What's the perfect age to re-home your puppy?
September 20, 2023

When can I bring my puppy home?

We know all about the excitement of a new puppy coming to live with you in their forever home, but this transition needs to happen at a point in their development where the puppy will be able to adjust properly.

Socialising young puppies before they move on to their permanent homes is at the heart of what Paws in Work are about - our events help workplace colleagues unwind with a litter of adorable pups, but doing so is extremely valuable to the puppies’ development. We know that socialising has to be taken seriously if your puppy is to grow up to be a happy, well-adjusted dog.

What's the perfect age to re-home your puppy?

How old should your puppy be?

Puppies can legally go to their new homes from the age of 8 weeks. However holding on a little longer and letting them go around 12 weeks can be really beneficial, as their development and socialising will be a lot more established by that point. Those few extra weeks can make a big difference. As we have seen with Paws in Work events, puppies can learn so much by playing and exploring on their own terms so by the time they go to their forever homes, they’re much more prepared for their new start.

How do I prepare for a puppy?

Before your puppy gets to the right age to come and live with you as your new best friend, it’s important to be prepared.

Some of the things you will need:

  • Dog bed
  • Safe dog toys
  • Food bowl
  • Water bowl
  • A collar and lead specially for puppies
  • Puppy shampoo
  • Puppy toothbrush and dog toothpaste

Do not use products like toothpaste or shampoos that are intended for humans - they’re not right for dogs at all. Purina Puppy Guide states that human toothpaste could lead to uncomfortable foaming and stomach upsets for your pup, and you really don’t want that for them.

What happens when I bring my puppy home?

As soon as you bring your new pup home for the first time, let them explore their new home while you observe. This allows them to find their way around the place and also helps you see all the places that you forgot to puppy-proof! Don’t worry - it’s easy to overlook a few places until you see puppy being curious around them. With the socialising they have had at our events, you can be sure they will be confident to explore!

How do I puppy-proof my home?

To help make your place puppy-proof, you can put up baby gates or screen doors if you want to keep certain areas off-limits. Keep any cleaning products or medication well out of reach of a curious little nose, and also make sure you don’t have any plants in the house that could be poisonous to your pup. Hide any stray electrical wires away. And as tempting as it may be, never give your puppy chocolate, as it’s toxic to dogs. You can get chocolate-safe for your puppy from your local pet shop.

So, how old should your puppy be when it comes home?

First things first, the legal age of a puppy in the UK to leave to go to their forever home is 8 weeks old. If you are offered to bring your puppy home before this age, walk away! This is a huge red flag and a sign of unethical breeding.

Though you can bring your puppy home from 8 weeks old, many breeders will actually encourage you to pick them up at about 10 weeks old or older. This will give them extra time with their Mum whilst they are still developing and help them overcome their first fear period in a place that is known to them; making it more comfortable and less when go to their new home. It will allow them to mature more, recover from their first vaccinations, gain confidence and overall be more prepared for the transition.


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Are you a breeder looking to socialise your puppies? Get in touch with the Paws in Work puppy welfare team today for more information.

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