Caring for Your New Puppy

Taking Your New Puppy Home

Before you introduce your puppy to your home you will need to make sure that you have a secure, enclosed back garden, with fences sufficiently high to contain your puppy at its adult size.

Your puppy should have a small pet bed and a few feeding bowls (from your local pet shop) together with a first collar and lead and an identify disc with a contact telephone number. You should buy a dog licence at your local post office.

When you bring your puppy home, remember this is a big change. The puppy has been used to being with his Mother and may feel lonely for the first few weeks. Provide a teddy bear and a luke warm hot water bottle, wrapped in a towel, for the first few weeks to provide company at bed time. Puppies are teething up to the age of 6 months – give him/her some chew toys and keep your good shoes and other items you value well out of reach !


Puppies 8 – 12 weeks old  should be fed 4 small meals a day – soft food may be given at first but dried food is considered better for your dogs teeth and digestion. Be sure to leave fresh water at all times, especially when feeding dried food. Puppies will also enjoy cooked chicken and minced meat in moderation. Two meals a day will be sufficient between the age of 6 months. Milk should be avoided.

On no account should your dog be given chicken or fish bones. Dental sticks or an occasional large marrow bone may be given to help dental health.

North County Dublin SPCA

Toilet Training

It will take a little time to train your puppy to go to the toilet outside your house. Please be patient! Confine your puppy to an area of the home that can be readily cleaned. Use plenty of newspapers – train puppy to use the paper and gradually move towards the back door and eventually outside. You may see the puppy preparing to defecate or urinate approx. half an hour after feeding – encourage the puppy to use the paper or defecate outside and reward with treats and patting. Disinfect any accidents thoroughly as the smell will encourage the puppy to go in the same spot again.


Young puppies should be wormed regularly from the age of 6 weeks. Our veterinary surgeon will advise.

Adult dogs should be wormed every 3 months.

Children should be trained to wash their hands after handling their pet. Do not allow your pet to lick your mouth.


Puppies should be vaccinated against Distemper, Hepititis, Leptospirosis and Parvo Virus at 8 weeks of age or older.

Your puppy should not be brought outside your own home orbackgarden until he has been fully vaccinated.

Kennel Cough Vaccine is recommended for dogs going into kennels. It should be given 10 days beforehand and lasts for one year.

North County Dublin SPCA


This is a small chip – the size of a grain of rice – which is inserted under the skin –  if your dog gets lost and is taken to an animal organisation or veterinary practice, this will  be scanned and will help to re-unite you with your pet.

Neutering of Dogs

Your female dog comes ‘in heat’ and can produce puppies twice each year. This ‘heat’ can last for up to 3 weeks. You know the trouble this can cause – with male dogs in your garden and the difficulty of finding homes for unwanted puppies.

Your female dog can be neutered at 6 months of age or  older.  She will never again come ‘in heat’ and can never have puppies. Our staff will advise you on the best decision for your particular pet.

Male dogs can be neutered at 6 months or older. Our veterinary surgeon will advise.

North County Dublin SPCA

Dog Behaviour

If you are accustomed to owning dogs, you will already know that your new puppy will need some basic obedience training and socialising. If you are a first time dog owner, you may like to bring your young dog to training classes in your area.


Puppies and adult dogs should be walked in public on a lead. It is unsafe and against the law to allow your dog in wander in public without you. You are legally obliged to license your new dog at your local Post Office.

Keep washing machine and dryer doors closed and check inside before using them. Keep toilet seats down.