Preparing for your new puppy!

Written by Zoe Russell, BSc (Hons), ANutr

Nutrition Officer, Naturediet

Bringing home a new puppy can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However it also comes with its challenges as puppies can be hard work! When counting down the days until your pup comes home, it’s important to make sure you are prepared for the big day.

Puppies are keen chewers and will put absolutely anything they find in their mouth. Therefore it’s important to put any small, chewable items up high and out-of-reach. This is especially important when it comes to potentially toxic items such as food (think chocolate or sweets), or medicine (packs of paracetamol, inhalers etc). They will also happily chew the legs of furniture, so make sure any precious furniture is shut away and any furniture in reach is safe to chew and not something you care too much about!

Depending on your puppy’s breed, they are likely to be small enough to escape from seemingly un-escapable spaces. Therefore make sure you secure the perimeter of your garden or fence off a small area to use for toilet training while they are still small. There are also several plants (and their bulbs) which can be poisonous to dogs if eaten, such as daffodils, lilies, and rhododendron. Make sure these plants are out of reach as most puppies (and even adult dogs) don’t make sensible judgements on what is safe to eat!

Feeding your puppy
A responsible breeder should provide you with at least two weeks-worth of food that your puppy has been weaned onto. This is helpful, as we don’t recommend changing your puppy’s diet until they’ve had at least two weeks to settle into their new home. This is because it can be quite a stressful time being separated from the litter and being introduced to a new environment. Then when your puppy is ready, we have a few diets suitable for young dogs. The Feel Good Puppy is a rice-based recipe, formulated without ingredients such as wheat, maize and barley and is a complete recipe, so provides all the nutrients a puppy needs to grow. Or for pups who may need a diet without grains, the Feel Good Grain Free Puppy is just as nutritious but made for an extra sensitive tummy.

Toys and enrichment
Puppies have busy little brains that need mental stimulation. They are also finding their way in the world and will use their mouths, voices and behaviour to explore and interact with their surroundings. Therefore it is a good idea to provide age-appropriate toys for your puppy to help keep their minds occupied and minimise the likelihood of destructive behaviour. Playing with your puppy is also a good way to build a strong bond and allow them to exhibit natural behaviour. That being said, puppies spend around 18 hours per day sleeping, so make sure you prepare a quiet, safe space for them to settle and recharge, without being disturbed.

Contact us
If you need any more nutritional advice or information, please don’t hesitate to give our nutrition team a call on 01362 822 320 or email us at