Thinking of Buying Your First Pet Puppy: Here’s 5 Tips to Create an Optimal Environment for Them

Puppy Visits

Image by Fran • @thisisfranpatel from Pixabay 

If you’re thinking of buying your first pet puppy, it’s essential to create an optimal environment for them. Puppies need plenty of exercise and room to run around, as well as a place to rest and relax. They also need plenty of socialization and interaction with their owners. This blog post will discuss five tips for creating an optimal environment for your new puppy!

Nutritious food and clean water.

Just like humans, puppies need nutritious food to grow and thrive. When choosing a food for your puppy, be sure to select a high-quality option that is rich in protein, fat, and essential nutrients. Puppies have high energy needs and require more calories than adult dogs. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian about how much food your puppy needs and how often they should eat. Puppies also need access to clean water at all times. Be sure to fill their water bowl with fresh, clean water and empty it out daily. It’s also a good idea to invest in a water filter or purifier to ensure that your puppy is getting the best possible water.

A safe and comfortable place to sleep.

Puppies need a safe, comfortable place to sleep. A crate or dog bed is a great option for a puppy’s sleeping area. Puppies should not be allowed to sleep on human beds or furniture, as this can lead to behavioral problems. Be sure to place their bed in a quiet, out-of-the-way spot in your home. Also, provide them with a few toys or chew bones to keep them entertained and comfortable in their crate.

Plenty of toys and chew toys.

Puppies are full of energy and need plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Chew toys are especially important for puppies, as they help relieve teething pain and promote healthy gum development. If you’re looking for a reputable Online pet shop, Gladwells Pet & Country Stores has it all. Choose toys that are specifically designed for puppies, and avoid giving them adult dog toys, as these can be a choking hazard. Additionally, it’s important to rotate your puppy’s toys regularly to keep them from becoming bored.

Socialization and interaction with their owners.

Puppies need socialization and interaction with their owners to thrive. Set aside time each day to play with your puppy and provide them with the attention they crave. Puppies that are left alone for long periods of time can become bored and destructive. In addition to playing with your puppy, be sure to take them on walks and outings so they can explore the world and meet new people and other dogs. Scamps & Champs can visit your puppy while you are out at work or on a family day out. On our puppy visits we will feed your puppy, clean up any accidents, give fresh water and then have some play/cuddle time and reinforce any training that you are currently doing with your furry friend.

Proper vaccinations and health care.

Puppies need to be vaccinated to protect them against dangerous diseases. Consult with your veterinarian about which vaccines are right for your puppy and when they should receive them. Puppies also need routine deworming and regular check-ups. Be sure to take your puppy to the vet for their appointments and follow all of their recommendations.

If you’re thinking of buying a puppy, it’s important to create an optimal environment for them. Be sure to provide them with nutritious food and clean water, a safe and comfortable place to sleep, plenty of toys and chew toys, and socialization and interaction with their owners. By following these tips, you’ll set your puppy up for success!

How Long Do Puppies Sleep?

Pet Sitting Services - Scamps & Champs

Your new pup’s finally come home after you waiting and daydreaming about what being a pet-parent might be like for you! You may even be feeling a myriad range of emotions, that had you pacing around anxiously until this big day. And things start looking a little more serious the moment your pup places its cute, furry paws into its new home.

The questions start knocking around in your mind – how will you take care of it? How does it need to be fed? What can it eat? How will you train it? How often should you take it for a walk? And when does it sleep? 

All of these questions are completely normal and something that will come to you as you keep exploring the new world of pet parenthood. The first couple of days, weeks, or months might not be the easiest, but as you spend time getting acquainted with your new family member’s needs and wants, things are going to start looking a whole lot more clearer. 

What You Need To Know About Your Pup’s Sleep

So now that you have a new, energetic furry bundle of joy in your hands, you might be wondering about the following:

How many hours of sleep does your pup need? And how important is sleep for its development?

  • Sleep is extremely important to a growing pup. It enables the development of all his little muscles, his brain and immune system, as well as his nervous system. 
  • If you wake up one day and find your pup a little bigger than how he was when he slept, you can owe that one to the long nights of snoozing your pup will require on a regular basis. 
  • Puppies that are an average of 16 weeks old sleep around 11.2 hours to 14 hours in a day. Puppies younger than that, however, need as much as 18 to 20 hours of snoozing in a day . . . not unlike our human babies! 
  • From the psychological and cognitive state to immunity, energy conservation and waste removal – sleep is one of the most important aspects of your pup’s schedule! This is just as important as regular play-time and dog-walks

While your pup is still a pup, it is your responsibility to take care of your furry friend, allowing them all that they need to grow into a strong, healthy and energetic dog. To be able to provide your new friend with everything they need, it is important to create a space for your dog where they can catch some shut-eye without any worries. 

Where Should Your Puppy Sleep? 

The earlier you start showing your dog a specific place in the house for nap-time, the easier it becomes for it to get accustomed to its new sleeping space. 

So before you bring your pup home:

  • Spend some time finding a quiet nook in the house that does not have too much movement, which can double up as a sleep spot. 
  • Try to make sure that the place is not prone to noises or auditory disturbances, as this can disrupt your pup’s sleep. And the side-effect is that this could affect their behaviour while they are awake. 
  • Get a comfortable waterproof dog bed, crate or kennel and line it with a material that would suit your pup. You might have to wait and explore different materials with your pup to recognize what it prefers – maybe a specific pillow, or cloth that can help it enjoy a good night’s rest. 

It is also important to recognize that your pet will eventually find a spot meant for it as it grows older and reaches around 1 year of age. This might be different from the place you had mapped out for it but in either case, your pup will choose a spot that allows them to enjoy a comfortable and well-deserved night of rest after a whole day of fun and activity. 

How Can You Help Your Furry Friend Sleep Better and Longer? 

Now that you recognize how important it is to ensure your pup gets its due sleep, here are a few tips that can aid you in ensuring the dog is comfortable and well-rested. 

  1. Try Not To Disturb the Pup 

It can be difficult, trying hard not to play and cuddle with your pup and allowing it to fall asleep on you. But this can only prove to be detrimental to your puppy’s sleep schedule in the longer run. Learn to recognize when your pup requires sleep, leaving it alone and unstimulated so that it replenishes all of the spent energy. 

Take the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” quite literally and allow your pet their time. Try to also minimize any loud noises around the pup as that could potentially frighten it when its defences are down. 

  1. Show Your Pup the Ropes 

If your pup starts showing those adorable signs of actually needing a good couple of hours of sleep, gently guide it towards the spot you have created for nap-time. Doing this frequently can cause your pet to associate sleeping with that specific place in the house, causing it to return to this space when it is time to get some shut-eye. This can even help if you have a professional pet-sitter over while you are away. 

You can start training it to recognize its bed the moment it comes home. Once a firm schedule has been developed, your pup will automatically cuddle into its favourite toys and blankets when it is time. 

  1. Implement and Regularly Follow a Schedule 

Creating a sleep schedule for your pup can allow it to adhere to a routine that compliments yours. If you are house-training your pup, sleep schedules are all the more important! 

Try to implement regular exercise in your pup’s everyday routine, which can further boost the health benefits associated with a good night’s rest. A dog that has been exercised well, is a dog that will not have any difficulties dozing off after dinner. Add to this routine by allowing your pet to relieve themselves before they hit the sack, as this can prevent the potential for future bed-wetting situations. 

Being a pet parent is challenging, albeit a fun challenge to face every day! Remember to go with the flow and allow your pup and you all the time you need, and you will have a well-rested and settled pet on your hands in no time! 

Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 12 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet industry. Her expertise includes dog and cat health, care, nutrition, feeding, grooming, behavior, and training.

Puppy Visiting Options in SE London

Puppy Visits - Scamps & Champs

The excitement of getting a puppy can sometimes be tinged with some anxiety about how to ensure the best care for your puppy when you are out for some or all of the day. Ensuring you have the best possible care for your new beloved pet is important, and an option which more and more pet owners are turning to is to use a Scamps and Champs South East London professional pet carer to undertake regular puppy visits.

Our pet carers are experienced with dogs and puppies (and absolutely love them!) and can visit your puppy for up to an hour (or longer if you need it) from 1 to 4 times a day, depending on your needs.

We offer 2 different levels of puppy visit and a puppy package.

Our Puppy Comfort Visits typically entail letting your puppy out to go to the toilet, feeding them, and importantly, giving them love and cuddles and playing with them.

Our Premium Puppy Visits entail all of the elements of the Puppy Comfort Visit plus we will reinforce any training which your puppy is receiving in basic commands, ensuring we know which methods and words you use, to ensure consistency. When your pup is old enough and able to venture outside, we will also take them for a short walk on each visit,  getting them used to toileting whilst out on walks and helping them with road safety, for example, ensuring they respond to commands to wait before going into the road.

Our Premium Puppy Package provides great value by giving you 11 visits for the price of 10, when you book in a block, and also includes a free gift.

We always ensure good communication with you so that we are always on the same page as you when it comes to your puppy’s care, and we will give you a report after each and every visit so that you know what has happened during the day.

The benefits to your puppy in having a Scamps and Champs professional pet carer are clear; your puppy will receive, love, care and attention whilst you are out, they will get used to being looked after by another adult, who brings with them experience of looking after other dogs and puppies and can often help you with difficult challenges with your dog.

And as your dog gets older we can transition to providing you with a dog walking service, overnight pet sitting if you are away or possibly home boarding.

We have thorough procedures for only ensuring that we provide only the best staff to look after your treasured pets and to come into your home.  We interview staff thoroughly, and, once they have demonstrated their motivation, experience and reliability, we obtain references for the previous 2 years and ensure that the pet carer has an up to date DBS (police) check. Our pet carers are also fully insured whilst working for Scamps and Champs South East London.

You will meet your pet carer before agreeing to go ahead, so that you feel confident about the puppy visit service we will provide. At this meeting you can tell us all about your requirements, including the type and number of visits you would like, and the routines and quirks of your puppy.

During the puppy visit service, we keep in close contact with our pet carer to ensure that everything is going as planned and we are on hand to provide back up or help if needed.

The prices for Scamps and Champs South East London puppy visits are as follows

 30 minute visits60 minute visits
Puppy Comfort Visits£10.00£17.00
Premium Puppy Visits£12.50£22.00
Premium Puppy Package – pay for 10 visits in a block and get 11th visit free£125.00£220.00

For a detailed quotation, please contact us for further information. Scamps & Champs South East London currently provide puppy visit services in South East London and  Bromley. 

Scamps and Champs are members of the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters and the Pet Industry Federation. Contact Scamps & Champs via our online form, to check availability and make a booking. Learn more about our puppy visit service by visiting the Scamps & Champs Website.

August 2020

A Few Tips On Raising Your Puppy

A few tips on raising your new puppy

It’s a fact that during the lockdown period 1000’s of new puppies were welcomed into homes up and down the country.  So here at Cardiff Scamps and Champs we’ve put together a few tips to help get your pup off to a flying start.


As you will no doubt be aware, there have been restrictions on vets  during the pandemic, meaning that by law they have only been able to  deal with emergencies.  However, things are slowly returning to normal  and hopefully they will be back to doing all the ordinary things as  well as the emergency stuff. If you have not already done so, it is  imperative that you get your puppy registered, health checked and all  vaccines sorted. Give your vet a ring today and get them booked in.  Your vet will give you good advice on worming, de-fleeing and lots of  other issues.


Puppies have specific nutritional needs in order to fuel good growth  and development, and this means they require a good balanced diet.   Puppies generally come in a great variety of sizes from the teeny tiny  to the “looks full grown” variety, so be sure to thoroughly check all  the ingredients on the various ranges of puppy foods on the market,  and make sure your pup is eating a food designed for their body size  and shape and the body size and shape they will quickly grow into – if  in doubt, your vet may be able to give you some information.

Toys & teething

If you have been on the receiving end, you will realise your puppy has  needle-sharp little teeth, but these will soon be replaced by adult  teeth that can shred your best shoes or furniture in seconds. When  teething, pups will chew just about anything so it may just save you a  small fortune if you think ahead and get them some well made chew toys  or appropriate chewing treats.  Now will also be a good time to think  of their oral hygiene, as tooth decay and gum disease can cause  serious health issues, especially if your pup has heart problems, and  may leave you with a hefty vet bill.  So talk to your vet about  getting a suitable toothpaste and brush and get your little one used  to a daily brushing routine.


Everyone panics about getting their puppy socialised but unless your  pup has had all of its full range of vaccinations, it will need to be  kept separate from other dogs to prevent serious diseases from being  picked up. Once vaccinations are completed, start getting your pup out  to meet others, whether at a puppy party or just meeting other peoples  pups – always be aware that your pup is still a baby and though they  jump and bounce about in a cute way, this may not always be  appreciated by other dogs, so make sure your pups meetings are always  safe. Dogs are pack animals and they will love making friends, but  they may not yet have learned the variety of signs, signals and social  behaviour necessary, so never let them to run up to other dogs, and  always be able to get them out of harms way if necessary.


There is no time like the present to start with the “not on the couch”  and “bedtime” commands, and then progress slowly to more complicated  stuff like “sit”, “stay” and the recall routine. Take your time,  remember that all pups will learn at different rates just like we do.  Always be kind and gentle and always reward your pup when it completes  the desired behaviour.  You could join a puppy training class as this  will also aid with your pup’s socialisation skills. When your pup has  learned the good behaviour and acquired new skills,  keep that going,  because they’ll soon be teenagers and will behave like it – and that’s  a whole other experience!


If your puppy arrived during lockdown they’ll think that you being at  home all day is how the world is. So, you going back to work will not  only disrupt their regular routine but could create separation  anxiety.  If you’re in work all day and are not lucky enough to have a  job where you can nip back home, then give serious consideration to  getting someone in to break the day up for your pup. It will allow  them to get a much needed drink and something to eat and continue with  their toilet routine. It will also provide a chance to stretch their  little legs with a short walk or some good quality playtime.  It is  imperative that you do not leave your pup alone for long hours, as  this will lead to unavoidable soiling and cause serious issues with  ongoing training leading to stress and potential behavioural problems  that may take a long time to settle.

Here at Scamps and Champs Cardiff, we know the importance of raising  and training your puppy to become a happy and well balanced adult. 

We  offer specialised puppy packages, puppy visits and puppy day care to  help you return to work with confidence in the knowledge that your pup  is being cared for, and receiving ongoing training and enrichment in a  safe environment.

We are Fully Insured, Police Cleared and Licensed. We are also open 7  days per week – 10% discounts and other benefits available as a  welcome to our services.


How We Can Support Your Puppy Through the Lockdown Lift

How We Can Support Your Puppy Through The Lockdown Lift

As Lockdown Loosens

As the lockdown rules and regulations are beginning to change, this not only means change for us and our day to day lives, but also our beloved puppies.

With lockdown having had many of us stay at home much more regularly, this has resulted in us spending more time with our puppies, sometimes without even realising.

The change from your puppy having you around 24/7 to it being left for significantly longer amounts of time, whether it’s for work, the school runs or family visits, this can in fact have a negative impact on your puppy, potentially causing anxiety. Here’s how our services in Derby can help you and your puppy.

How Derby Dog Walking Services Can Help with Puppy Anxiety.

Exercise is good for anyone when it comes to de-stressing and anxiety. The same goes for your puppy. It is so important to walk your puppy daily and regularly. If you are tied up or now busier as lockdown is beginning to lift, our dog walking services can help you maintain your puppy’s regular exercise and walks.

The reason that walking your dog is so important, especially if it is showing signs of anxiety is because when your dog is exercised efficiently, it is healthier and any adverse behaviour is often minimised meaning your puppy is happier when it is walked frequently.

If your schedules are starting to fill up, to put your mind at rest and know that your puppy is getting regular daily walks and receiving the best possible care, Scamps and Champs offer and deliver a premium dog walking service.

One of our animal care experts can simply come to your home and walk your dog for you, leaving you time to work, do the school run or engage in your daily activities. To help relieve your puppy’s potential anxiety, we ensure it has an engaging, fun and stimulating walk out in the fresh air, to impact on it positively, leaving it much happier and healthier.

How Derby Puppy Sitting Services Can Help with Puppy Anxiety.

Although leaving your puppy may cause disruption and anxiety, we understand that leaving the house for many people is now essential. Therefore, we can step in to prevent or lessen the anxiety level of your puppy. If you like many others have now got to return to work or other pre lockdown daily duties, but you have a puppy that you’re worried about leaving at home, our puppy sitting services are ready for you.

It is important for a puppy to practise and maintain its routines to help familiarise it with this. Furthermore, we will ensure that all of your pet’s usual routines are maintained, with bundles of loving companionship included, making it not than just an ordinary sitting service, but a hugely beneficial one.

As a puppy, they will be familiarising themselves with their new home, so its important to keep them in that environment, at Scamps and Champs, your pet will stay in the comfort of your own home whilst being well cared for. As well as allowing your puppy to stick to its usual routines as this is very important for a young pup.

Our pet sitting service, will allow you to avoid using kennels or asking your family and friends for help, as they too may be having to return to work. You can lead your day worry free as we are a reliable, professional and loving pet sitting service

If you are at all worried about leaving your pets whilst you return to work Scamps and Champs Derby can come and check on your pets whilst you are out for additional piece of mind. If you have purchased a ‘lockdown puppy’ whilst you have been off work and home all of the time, you may also like to consider our Puppy Sitting Service. If you have any questions or queries don’t hesitate to contact Scamps & Champs Derby for further support and advice by emailing calling 0333 200 5827 or contacting us via our Facebook Page.

The Year of the Staycation – 2020

Pet Sitting Staycation 2020

It has come to that time of year when the sun is shining, nights are longer and summer holidays are being booked and planned. With Covid-19 still affecting travel and holidays- this year is the perfect time to explore your home country and have a staycation!

Your 2020 Staycation

Although this year may have disrupted some of your original summer holiday plans, there is no reason you can’t venture to another part of the UK and make it the holiday of a lifetime. Take a beach holiday to the coast; explore the countryside or an adventure in the mountains, wherever your staycation takes you, use the time to appreciate your home country.

Who doesn’t love a summer holiday? Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a busy family holiday, find time to escape reality and the home you have been in throughout lockdown and have a change of scenery. Enjoy your time away by having a non-stop active holiday or a relaxing one, and don’t worry about a thing!

Our Pet Sitting Services

Whilst you embark on your holiday adventures, whether it’s to the coast, mountains or countryside, take the time to be worry free, unwind and relax while we look after your pets.

Not only can you relax once on your holiday, but also beforehand by not having to worry about asking your family, friends, or a kennel to look after your pets.

When you go away, we can keep your pet relaxed in the comfort of your own home whilst being looked after, because Scamps and Champs offer a pawsome pet sitting service! We have a range of experienced pet sitters who will take excellent care of your pets, keeping them in your own home, allowing them to remain in familiar surroundings and ensuring that all of your pet’s usual routines are maintained.

When looking after your beloved pets, we can visit as many times a day as you need or stay overnight if you prefer, depending on your furry-friends’ individual needs. We complete feedback reports after every single visit, to update you and allow you complete peace of mind. These reports will include updates and photos.

In addition, all visits are tracked by GPS to again reassure you that your beloved pets are receiving the service we promise.

If you are looking to go away on a staycation Scamps and Champs Chichester can look after your pets. Check out our Puppy Sitting Service. If you have any questions or queries don’t hesitate to contact Scamps & Champs Chichester for further support and advice by emailing, calling our Branch Manager Sarah Young on 07931 526514 or contacting us via our Facebook Page.

When You’ve Got To Go, You’ve Got To Go – Toilet Training For Your Pup

Puppy Visits

Unless you are very lucky, it is unlikely that your pup is fully toilet trained when you first get him/her home, so setting up a good regime from the outset will pay dividends.

If you have another dog at home to show your pup the ropes, then toilet training will happen much quicker as the new pup will soon find the area that has been established by the other dog and will quickly follow the toilet signposts.

If you don’t have another doggie at home to help out then the aim will be; not so much as to forbid the use of one area but to encourage the use of another more appropriate area. Here are a few tips that may help.


Firstly, decide on an area where you want your pup to toilet Set up a regime where you take your pup out to this chosen place; First thing In The Morning, After Feeding, After Naps, In between Meals and Last Thing At Night – always use this area so that they can recognise their own scent.

Make sure that you keep to regular feeding times to get your pup into a routine As soon as your pup has eaten it will need to toilet shortly afterwards, so carry it outside and get it to sit in the “chosen” area

– don’t worry if your pup doesn’t “get it” right away.  It’s ok if your pup plays about at first, it will soon do it’s duty so be patient.

The moment your pup starts to go, start praising by making lots of “Good Dog/ Good Baby” type comments in an excited and slightly high tone, this is the signal that tells your pup he/she is doing the right thing.

Reinforce these desired actions each time because your pup may occasionally forget – it’s an exciting world with lots to learn!

Limit your pups access to just one or two areas where you can keep an eye on them Crate your pup when you can’t give them supervision – they are less likely to toilet in an area where they sleep or feed.

Ensure you take your pup out regularly

Stay consistent

If your pup has an “accident” indoors always use a specialised cleaning product to clean the area thoroughly as any lingering smell may draw your pup back time and again.


Never rub your pup’s nose in any mess – it’s unlikely that your pup will connect the crime with the punishment and instead your pup will become frightened – this will then lead to serious toilet training problems.

Never Ever shout at or punish your pup if it has had an accident.  If you discover a mess it is too late to rectify the situation so say nothing – it may make you feel better to get the frustration out of your system but it will only serve to confuse and frighten the pup and set up problems with toilet training.

Don’t wait for your pup to signal that he/she needs the toilet, most pups don’t learn to signal in this way until they learn to “hold” – much like you when you went from nappies to potty to using the big toilet.

Don’t put papers down in the hope that your pup will use these instead of your floors – this will only send the message to your pup that its ok to do it on the papers, and may make it impossible to break the association.

Don’t leave your pup for hours on end and then blame it if it makes a mess.

Don’t use bleach to clean up after your pup – it’s always best to use specialised cleaning products available at your local pet store.


Don’t forget, Scamps & Champs can help with puppy visits to assist with toilet training when you go back to work. We come in, let the pup into the garden, feed the pup, clean up any accidents, refresh water and have some play/training/cuddle time before we leave. Contact your local branch for details.

What Happens At A Scamps & Champs Meet & Greet

What Happens At A Scamps & Champs Meet & Greet

Free Meet & Greet at Your Home

The first thing that we do after you sign up for our services or enquire about our services, is come out to meet you and your pets at your home at a time that suits you.

You can take us through your pets usual routine and talk us through the information you have provided in your pet’s profile on our pet sitting software.   This way we can always be sure that we are providing pet care to your exact instructions.

You can show us where the pet food is kept, pet bowls, water bottles, leads and harnesses, favourite hiding places and anything else you think we might find useful.

We will be able to answer any questions you may have about our services and show you around the pet sitting software if required.

You can introduce us to your pets and talk through any habits or behaviours that you think we ought to know about and also any medications that need to be given.

We will bring our folder and show you our company insurance, references, dog home boarding arrangers licence and dbs checks.

You can update/add additional information to your pets profile at any time, upload photographs of your pets and also upload vaccination records.

If you are interested in dog walking services, we would then arrange for the dog walker who will be walking your dog to pop round to meet you and collect a key so you can meet the person who will be coming into your home.    We do have a team of dog walkers so we will always provide cover if your regular dog walker is on holiday or off sick.

Contact Us

Interested in finding out more about Scamps & Champs Dog Walking & Pet Care and how we can help?  Call us on 0333 200 5827 or contact us through our online form on our website

Puppy Visits In Halifax

Puppy Visits

Getting a puppy is a long-time commitment that requires a lot of thought. Especially if you work. That’s where Scamps and Champs Halifax can help.

We provide a Puppy visiting service with which we can work together on. You tell us what you need during the Puppy visit and we will provide it. So you have piece of mind whilst you are at work knowing your new fluffy bundle is being cared for by a reliable trusted Scamps and Champs Halifax team member.

Most Puppy Visits are booked for 30 minute intervals, in which we take out for toilet breaks, provide clean water and food, play with puppy and provide anything else should it be required. 1 hour bookings can also be made if required.

Scamps and Champs Halifax staff are fully insured, DBS checked and some have a certificate in canine first aid.

Getting a puppy is not an easy decision but we are there to help ease the decision and be on hand throughout the day whilst you are at work.

Scamps and Champs Halifax cover most areas of Calderdale.

Please do get in touch if you would like more information on or find us on Facebook and send us a message.

The Truth About Puppies – They Steal Your Heart And Drive You Mad

The Truth About Puppies - Scamps & Champs

Having a new puppy, particularly if you’re a first time fur parent is so exciting.  Your puppy is the cutest little fluff ball on the planet and there is nothing you wouldn’t do, and nothing you wouldn’t buy for your little bundle of delight. And boy are there plenty of things to buy; the best fluffy beds, top of the range food and drink bowls, toys, chews, some people even like to dress their pets in little outfits, and now this little bundle of fluff has stolen your heart It’s all fun fun fun – isn’t it?

Or do you feel that it might have been easier if your puppy had come with a warning  “will chew your shoes, rip your belongings, wail loudly all night long or screech for hours every time you go out”. 

And why did no one tell you that you would soon be wondering how something so small could make so much noise and mess, behave like its being murdered each time you try to take it out to toilet, and then produce enough poo and pee to sink a battleship when after what felt like hours in the freezing cold, defeated and deflated, you bring it back indoors, or how it can wriggle backwards at the speed of light when you try to attach collar and leash to go for a walk.

And what happened to all those who promised to always walk the pup for ever and ever if only you would let them have him/her?  The family who said they would take turns to feed and walk the pup?  

Well you are not alone ….

I remember when one of my pup first arrived, I soon learned that initial excitement can quickly give way to frustration, I can clearly remember being so delighted that my boy Beau had learned to get upstairs all by himself that I squealed with delight – I squealed again  some days later when I went upstairs and found the huge brown pool of diarrhoea that spread all across my beautiful mint green carpet.

And believe me when I tell you that there is not an alarm clock on the planet that gets you out of bed faster than being woken from a deep sleep by the sound of a retching puppy, only for you to step into a pool of slimy frothy vomit – how did all of that come out of something so small?

So whether its your first or your fifth, each pup is as different and individual as we are, so the chances are that the new puppy journey you have just embarked upon will have much to teach you.

To begin with think of your pup as a toddler who has no concept of right or wrong and you are the parent who has to teach them everything from potty training, walking on a leash, socialising and being well mannered – seems daunting at first doesn’t it?  

As puppyhood is the most important time for learning, I’d like to share a few tips that helped me with my pups and may help you in those first few months together.


Always try to have a calm but assertive approach when you’re when dealing with your pup, the aim is to provide positive, gentle and reward based training.  Don’t get upset if your pup doesn’t “get it” straight away or if he/she does something wrong or has a little accident now and then.

Though there will be times when you may feel convinced that he/she is doing it deliberately to get on your nerves – believe me they really don’t know any better at this stage so be patient  as it takes time. 

A crate can be an invaluable tool particularly when potty training as it provides your pup with a secure area whilst you are busy.  If your pup is reluctant to go in  at first,  persuade him/her by using a Kong with some natural peanut butter, (but make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol as this is a sweetener that is dangerous to dogs). Always praise your pup when it gets something right or does something you asked it to do. Don’t, however, leave your pup in the crate for too long as this can cause other issues.

A baby gate will also help to keep your pup out of areas that may be dangerous or simply “off limits”, this will teach your pup what areas he/she is allowed to go into or not, and will help provide a safe area for your pup to play in.

If your pup cries all night – I won’t lie, I never had this problem because I always took my babies upstairs and they slept in my room until they decided to go elsewhere to sleep.  I know this is not an option for everyone and I’ve heard of lots of different things to try, old fashioned alarm clocks have a soothing ticking sound that is said to help the puppy sleep.  An old piece of  your unwashed clothing to snuggle into or a teddy bear to cuddle with – it really is all trial and error.  Your pup will sleep when it feels safe, warm and protected – its for you to find that place so that you can all get some sleep.

Teach your pup the command “eyes on me” this is a great way of getting your dogs attention during training especially if they are easily distracted by other things around them in the big outside world.

Also teaching your pup to “go to your mat” is a good way to prevent them from running and barking in a frenzy every time someone arrives at the front door and will save you from receiving those embarrassing postcards from the post office telling you that your dogs behaviour is upsetting the postman – yes I’ve had them!

Do avoid giving in to things now that will lead to problem behaviour later on, no matter how cute that little face is. For example don’t let your pup jump up at people when they visit. Though this seems so cute now, once the dog is grown it may not be so acceptable – I have lost count of the times I have been knocked into someones flower bed by an overexcited dog running out and jumping up to greet me.

Always make sure to distract your dog with something acceptable like a toy or a treat when you want to change their behaviour instead of just telling them off when they get it wrong.

Enrolling into a puppy training or obedience group is a great idea,  but make sure to attend a proper class where all the other dogs are up to date with their vaccinations.  It’s never too early to start training as it provides both mental and physical stimulation. It will not only help them to learn some manners but also help them to socialise with other dogs and help prevent difficult or dangerous situations from developing in the future. 

Training with your pup will help you develop a firm bond and provide you with a better understanding of what motivates him/her so that you can continue training accordingly.  Puppies just want to please you so this is a golden opportunity for you to show them how. Always be consistent and always be gentle, there is no place or excuse for any negative behaviour towards your pup.  They will take time to learn, they will make mistakes, and if they are anything like my boy Beau, they will embarrass you further by cocking a leg and peeing over the pup next to them.


I get asked a lot about unwanted behaviours such as chewing and barking, and I’ve had a lot of personal experience of both  behaviours with my girl Lola.  In  just one day she chewed my handbag to pieces, chewed the door frame and ate my husband’s library book so I know how frustrating it can be.  

There are lots of reasons why dogs chew but if a pup or very young dog is into this, its a strong indication that they are teething.  

A good way of coping with this is to use a Kong or something similar and place some frozen peanut butter or other goodie into it and give that to the dog or simply buy toys and ropes of various textures so that your pup can chew on these – a word of warning, don’t buy shoe shaped chews, you know where it will lead to.  

If it has happened and you are quick enough to intercept your pup as it makes off with one of your best shoes, then simply offer an alternative or a treat, once the pup drops the shoe say “good boy/girl” in a very excited voice (or at least a relieved voice), your pup will soon get the idea but you must be consistent. 

If your handbag or best shoe does fall casualty to your babies toofy pegs then you will have to write it off and learn your lesson that nothing is off limits to a teething pup unless you make it so.

On the subject of teeth, a good habit to start at this stage is that of cleaning your babies teeth, do ask your vet for advice and use the smallest brush (not a human toothbrush) to begin with.  Tooth decay can cause a lot of medical problems particularly if you have a pup with a heart murmur as the decaying matter can make its way into the bloodstream and cause serious issues . A yearly check up saves a lot of problems including a massive vet bill for tooth removal.


Is there anything worse than a dog that won’t stop barking?  Well yes I can think of a few, but constant barking can drive the most loving pet owner up the wall.

Again, there are any number of reasons why dogs bark and not all of them are negative, remember this is also the sound of the dogs own language.  It’s the way the dog communicates with others of its species or tells you when it wants something.  It can also be an indication of fear, frustration or excitement as well as aggression or warning. 

How to deal with it?

Pups usually bark because they want something, are excited or simply because they have just found their voice and quite like the sound of it – after all its new to them.  

At this point its a good idea to try some distraction tactics by engaging the pup with something else or by taking them for a short walk provided they are fully inoculated.

 If the pup is barking because someone or something new has arrived in front of them, it could be an indication of fear. The pup will look to you for security so stay calm and tell them that’s its okay and provide them with comfort.  

Always seek to reassure the pup until you can ascertain what has caused the barking – remember how you deal with this now sets the scene for the future.  Never ever shout at the pup because this will only make matters worse and could create issues that prove difficult to deal with in the future.

Socialisation and training are key here, introduce your pup to many different situations, places and people as possible.  People with glasses, hats, beards, tall people, short people and loud people, children and other dogs – though always supervise the latter two carefully and never leave a tiny pup alone with small children until they have learned to handle the pup with respect and gentleness.  Always have treats on hand to reward your pup in new circumstances and never be afraid to tell other dog owners to back off if their dog gets a bit rough or overexcited with your pup.

How do I stop my dog barking
How to stop your dog barking


This is a biggie for a lot of new puppy owners, here are a few tips that helped me stay sane not only with pups but also with adult rescue dogs i’ve adopted who weren’t potty trained.

Firstly, be prepared for accidents, your pup will get it wrong and so will you.  

The pup is not out to make your life a misery but do try to see things from their point of view some of the time – would you really like to go pee pee in the freezing cold dark night or when its lashing down with rain?  You will get stressed, the pup will get stressed and the moment you step back indoors the pup will pee !!

Choose a particular area where you want your pup to toilet and take the pup out on a regular basis, particularly after meals  and before bed time. 

In the first few months, and if your pup is small enough, carry it to the designated area so that it gets the message that this is where you want it to toilet, reinforce this by saying something like “wee wee” so that your pup associates the place and the words with the action.

Use positive reinforcement, so that each time your pup does a pee or poo say “good boy/girl” in an excited tone of voice and provide a treat.  The pup will soon learn that it will be rewarded each time it goes to that place to pee or poo.

If your pup has an accident  – and it will – ignore this, clean it up and say nothing. Use a disinfectant that removes the smell as well as cleans or your pup will keep going to toilet there. Pets at Home have several good brands that will remove the odour and disinfect the floor. 

Never hit, shout or rub the pups nose in the mess – this is abuse and serves no purpose other than to terrify the pup and delay or prevent the training.

Remember it really is on you if your pup keeps going to toilet in the house and you need to increase your pups trips outside, never scold the pup for your mistakes.

If your pup is very slow to toilet train or continually relapses, seek advice from your vet and get your pup examined in case there is an underlying infection or problem.  

In the meantime, you can get (human) adult size disposable incontinence sheets from Amazon, that you can put down on the floor – they saved my sanity during some difficult times with my rescue dogs.

When out walking in public areas, always pick up after your dog, it is an offence not to do so and you can be fined.


Puppies need lots of naps, its essential for them to grow so don’t be surprised at how much they nap.

Exercise your pup, but not too much too soon and only take them outside once they are fully inoculated, seek guidance from your vet if you are unsure.

Initially avoid taking your little pup into big shops or places where lots of other dogs go, parvovirus, other diseases and parasites can last a long time in areas that are not properly cleaned or where people have not picked up after their adult dogs.

Try to get your pup used to being handled, particularly around their face, feet, legs etc as this will help the pup cope with being handled on future visits to the vet and the groomer.  Always handle with care and gentleness and never allow children to “play” with your pup – remember they are only babies .

Get your pup used to travelling by car as soon as you can, this will help them with any travel sickness issues.

Ensure that everything your pup needs, such as beds and feeding bowls are in low traffic or quieter areas of the home so that they are not disturbed by lots of noise or people coming in and out.


Does your pup cry, whine or bark excessively when you leave the room or the house for any length of time, or destroy and chew things up when you are not there?

This could well be separation anxiety.  

Before your pup came to you it lived with its mum and siblings and there was always someone to go to for comfort, food or whatever.

Now this beautiful pup has left its family behind and lives with you and your family, your pup doesn’t understand everything in this strange new environment.

You can’t be with your pup all of the time, you have to go out for whatever reason and the pup can’t always go with you. Now for some pups this is no issue as they will use this time to catch up on much needed sleep. However, for others this will become a time of distress and worry that, if not addressed, can escalate to the point where the young dog damages its home or itself.

Separation anxiety is a complex situation that can require the advice and help of a suitably qualified person and in extreme situations may never be fully resolved.  Unfortunately, many dogs who suffer from this often find themselves put up for adoption or simply abandoned. 

The treatment of separation anxiety requires a consistent approach and can initially feel distressing. 

You may need to start with placing distance between you and the pup or young dog in order to reduce its dependancy upon you.  

By simply ignoring your pup just prior to departure and again on return some cases can correct themselves without further intervention.   

However, some cases are more difficult to deal with because the pup is very needy and its relationship with you creates real distress when you are not there and the pup is left alone. 

In such cases you may need to lessen the bond with the pup by cooling the overall relationship, stroking less or getting someone else to feed  or take on things like walking and visits to the vet so that the pup gets used to other people in its life. 

Crating the pup may help to a certain extent but this should always be a short term solution. 

Providing sufficient exercise throughout the day coupled with obedience training and mock departures to help desensitise or diffuse the situation may also help to calm the pup. 

Providing an alternative stimulus such as leaving the television on or providing an acceptable object to chew can also help the pup to remain calm when you are  out, if all else fails the dog may require medical intervention, but that should always be a last resort.

Doggie day care in an environment with a limited amount of other dogs is another way of dealing with long term issues as the pup or young dog gets one to one attention but also has the opportunity to enjoy the company and comfort of others – always ensure all the dogs get on with each other before making this a permanent thing.  

Large dog day care facilities should be avoided until the pup is old enough to cope with it otherwise you could be swapping one type of anxiety for another.


The answer to most things is time, love and patience by the bucket load so enjoy every minute of your adventure with your pup.


Scamps and Champs Cardiff provide a whole range of individually tailored pet care services.  

We can step in when you need to step out – providing support, company, feeding and cleaning, dog walking, puppy visits or visits to the vet and groomers – in fact anything your pup needs .

We can also provide day care for your pup or young dog in carefully selected environments where they can continue both their training and daily  routine.

Here in Cardiff we are open seven days a week and cover bank holidays so why not give us a call?

Ring : 0333 200 5827

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