Bringing a puppy home for the first time can be a life-changing experience. Picking out your puppy should be fun, but before you fall in love with the first one you see, Bondi Vet has a few essential tips to help you through the process.

In this video, Dr Chris Brown of Bondi Vet offers some fantastic advice on things to look out for when you pick up your new puppy. This includes avoiding puppies that come across as bossy, aggressive, shy and nervous.

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Things to consider before choosing your first puppy

  • The size of your home
    Think about where you live. If you’re renting an apartment, for instance, you might want to forget about adopting a Great Dane. Bigger dogs need a lot of space. In the same way, a Husky puppy might not suit you if you work long hours and don’t have a lot of spare time. Huskies are large and energetic and need a lot of exercise and walks – the last thing you need is a bored (and potentially destructive) dog at home.
  • Grooming
    Every dog breed has different grooming needs. A wrinkly Bulldog will have less need for grooming than a fluffy Samoyed pup that can shed profusely. How much time do you have to devote to your dog’s grooming?
  • Exercise requirements
    How much exercise can you offer your puppy every day? Exercise needs will vary between breeds of dogs, but it’s an important aspect of your pup’s day-to-day care. Exercise is a good opportunity for your dog to socialise with other dogs too!
  • Genetic defects
    Poorly bred puppies can suffer genetic-based diseases or health issues. Unfortunately, the symptoms of genetic disorders aren’t usually visible to an inexperienced eye. Where possible, be well-informed about the overall health of the specific breed.

Fundamental steps to take

Found the right puppy for you? It’s important to take some key steps to ensure your pooch has a long and health life. Keeping vaccinations up-to-date is important, because up until this point, their Mum has been protecting them with antibodies in her milk.

By giving your pups a vaccination between six and eight weeks of age, you will protect them from Parvovirus and the Hepatitus Virus, both of which can be fatal to your dog.

Worming is another ‘must-do’ for your new furry friend. Once you bring your puppy home, worm him every three weeks until he’s 16-weeks-old. You should follow-up with a worming treatment every three months after that.

Your very first puppy: A step-by-step guide
Photo: Chris Becker (Unsplash).

What you’ll need for your puppy

Ideally, you’ll want to have everything organised for the arrival of your new puppy at home, so consider purchasing the following:

      • A properly-fitted collar (with an ID tag)
      • A good lead for walking
      • Bowls for access to food and water
      • Toys – need we say more?
      • Dog treats
      • A training crate or a dog bed
Bondi Vet Pet Insurance is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436) (Hollard), is distributed and promoted by Pty Ltd (ABN 86609571397 AR 1256701) (Bondi Vet) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ABN 95 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). Bondi Vet acts as an Authorised Representative of PetSure. Bondi Vet will receive a commission which is a percentage of the premium paid to Hollard. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Please obtain and read the Combined PDS and FSG which contains the Policy Terms and Conditions, available by calling 1300 702 838 or online at before making a decision to buy this insurance.
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  1. Dr Chris I need help lol
    I have a smoodle and he is called buddy 9 weeks old with a very defiant attitude. Very cute,very smart. First time for me.
    I live lone and sometimes need to go shopping etc but when I leave I can hear him bark and cry. This is creating anxiety for him if I take him in the car. What do you think about crates at night he refuses the bed and will bark until he he’s on mine he likes to sleep far away but close at times. I’m so confused and want to do the right thing and have him happy I’ve had I’m a week. He sees the vet next week which I wish was near yours. I think I’m more anxious then him . He uses puppy pads well and sometimes has,accidents I try not o say a word.

    • Hi Sandra,

      Buddy the Smoodle sounds like a gorgeous pup. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to reach Dr Chris Brown through this article direct, but you can always try to get in touch with Bondi Vet through their website. Otherwise, I am sure your vet will be able to offer you the best advice for Buddy when you see them next week. New pups can take awhile to settle, so don’t worry too much – it’s still early days 🙂 Best of luck! Lauren