Welcoming a new puppy to the family is so exciting — for you and for the puppy! We have put together a list of 6 things all new puppy parents need to know. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will get you started down the path of happy, healthy puppy parents!
When you read this post we imagine you have already done your homework and are welcoming home the “best” puppy for your family. The “best” puppy means many things including:
- If you’re a couch potato, don’t welcome home a high energy, I-need-to-walk-miles and miles a day breed!
- If you’re a runner or hiker or love the great outdoors, don’t welcome home a breed who simply can’t keep up. For example, some breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs, won’t be able to keep up in those activities the way a Lab or Poodle would.
- If you live in a small house, you may want a dog who will comfortably fit into your living space once he is full grown. A tiny studio apartment may not be a great fit for a Newf, for example.
- If you don’t have time or the additional cash for grooming appointments, you probably won’t want a breed that requires grooming and hair cutting visits.
- Don’t want a dog who sheds a lot? Look for a breed who is considered “non-shedding.”
Know yourself and your lifestyle before you adopt an adorable puppy!
6 Things Puppy Parents Need To Know
Grab your puppy and get ready to learn something new — or maybe just get a refresher!
- Puppies require a lot of veterinarian appointments at the beginning of their lives. They will need wellness check-ups, vaccinations and eventually neuter or spay. Make sure you budget for the costs of new puppy ownership so you can ensure your puppy is as healthy as he can be.
- Puppies mean you probably won’t sleep through the night for many nights! Puppies don’t have the bladder control to “hold it” throughout the night. Generally, a puppy can go for one hour for every month of her life without having to relieve herself. That means a one-month-old puppy can go one hour without a bathroom break. This means you will be waking up several times throughout the night when you bring a puppy home to take her outside. This lack of sleep and going outdoors several times a night will likely last for a few months.
- Puppies require round-the-clock supervision. If you have a puppy and can’t see or hear him… chances are he is chewing your shoes or unrolling and destroying the toilet paper (believe me, with my puppy Archie, that is exactly what happens). Your new puppy should be kept by your side (either in a puppy enclosure or on a leash pretty much at all times. When he is with you all the time you will pick up on his “I have to go potty” signs and will be easier to housetrain. Also, a puppy who isn’t supervised will damage your property (shoes, books, etc.) and could also get injured. You need to commit to the supervision until he is old enough to understand when you say, “no chewing” or whatever phrase you use to positively train him.
- Puppies require socialization. Socializing your puppy and taking her to a puppy class is more difficult with the coronavirus pandemic, but it is important that your puppy meet new humans and other pets. A puppy who is isolated at home with her humans will likely be fearful when meeting other humans and canines on a walk or at a social gathering. Puppies need to run and romp and play with other dogs. They also need to meet other humans — adults and children — to introduce them to humans outside of their own family.
- Puppies require their own space. Many pet parents believe in crate training and to making the puppy’s crate be his “safe space.” This is an ideal way to ensure your puppy doesn’t view the crate as punishment if you have to leave him home alone. The crate should have your puppy’s bed and a few of his favorite toys. Give him treats in the crate and you may even want to feed him in his crate. Associating the crate with positive events helps your pup make the connection that the crate is where he can go to get away from it all. Crate training is also a way to keep your puppy safe when you leave him home alone. A crate is also a help in potty training your puppy, especially at night so he isn’t roaming the house.
- Puppies require love, attention, positive reinforcement and routine. When you talk with a dog training professional he or she will recommend positive reinforcement training — at its very basic, it is about rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior. For example, if, when you come home your pup jumps all over you and barks up a storm, ignore him until he calms down and sits down (away from the door). Once he calms down and sits down, reward him with praise and a treat. He will soon come to associate the reward with the idea that, “I sat down and got a treat.” Puppies thrive with routines — feed at the same time, walk at the same time, go to bed and get up at the same time. Believe me when I say, your dog will eventually seem to be able to tell the time when he starts nudging you to fill his dinner bowl at the same time every day!
Puppies also benefit from seeing other dogs on DOGTV. Our scientifically-developed programs provide stress relief, lower a puppy’s separation anxiety and also open her up to seeing images of other dogs!
Sign up HERE for a free trial of DOGTV. Remember, your puppy wants to be with her human so set aside time to snuggle with her on the couch and enjoy DOGTV together!