry during the night. But rest assured, it's all worth it in the end.

#3 Playtime Galore Puppies have an abundance of energy and an insatiable curiosity. This means lots of playtime and hilarious antics that will keep you entertained for hours. Whether it's a game of fetch or a playful tussle, their enthusiasm is infectious.

#4 Puppy-Proofing Your Home Your new pup will explore their world with their mouth, and that includes your favorite shoes, cables, and anything else they can get their paws on. Puppy-proofing your space is a must to keep your furry friend safe and your belongings intact.

#5 Milestones and Achievements Watching your puppy reach milestones like their first successful potty training session or mastering a new command is incredibly rewarding. Celebrate these little victories as they mark your pup's growth and development.

#6 Patience and Consistency Training a puppy requires patience and consistency. Whether it's housebreaking or obedience training, your pup will need guidance and reinforcement. Stay committed to the process, and the results will be worth it.

#7 Lifelong Companionship Perhaps the most significant joy of all is the companionship and loyalty that your puppy will offer throughout their life. Your furry friend will be a source of comfort, love, and support, creating a bond that lasts a lifetime.

Growing Up Together: Nurturing Your Pup into Adulthood

Of course, puppyhood is just the start, and whilst it's essential to live in the moment and appreciate every moment of your pup being a pup, it's also important to start prepping ahead for their adulthood.

Luckily, there's not too much to think about. The main one really is just nutrition. As your pup grows into adulthood, their nutrient requirements change. Once fully grown, adult dogs have lower energy requirements, which means their calorie needs decrease - much to their disappointment. 

Typically pet parents therefore move their puppy onto adult dog food around the age of one. However for small dogs like Chihuahuas, who have higher energy needs, they may stay on puppy food for life. On the other hand, larger breed puppies may be better off moving onto an adult food right away. This is because they develop into adulthood over a period of up to two years, and therefore should have a lower nutrient density food which helps them develop slowly. 

-> Learn more about Dog Food

And that's that, You Puppy Pro!

Raising a puppy is a journey filled with joy, challenges, and countless rewarding moments. From the first day you bring your new fur baby home to nurturing them into adulthood, this comprehensive guide has covered essential topics, tips, and tricks to help you raise a well-adjusted and thriving pup.

As you embark on this adventure, remember that it's not just about caring for your puppy's physical needs but also about building a strong bond of love and trust. Your patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement will shape your puppy into a well-behaved and happy companion.

While there will be sleepless nights, moments of frustration, and the occasional chewed-up shoe, the joys of puppyhood far outweigh the challenges. Your puppy will fill your life with unconditional love, playfulness, and unforgettable milestones. Together, you'll navigate the journey of growth and learning, creating a lifelong bond of companionship.

As your pup matures into adulthood, you'll continue to provide the love and care they need, adapting their diet and routine as they grow. Your furry friend will be your constant source of comfort, joy, and unwavering loyalty, making every moment of this puppy parenthood journey worth the effort.

So, enjoy the puppy moments, savor the milestones, and embrace the adventure of growing up together. With dedication, patience, and a whole lot of love, you and your fur baby are destined to create a beautiful life together. Here's to a lifetime of happiness and companionship with your beloved pup!


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