How to prepare for a Boston Terrier puppy

31 May 2024 - 4 min read
Boston terrier

Bringing home a Boston Terrier puppy is an exciting time! They are typically bundles of charm, with playful personalities and a trademark tuxedo coat. These energetic little dynamos thrive in active families who can keep up with their zest for life and shower them with love.

But before your new puppy arrives, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. This article will guide you through everything you need to get ready for your new Boston Terrier companion.

We've also consulted Jacqueline Byrne, RVN, a trusted veterinary nurse here at ManyPets, to get her expert advice and help you get ahead.

Research the Boston Terrier breed

Boston Terrier

This sounds a little obvious, but it’s important enough to state here: you need to understand the breed's temperament and needs. This research will make sure you and your pup have a smooth transition in those first crucial months. 

Knowing what to expect means you can prepare your home environment, training plan, and lifestyle to best suit your furry friend. Ultimately? That’s less stressful for you in the long term, so do yourself the favour of doing a little homework ahead of time.

As our vet nurse, Jacqueline, points out: “Boston Terriers are a small brachycephalic breed, meaning they have shortened snouts. This can make them more prone to certain health concerns, including skin problems, dental problems, and eye problems.” 

“I always recommend researching what this means for you as an owner ahead of bringing a Boston Terrier into your home.”

Boston Terrier characteristics

Boston Terriers are a breed known for their well-rounded personalities. Let's explore what makes them such fantastic companions:

  • Friendly and affectionate: Boston Terriers are known for their loving nature and devotion to their owners.

  • Intelligent: These quick learners excel in obedience training with positive reinforcement.

  • Playful: Boston Terriers enjoy playtime and walks but have moderate exercise needs compared to other breeds.

  • Adaptable: They can thrive in apartments or houses as long as they receive enough attention and playtime.

Jacqueline also had this to say:

"Boston Terriers are lively and intelligent dogs, which makes them a joy to train. However, their intelligence can sometimes come with a side of stubbornness. They can be strong-willed and determined, so be prepared for some patience and positive reinforcement techniques during training."

Essential supplies

Before your adorable Boston Terrier puppy arrives, it’s wise to have everything they need to feel comfortable, safe and well looked after.

Here's a list of essential supplies:

Food and water bowls

Since Boston Terriers are a small breed, select shallow, small-sized bowls to prevent neck strain while eating and drinking. 

Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are easy to clean and dishwasher-safe, so they are always a smart choice.

High-quality puppy food

Boston Terrier puppies have specific dietary needs. Choose a puppy food for small breeds that's rich in protein and healthy fats for proper growth and development. 

If you’re stuck, it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian for recommendations on specific brands. Our article on pet nutrition can help too.

Jacqueline emphasises the importance of proper puppy nutrition: "Boston Terrier puppies grow rapidly and require a specialised puppy diet for at least the first six months of life.” 

“If you plan to neuter your puppy during this growth period, remember to transition them to a neutered-appropriate diet afterwards to avoid weight gain. Overall, managing their weight is important for this breed's health."

Comfortable bedding

Pick a soft, comfy bed sized for your puppy. Boston Terriers love to snuggle, so consider a crate pad or a plush bed with a thick bottom that provides warmth and security. 

“This breed is also prone to overheating in the summer, so a good quality cooling mat is another essential purchase,” says Jacqueline.

Another general tip - we recommend opting for a machine-washable bed for easy cleaning in case of accidents.

Leash and harness

A properly fitted harness is crucial for brachycephalic breeds like Boston Terriers. 

It distributes pressure evenly across their chest and neck, preventing breathing difficulties during walks. Choose a comfortable, adjustable harness and a leash appropriate for a small dog's size and strength.

Identification tags

Attach a well-fitting collar with an ID tag engraved with your contact information to your puppy's harness. This ensures they can be easily identified and returned to you if they get lost.

Boston Terrier grooming tools

Boston Terrier

“Boston Terriers have a short, smooth coat that's relatively low-maintenance,” says our vet nurse Jacqueline. “We usually recommend regular grooming - every week. It keeps them looking their dapper best and promotes healthy skin!” 

In terms of the grooming tools you may need, here's what we suggest:

  • Soft-bristled brush: These gently remove loose hair and dirt without irritating your Boston's skin, which is known to be particularly sensitive. It’s a great option for a quick daily brush to capture shedding fur.

  • Gentle puppy shampoo and conditioner (optional): Bathing your Boston Terrier shouldn't be frequent (every four to six weeks is sufficient). When you bathe them, opt for a tearless, hypoallergenic puppy shampoo and conditioner formulated for short coats.

  • Nail clippers: Regular nail trims are important to prevent your Boston Terrier's nails from growing too long and becoming uncomfortable or even causing injury. Opt for clippers designed for small dogs and ask your vet or groomer to demonstrate proper clipping technique if you're unsure. 

  • Ear cleaning solution and cotton balls: Boston Terriers' large, floppy ears can trap moisture and debris, leading to infection. Clean their ears frequently with a gentle ear-cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian. Use cotton balls to gently wipe out any dirt or wax buildup, taking care not to insert anything deep into the ear canal.

Boston Terrier toys and enrichment

Boston Terriers are clever and lively pups who thrive on mental stimulation. To keep boredom at bay and their minds sharp, here are some enrichment options specifically suited to their playful nature:

  • Interactive toys: Puzzle feeders, treat dispensing toys, and snuffle mats are excellent choices. These engage their natural problem-solving skills and reward them for their efforts with tasty treats.

  • Chew toys: Provide a variety of chew toys made from durable, safe materials like rubber or nylon. This helps satisfy their natural chewing instinct and keeps them occupied. Opt for smaller chew toys appropriate for their jaw size to avoid choking hazards.

  • Comfort toys: A soft, cuddly plush toy provides security and comfort, especially for young puppies adjusting to a new environment. Also? They look damn cute when snuggled up with one. Just make sure to keep an eye on them and that they aren’t tearing them up (and creating an unexpected choking hazard).

Jacqueline also reminds us of the importance of exercise for Boston Terriers: "Plan on daily walks for your new puppy - around an hour each day should do the trick!” 

“They're energetic little dogs, but this breed can be prone to breathing difficulties due to their short snouts. Be mindful of the weather and avoid overexertion, especially on hot days. If you're not a regular walker, consider incorporating walks into your daily routine before your puppy arrives. This will ensure you're both prepared for those fun adventures together."

Boston Terrier safety and travel accessories

Image of a black-and-white Boston Terrier on the sofa

Hitting the road with your adventurous Boston Terrier requires some specific gear to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for both of you.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Crate or carrier: Choose a crate or carrier sized appropriately for your pup. It should allow them to stand up comfortably and turn around - this provides a safe and secure den during car rides and at rest stops.

  • Harness: Standard collars can slip off during travel, so invest in a well-fitting, escape-proof harness specifically designed for brachycephalic breeds. This distributes pressure evenly across their chest and neck, preventing breathing difficulties, and keeps them securely buckled in with a seat belt tether.

  • Cooling travel mat: As mentioned previously, Boston Terriers are prone to overheating. Consider a cooling travel mat for your pup to lie on during those warmer car journeys.

  • Portable water bowl and travel food container: Stay hydrated and avoid spills with a collapsible water bowl and a travel food container specifically designed for dog food. 

  • Pet first-aid kit: Be prepared for minor emergencies with a vet-approved first-aid kit containing essential items like gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, and eyewash.

Boston Terrier training aids

Boston Terrier lying outside on the grass

Positive reinforcement training helps build a strong bond with your super-smart Boston Terrier. Here are a few things you might want to consider having around to aid those all-important training efforts in the first few months.

  • Treats: Boston Terriers can be food-motivated, so stock up on small, healthy treats they love.

  • Clicker (optional): A clicker can be a helpful tool for training. Our article on basic training explains more.

  • Training pads: While not a long-term solution, puppy training pads can be helpful during the initial housebreaking stages. 

  • Puppy gates: Gates confine your energetic Boston Terrier to safe areas and prevent them from getting into trouble.

  • Training resources: Utilise training books, online courses, or professional trainers for guidance. Read our dog lifestyle and training guides for some tips.

Prepare for the future with Boston Terrier insurance

Puppy insurance is another thing to consider. It helps protect your Boston Terrier from young until old.

Discover what our Boston Terrier insurance covers, how it helps owners like you and why it keeps owners well-prepared.

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Get £15,000 lifetime vet fee cover with our Complete policy.

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Lewis Martins
Communities marketer

Lewis has worked in pet health since 2017. Before joining ManyPets in 2021, he led content production at VetForum and PetsApp. Lewis has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest vet groups and suppliers to write educational articles for vets and pet parents. His Instagram feed is 60% dogs, 40% cats.