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?
- Tips for the First Day Home
- Puppy-Proofing Your Space
- Puppy Nutrition 101
- Feeding Schedules and Portion Control
- The Importance of Socialization
- Potty Training Secrets
- Puppy Health Essentials: Vaccinations, Vet Visits, and More
- Grooming Your Puppy
- Positive Reinforcement Training
- Puppy Toys and Enrichment
- Handling Common Puppy Behavior Challenges: Nipping, Barking, and Chewing
- Crate Training
- Sleep and Rest for Your Puppy
- The Joys and Challenges of Puppyhood
- Growing Up Together
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:
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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
|Simple serving, simply dish-up and go
|Consistently pretty poops
|Glossy and thick fur
|Higher energy levels due to plenty of proper meat
|Delivered to your door
|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.
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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.