Preparing For Your New Puppy

Feeding your new puppy

Discuss with your breeder what kind of food the puppy is being raised on. Good quality foods such as Eukanuba, Iams, Precise, Techni-cal, Eagle, Royal Canin and Nutram (among others) get your puppy off to a good start in life. Generic supermarket brands are not a good choice. Your veterinarian is another good one to ask about quality pet foods. If you decided to switch from the brand of food your breeder was feeding to something recommended by your vet, do it gradually. Mix a little bit of the new food into your puppy’s old food and, over a couple of weeks, gradually increase the amount of the new food while decreasing the amount of the old food. This way your puppy’s digestive system won't be subjected to a sudden shock by switching brands—something that may provoke a bout of diarrhoea.


Crates come in a wide variety of styles and materials.  Crates come in various styles, sizes and materials. Buy one that is large enough for the adult dog, make sure it is sturdy and that the door is metal, not plastic. Crates are not just for puppies. They are perfect for taking your Silky in the car (consider it his seatbelt: he's a lot safer in a crate than loose in the car if you have an accident. It could save his life.) The crate is an expense but the cheapest house insurance you can buy. When you are unable to be at home with your puppy, he can be securely in his crate, not chewing on electrical cords or furniture. A crate pad of some sort of comfortable, washable material that is hard to shred is a necessity (would you want to lie on a hard plastic surface?). Be aware that it should be checked often and due to chewing may need replacing during the first year.

Exercise Pen

This is not a required item, but it sure can come in handy. Show people  have used them for decades.  An exercise pen (also referred to as an X-pen) consists of fold-up panels of wire that can fit into a flat, narrow space for storage, but when opened up it gives you a 4 foot square area to safely leave your puppy in when you don't want it to have the freedom of the full house. As an added plus, they are great to throw in your trunk and take on holidays with you: at campgrounds or while visiting family and friends, you'll have a nice way to allow your puppy to be out with everyone else.

Collar and Lead

Collars and leads are the fun stuff. They come in a rainbow of colors, a huge selection of materials and you can get most in matching sets. Relatively inexpensive, light and colourful nylon will serve you as well as a leather set will. A flexi-lead is also an option. This is a retractable lead that comes in several lengths and allows the dog up to 26 feet of freedom when walking in parks, etc.  

Food and Water Dishes

These are important purchases, so choose carefully. Plastic dishes can be chewed and thrown, which is annoying but they also can cause health problems. The plastic used in animal dishes, in most areas, does not need to be made of the same food-grade plastics as human food dishes do. Even the dye used to color them isn't required to be stable. Ceramic dishes are nice and heavy, hard to throw around but do break if you drop them or drop something on them. They should be checked to be sure they are glazed with a lead-free finish the way human food dishes need to be. Steel dishes are easy to throw around and noisy when thrown but they not only don't break, they are easy to disinfect, dishwasher safe, and are not likely to leach anything into your dog’s water or carefully chosen food.

Chew Toys

If you have a baby Silky, you need chew toys. The more the better. Soft plastic toys don’t last long and need to be supervised. Toys that can be thrown in the air safely are a big plus with the

pups. Go for stuffed toys (make sure there are no plastic eyes/nose that the puppy could pull off and choke on) and balls that are too large for the puppy to swallow. Never let your puppy have those rawhide 'sticks' that are on the market. Consider them the equivalent of scissors to a small child. A puppy running with one in his mouth could easily run into something while playing and the stick could be rammed through the back of his throat.