Pete the Vet is here talking about the most common questions people have when settling a young puppy into a new home.
Pete has also brought in a puppy with him- a terrier/Pug cross bred dog called Holly who is 3 months old.
How to choose a new puppy
The biggest mistake that people make when getting a new puppy is to rush into the acquisition rather than thinking about it carefully with intelligence and objectivity. While it's true that it'd be rare for a puppy to be given away as a prize, many people choose a pup with just about as little consideration as this. They decide that they want a particular breed of dog, they search for one online, then they pay significant sums of money for it.
There are far better ways of planning a new puppy in your life: Consider adopting, not shopping. Thousands of dogs need homes, and you don't need to have a highly priced pedigree pup to fulfil your objective of finding a wonderful new pet.
If you must buy a pedigree pup, do your research first. Find out about your chosen breed's potential health issues, and buy from a breeder who has done the necessary health tests to minimise the risk of problems later in life. Many of the specific breed clubs have health schemes aimed at minimising the health issues faced by pedigree dogs. You may need to pay more money, and you may have to wait for a few months, but it will definitely be worth it.
Avoid buying from a puppy farmer. Instead, choose a pup bred by a private breeder. Be aware than many of the pups bred by puppy farmers, as well as illegally imported pups, are sold online with the specific aim of fooling you into believing that they have been bred by a genuine private breeder.
How to transport the new puppy home Ideally, buy a carrier cage of some type for your puppy: for a small breed, this could be a plastic cat carrier, while for a bigger breed, it could be a wire mesh indoor kennel that you lift into the back of your car. You should line this carrier with some of the bedding that the puppy has been using at the breeder; this will carry the reassuring scent of "home" and "family", and it will make the transition to the new set up less stressful for the pup. Have someone sit close to the carrier, reassuring the pup. If the pup is small enough, it may be better to hold them in your arms during the journey, but in most cases, it's best to have them in their cage, with the knowledge that a caring human is close by, talking to them.
How to make the new puppy feel at home The process of leaving the family pack and arriving in a new home is a normal and natural part of the life of a young dog. It's always going to involve some stress, but puppies have adaptable minds, and as long as care is taken to avoid big shocks, most pups soon adjust to their new homes. The carrier that was used to transport the pup home often functions well as a base for the pup in their new home, like a type of "private bedroom" for them. They can sleep here, and if the door is left open to give them continual access, they will often see it as a type of sanctuary, going in whenever they feel like "time out" or snoozing.