Caring for your new dog or puppy

Bringing them home for the first time

The very first rule – start as you wish to continue! Having a little puppy sleeping on/in your bed may be OK, but a full grown dog can be a very different matter! You may discover on bringing home your new dog that they need to be reassured and gain your trust. We ask that you please be patient with them and give them a chance to settle in properly. Through our own experiences of pet caring, we have found the following simple things will help:


For a dog that will be kept inside as well as outside, take them outside as often as you can at first especially after a meal or when you are going to bed. Praise them for going outside to the toilet (a little treat every now and then is fine but NO CHOCOLATE). DO NOT hit them. It does not help. A simple but harsh “NO”, then put them outside. They will soon realise that what they are doing is wrong-usually.


Feed them two small meals a day at first to help them settle in. This will also show the dog that it will be fed on a regular basis and therefore eliminating the desire for them to gorge themselves.

Feed a good quality dry food as the basic meal.  Follow directions on the pack.  Dry food can be supplemented with tinned food or meal scraps if you wish but don’t overdo it. A raw bone a few times a week can help keep healthy teeth.  Never give a dog cooked bones.


It is advisable to have them wormed as soon as possible. Dogs need to be wormed regularly, particularly against whipworm and tapeworm, as well as roundworm and hookworm. This can be done by giving an allwormer tablet every 3 to 6 months.


Give the dog either a wash, bath or hydro-bath to eliminate any fleas they will have brought with them. If your dog has fleas, there are a number of powders, sprays and shampoos on the market to help control the problem. There are also flea collars available from your vet, always read the instructions on the package before using an insecticide on your dog. If in doubt, consult your vet first. Your vet is best able to advise you on the most appropriate flea treatment for your dog/puppy.


All dogs should receive a yearly booster vaccination against Distemper, Measles, Parvovirus and Infectious Hepatitis. This booster vaccine is important to give your dog maximum protection against these viral diseases.

A C3 vaccine (known as ‘core’) protects against parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis.

A C4 vaccine also protects against parainfluenza.

A C5 vaccine is the requirement for most boarding kennels. It protects against the aforementioned diseases as well as bordetella bronchiseptica. It should also be used for dogs such as show dogs, which are exposed to other dogs and people.

Your dog should be confined to their own yard, away from other dogs, until 7 to 10 days after their vaccination. This is to ensure that the vaccines have enough time to give the dog adequate immunity before being exposed to other dogs that may carry the diseases.


One frequently experienced problem with rescue dogs is anxiety when left alone. This anxiety can take the form of barking, howling, loss of bowel control, chewing, or a mixture of all four. Please visit our Anxiety post for more information on how to deal with this.


Ensure that you register your pet with your local council. This will ensure that if your dog/ becomes lost then found it will be returned to you.