Puppies don't come with a set of instructions

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A new puppy in the house is fun and exciting, but just like a new baby, they don't come with an instruction manual. So we've put together a few basic essentials you'll need to know to help you in the early days and weeks.

Love and affection

Your puppy will find the move from their litter to your home exciting, but it can also be quite overwhelming. They'll need lots of attention, reassurance and tender loving care to help them settle in. They'll crave attention, and you must give as much as possible at this stage. Praise them all the time and call them by their name. Show your puppy you love them, but at the same time, if they do anything unacceptable, stop the behaviour with a firm 'NO' (read more about early training).Puppies playing

Sounds and Scents

Some puppies miss the familiar smells and sounds of their litter, and if your puppy seems unsettled it may help to use a special pheromone spray called DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) which gives a sense of familiar well-being to your puppy. But always use sparingly and in moderation because it's important for your puppy to get used to their new environment. It may also be useful to play a radio on low volume near their bed throughout the night.


Just like babies, puppies need their sleep, so it's important to provide a warm, quiet place for them to rest during the day as well as at night. Family life can seem overwhelming for a small puppy and they'll need some time on their own. Put your puppy’s bed somewhere where they will feel safe and secure. Puppies often like an enclosed space to sleep in, so you might opt for a puppy crate. You can put a soft bed inside it and it'll double up as a safe haven when they want some peace and quiet.

Food for thought

When you first bring your puppy home, it's best to carry on feeding them the food they've been used to. But not all puppy foods are the same; some provide higher quality ingredients than others, so you might want to gradually change your puppy over to a food that your vet recommends. You'll need to do this over five to seven days, and your vet will advise you on this. You will need to mix the new food into their current food, gradually increasing the amount until only the new food is fed (read more about transitioning to a new food).

Hill's puppy food

Hill's puppy food is specially formulated to make sure your pet gets the right balance of nutrients. It contains the correct balance of all the vitamins and minerals to help puppies reach their full potential. It also contains natural DHA for better brain and visual development.

Great tasting and available in both dry and wet, your puppy will love every meal.