Preparing for your puppy

jack russell puppy

jack russell puppy - Credit: Archant

Sophia Taylor, of On the Scent training, helps you get ready for the happy days ahead

'Maddie is a Springer Spaniel. Yes, a Springer. You don’t have to tell me, I know they’re bonkers...

'Maddie is a Springer Spaniel. Yes, a Springer. You don’t have to tell me, I know they’re bonkers...' - Credit: Archant

Whether you’re getting a puppy or an older dog there are things to do before you bring home. the new addition.

Visit the vet

It’s a good idea to visit veterinary practices in your area to see which one best suits your needs. Some surgeries close at 5pm and pass their out-of-hours service to a private company. They might know nothing about your dog’s history, and you might have to travel miles to see them in an emergency. Book your puppy into your chosen vet near the time for vaccinations, microchipping and a health check.

Off to school

It’s a good idea to visit dog training schools for you and your puppy. Training is very important and is best continued for at least the first two years, as your dog goes through many physical and mental challenges during this time.

Just because a vet or dog school is on your doorstep doesn’t mean it’s right for you, so do your homework. Some schools, like On the Scent, run classes daily and outside, where dogs find all the natural scents they’ll encounter on a walk. Others train indoors and only in the evenings. There is a dog school for everyone!

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Important when it comes to vets’ fees. The main thing to consider is whether you want cover for your dog’s entire life, as not all companies offer it.

Dog kit

You can start buying dog bowls, leads, collar, identity tag, poo bags, puppy food, bed, towels, grooming kit, puppy shampoo, dog crate, travel water bowl, appropriate chews for the size of the dog and toys. Be sure the toy is suitable for the type of dog you are taking on. It needs to be bigger than the dog’s mouth so it cannot easily be swallowed. Start collecting newspapers if you are going to use the ‘newspaper toilet’ training method.


Try to get a crate for the car that is safe when in it’s the boot of the car. If the car were to be crushed from behind, you need to be able to get your dog out by pulling the back seats down and opening the crate from the back, not just from the front.

If you are going to use a dog guard, be sure it’s not a floor to ceiling wire mesh. You need to be able to set the dog free when you pull the back seats down in an emergency.

Home sweet home

The day you arrange to bring your puppy home ask the breeder or rescue centre not to feed him for at least four hours before you arrive to help avoid sickness and an upset stomach on the journey home. If you collect your dog in the morning he’ll have all day to get used to his new surroundings.

The first night may be a little unsettling for your puppy. There are several ways to help him to settle in. If you have another dog in the family then the chances are your puppy will settle quite happily if the crate or dog bed is next to the other dog.

Otherwise, set the crate near the bottom of your bed, then over the next two weeks gradually move it nearer to the door, then the hallway or landing, eventually ending up at the final sleeping place.

Enjoy your new addition and remember you chose to take on this puppy! It’s now up to you to nurture him, keep him safe and provide all he needs to be a happy, healthy, and mentally and physically well adjusted family member.

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