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If you are one of the many Australian families who got themselves an ‘Iso puppy’ late last year or are planning to get one this year, this article is for you! With more time at home and some forced savings from cancelling an overseas trip, this might be the perfect time to adopt a dog or bring a new puppy home.
How to puppy-proof your home
Welcoming a new puppy home is an exciting, challenging and hugely rewarding experience. If you’re well prepared, you can help your puppy settle into its new home more quickly and it’ll be more enjoyable for you too.
We have asked Dr Ben Porter to give us some tips on how to look after a puppy. “Many houseplants are toxic and dangerous for pets – this is one of the important reasons to puppy proof your home.” Puppies also like to explore things with their mouths, so put away any small items that they could chew or swallow. This also goes for any “cleaning products, toxic foods (chocolate, coffee, avocados, grapes and sultanas), electrical cables, medicine, and other dangerous substances.”
Your puppy checklist
Before bringing your puppy home, make sure you have everything you need to care for them and help them settle into their new home. Here is your essential puppy checklist:
- A water and food bowl (stainless steel bowls are more durable, easier to clean and won’t become a chew toy)
- Bedding and/or crate
- Toys (only allow access to toys when supervised; choose reputable dog-safe toys;
- Grooming tools (grooming your puppy regularly familiarises them with being handled by people and will make the task of grooming easier down the track)
- Puppy toilet pads or other toilet training aids
- Appropriate collar and lead
- Feed a premium quality puppy food that is nutritionally complete and balanced and backed by science, like Royal Canin – this is the perfect way to ensure your puppy is getting the best start in life.
Choose the right puppy food
Puppies have very different nutritional requirements to adult or senior dogs. On average, puppies require 50% more energy than adult dogs of the same breed due to growth. “It is often quite overwhelming to pick the right diet from the start. Yet having a high-quality, complete and balanced diet is crucial for a puppy’s health, growth and development.”
“Remember to choose a ‘Puppy’, not an ‘Adult’ diet. Adult dog diets are not complete and balanced for puppy growth and development. Home prepared diets should be avoided, and only be fed to puppies under the guidance of a qualified veterinary nutritionist. Home prepared diets are often deficient in key essential nutrients – this may negatively impact on your puppy’s growth and development”, says Dr Ben.
Find a vet
Finally, we have asked Dr Ben what his most important tip is for all new puppy owners?
“Book an appointment for your new puppy to have a wellness check with your vet as soon as possible. Always ensure vaccinations, worming and flea treatments are kept up to date.”
Dr Ben Porter BVSc (Hons 1)
Dr Ben Porter graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland in 2009. He launched his veterinary career at a large mixed practice in Shepparton, where he was a jack-of-all-trades vet and gained extensive experience in all facets of small and large animal medicine and surgery.
Dr Ben has also worked as a Technical Services Veterinarian at two global animal health companies. Following his keen passion for nutrition and education, Dr Ben joined the Royal Canin as a Scientific Services Veterinarian. On top of this, he continues to work in general practice most weekends in Shepparton. Dr Ben is currently owned by his two rescue dogs and cats.