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British Family Pet Experts



Bringing your new dog home is an exciting time! Whether you’ve got a puppy or an adult dog, our new dog essentials are here to help you settle your dog into its new home.

Finding the right dog

Should I get a dog or a puppy?

Puppies love to cause mischief, be inquisitive and have fun! The thought of a puppy-sized bundle of fur bouncing around your home is in many ways exciting but have you thought about all of the aspects of puppy parenting?

Size and breed: When choosing the right dog, think about their breed and size. Initial research is key to match their breed characteristics with the size of your home and garden, vehicle and how active your lifestyle is.

Time: If you’re a first-time dog owner, think about the time you will spend nurturing, training and helping your puppy. It doesn’t all happen overnight! Remember, dogs require a lot of attention.

Socialisation: You’ll need to socialise your puppy and get them used to the sights, sounds and people of the world.

Should I get a senior dog?

Mature dogs often have a mellow temperament and they love an afternoon nap! As older and sometimes wiser pets, they can have less destructive behaviours around the house. They may also require less exercise, so they’ll suit owners with a less active lifestyle. Don’t overlook a golden oldie – they can bring a new lease of life into your home!

Where should I get my dog from?

Did you know it’s estimated that only 22% of dog owners got their pet from a rescue or rehoming centre?

Many rehoming centres around the country can offer advice to help match a dog to you to see if their behaviour and background suit your home environment.

If you’re considering buying a puppy from a breeder, check they are responsible. If you suspect that the breeder is puppy farming, do not buy a puppy. This will only fund them to continue breeding irresponsibly. Report them to your local council if you suspect puppy farming or if you visit a litter with poor welfare standards.

Things to check for when visiting a puppy for the first time:
  • Make sure you see the puppy with their litter and mother
  • Ask the breeder for all the relevant paperwork including vaccinations, kennel club registration (if applicable) and health screening information
  • Check the puppy’s parents have had screenings too as certain breeds are associated with genetic problems
  • Avoid breeders that allow puppies to be rehomed earlier than 8 weeks as this can be very distressing for any puppy

Welcoming your dog

Bringing your puppy or dog home for the first time can feel daunting for you. Also, it can be even more unsettling for your newest furry family member. You may need to allow extra time for them to adjust to their new surroundings. This is especially true if they haven’t had the best start in life.

When you first welcome your dog, ensure a calm and quiet environment and be prepared with the essentials before your dog arrives so they can get to grips with their new home and hopefully settle in quickly!

Quick Tip Card Image

Quick Tip

A dog will invite you to play by crouching on its forelimbs and will bark and wag its tail. This is called the 'play bow'.

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Essentials checklist

Food and water bowls: Food and water bowls should be kept separate. Stainless steel, non-tip bowls are ideal as they are robust and don’t absorb odours.

Food: A complete food is recommended, especially for puppies as it must contain all the nutrients they need to grow and develop. We’d recommend Burgess dog food!

Treats: Treats are handy to use as a training incentive and can encourage bonding.

Bed: Select a bed that will suit your dog’s size. Place it in a quiet corner where your dog can feel secure and can escape from scary experiences while they get used to their new environment. For puppies, put a blanket from their first home in their new bed. This can help them settle with familiar smells from their mother.

Toys: Chew toys are the perfect deterrent to stop your dog chewing your household items! They also provide enrichment, so your dog isn’t as likely to get bored. For puppies, look for an age appropriate chew toy that they can’t break up easily and potentially swallow.

First vet visit: Register your dog with a vet as soon as you can. They will check their general health and discuss vaccinations and preventative treatment to keep disease, fleas and worms at bay.

Collar & lead: Once your puppy has had all of their vaccinations, they’re ready for their first walk. You may choose to have a collar, harness or both – just don’t forget the lead … or poo bags!

Identification tag & microchip: The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that your dog should wear a collar with an ID tag engraved with their owner’s name and address when out in public. In 2016 new legislation made microchipping your dog a legal requirement.

Puppy gate: Think about installing a puppy gate in your home to control the entry or exits your pet has access to. A puppy gate can also limit the movement to a particular room. This can protect your home from the destructive teething stage or for piece of mind! You’ll know that your puppy or dog will be safe in their environment while you’re out of the house.

Puppy mats: An essential for toilet training, puppy mats also protect your flooring from toilet accidents!

Grooming equipment: Whether you have a dog that needs help shedding their coat or a non-moulting dog that has easily matted fur, you’re going to need some grooming essentials! A suitable dog brush, nail clippers, shampoo and conditioner are all handy items.



To help you find the right food for your pet have a look at our product range.

Alternatively you can call our free consumer care line on +44 1405 862241 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our dedicated team of pet experts will help you make the right choice.

If you should have any concerns about the health of your pet, always consult a vet.