What to think about when choosing your new pet:

We’ve put together an essential guide to help you choose your new dog or puppy. It includes questions to ask on selecting the breed and type of pet you get, where you get it from, what you’ll need to buy for your new pet and how best to settle them into their new home – making sure their health and wellbeing is all taken care of.

Questions to consider for choosing your new Dog or Puppy

  • What Size Dog do you want and would be suitable for your house and garden?
  • What sort of temperament will suit your lifestyle?
  • Do you need the dog to be family friendly?
  • Do you need a dog which is good for allergies?
  • Would you be able to rescue a dog or puppy rather than buy one?
  • Do you know how to find a reputable breeder and spot the signs of a Puppy Farm.
  • How long will the dog be left for each day? Do you work long hours? Would it be fair?
  • Do you have time to exercise and play with your dog?
  • What will you do when you go away? Are there good local Kennels, a Family Member, could you take the Dog with you or research good home boarding services nearby
  • Can you afford all the routine and non-routine – food and vet trips and bills
  • Do you know where local training classes are?
  • Have you got any experience of specific breeds of dog?

What to buy for your new best friend:

  • Lead and Collar – with ID tag and contact number
  • Bed and Blanket
  • Crate – if you intend to crate train (much easier at night and if they are left in the day when a puppy)
  • Travel Carrier
  • Water and Food Bowl
  • Assortment of Toys and Cuddly Toy for comfort
  • Teething Toys to chew
  • Good Quality Food – suitable for age and type
  • Poo Bags
  • Coat – dependent on breed and time of year
  • Good fitting and safe harness
  • Training Treats
  • Grooming Kits and Shampoo


Other things to remember for your new pet:

  1. Go through your house and work out what could be a hazard for your new pet from steep steps to electrical wires, putting up Stair Gates and removing hazards from their reach.


  1. Check your house and garden for poisonous plants and substances which they may be able to reach.
  2. Consider how you will gradually introduce them to your existing pets and family members doing it in a calm and controlled manner avoids over excitement and stress. It is good to get lots of visitors over to meet your new pet so they get used to lots of different people including children, men and other animals. But do not overwhelm or exhaust your new pet, puppies sleep a lot of the day and can become irritable and snappy if overtired.


  1. Find a local reputable dog trainer and book in for classes, there are specific puppy classes where they can interact, play and learn in a safe and controlled environment with puppies of a similar age. Training in the first 6 months will pay huge dividends later on when you are able to use even basic commands such as sit, down, stay, leave, wait, heel and here.


  1. Puppies and dogs do have limits for exercise – for example puppies should be exercised/walked for 5 minutes per 1 month of age. Overwalking can cause joint problems and sore pads.


  1. Register your new pet at the local vets, they will often organise an initial health check and schedule your regular worming and flea treatments. Puppies need to go in to be checked and weighed as well as they grow. This process helps them associate the vets with non-traumatic events, rather than only going when they are very sick or hurt. Also get the vet to check their micro-chip works and is registered to you!


  1. Travelling in the car can cause travel sickness for dogs – the more you do it the better they will get and grow out of it, so even if you can walk to the local park, make sure you take them in the car just locally for walks too to build up their tolerance and positive association with the car.














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