Bringing a new puppy home can be one the great joys of your life, but it also requires you to act more responsibly.
So to help first-timers feel a little less stressful, here are 15 tips that will help you give the care your new best friend deserves.
1. The Basics of House Training
Learn the basics of house training before you bring your new puppy home. Even if the puppy is super friendly, she will need to be trained properly to adjust to life with you in your home. So before you actually bring the puppy from the shelter or breeder read up on how to house train a puppy.
This way, you can get started right away as soon as you bring your puppy home. You will notice that almost all the house training tips and tutorials for puppies recommend getting a crate to make the process super easy.
To get started, here are some articles we highly recommend:
- House Training Your Puppy by WebMD
- How to house train your dog or puppy: The Humane Society of the United States
- 7 Trainer Approved Puppy Housebreaking Tips
- Tips for New Puppy Parents
2. Establish Boundaries
Puppies don’t know that going to the bathroom inside the house is wrong. But they innately want to keep their personal area clean. They will venture away from their own area to use the bathroom. Many owners make the mistake of giving their puppy too much space to roam too fast. In this case, the puppy has little incentive to wait to go outside.
3. Remove Dangerous Objects
Remove all potentially dangerous objects. This is a little like baby-proofing your home! The only difference is that you will be proofing the house for the puppy. Any plants that may be poisonous, appliances with chords that the pup can chew on etc. must be kept out of the way.
The thing to remember is that if you do not want anything that you own to be chewed on by your puppy, just don’t leave it out in the open or on the floor. It’s way too tempting to see it as a chew-toy.
4. Plan a Daily Routine
Establish a daily routine for your puppy which you can follow. They love to have an order in their lives as much as anybody else! Have a set time for feeding them, for taking them out on walks or playing fun games with them.
5. Establish Puppy Rules for the Entire Family
If the kitchen is a no-go zone for the puppy, make sure that the rest of the members of that house also know that. It is very important that whatever restrictions you have, or are thinking of implementing around the house for the puppy, you should let others know it too so they can also follow it.
If you are the only one making sure that the dog gets disciplined, while the rest of the members spoil it, this will foil all your best efforts.
6. The Socializing Needs of the Puppy’s
Your puppy needs to have fun in his life too! It cannot possibly spend all of its waking moments amongst human company. It must spend some time with species its own kind. Take him down to the dog park, but keep an eye out for any bullies! They might scare your puppy.
If there are any friends of yours with puppies, you can arrange to have play dates with them too!
When your puppy has completed his or her puppy shots, usually around 4 months, only then is it safe to bring your new puppy into public areas. It’s also good to keep your puppy with dogs close to your pup’s weight.
7. Reinforce Good Behavior
The thing about puppies is that since they are small, they get away with so many things for the time being which can later become an issue. For example, you do not have a problem with your puppy jumping on the couches yet.
Let it gain some weight and grow in size and then we’ll ask you!
It’s wise to start rewarding the good behavior from the early days.
8. Get Your Puppy Micro-chipped
Every pet owner at some point or the other gets worried about losing their dog. If you can’t bear that thought either, you might want to talk to your vet about having the puppy micro-chipped [avid.com, homeagain.com, petkey.org, petchipregistry-us.info]. This way, if your puppy is lost and found, they can be scanned and the owner’s contact information is readily available.
9. Observe Your Puppy’s Habits
Taking care of your pet is your responsibility.
You need to stay on top of anything that may possibly be wrong with him. If you notice changes in his eating patterns/behavior or even slightly more disgusting observations like noticing a change of color of its poop, it’s time to take it to a vet.
There may something be wrong which may require medical assistance.
10. Stay Away from Ammonia-Based Cleaners
Ammonia-based cleaners smell like pee to dogs which may encourage them to pee themselves!
You don’t want to clean something using a product which stimulates the dog to make more mess!
11. A Healthy Amount of Separation:
We know you love your puppy because what’s not to love about it?
It’s cute, it’s small and you just can’t get enough of his cute antics. However, every now and then do tear yourself apart from the puppy and let him spend some time on his own.
It is not possible for you to always remain close to your dog, so it needs to have a little taste of separation in small doses right from the start. You increase your chances of diminishing separation anxiety in the dog’s behavior later.
12: Prepare the Puppy for the Vet:
Most dogs also do not like visiting the vet, but we know that we cannot go without those visits.
You can use some behavioral psychology here. Every time the puppy visits the vet, give it a treat at the end of the visit. This way it will start to view the vet as a not-so-traumatic-experience.
13. Give Your Puppy Chew Toy Options
How would you feel if you had just one toy to play with, or in this case, chew on?
Chew toys occupy a lot of importance in the puppy’s life. Have at least 5 of them at hand so he does not get bored with them. And you do not have to shell out major bucks on buying them. Did you know that a pack of frozen baby carrots can also substitute as a chew toy?
14. Potty Training Your Pup
You wouldn’t want your puppy to poop and pee everywhere, right?
Then establishing good potty training habits is essential! Have one particular spot just reserved for this purpose. This way whenever you walk towards that place with your puppy, it will know that it’s time to poop.
15. Make Novelty a Part of the Pup’s Life…Gradually
Pups need time to get used to the new and shiny. During their first few weeks with you at your place, have them sleep with you in your room. Gradually, you can place them in a separate place/corner of their own.
From time to time, get your puppy to see new things that are present in its environment (like a pet cat for instance!) This way the puppy won’t be intimidated or scared if it crosses its path suddenly, without warning.
Follow these 15 new puppy tips and see how your puppy adjusts without compromising on its manners!