If you’re either about to get a puppy or have recently added one of these four-legged creatures to your family, you know that pet ownership is about more than just going for walks and playing in the backyard. Indeed, there is a dizzying array of things that new puppy owners should consider.
While puppies are cute and cuddly, they require a lot of care, so it makes sense for you to know what it entails. What follows is a look at everything you need to know as a new puppy owner.
Make Your Home Pet-Friendly: It’s critical that you ensure that your home is safe for your new puppy. You can begin by getting rid of or relocating any plants or flowers that, if eaten, might prove harmful to your puppy. You should also obtain electrical cord protectors and remove things that a puppy might turn into a chew toy. As well, be sure to buy your puppy toys so that it uses those toys as opposed to your slippers or shoes.
Visit the Vet: After your puppy settles in, you need to set up a veterinarian appointment. Your puppy’s vet will conduct tests and find out if there are any potential or existing problems that need to be monitored or acted upon. Vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and heart worm prevention efforts are just a few of the things you need to discuss with your puppy’s vet. Taking these proactive measures can pave the way towards a long, healthy life for your dog..
Socialise: The earlier you begin socialising your puppy, the better. Ideally, you should begin this process as early as the three-week to the 12-week mark. If you do this, you’ll find that your puppy will grow to interact properly with people and animals alike. Taking your puppy to the pet store will provide a good socialisation opportunity since such places typically allow people to bring their pets.
Exercise: Don’t forget that your new puppy needs exercise. Sure, it won’t require as much as an adult dog, but it will still benefit from daily walks and playtime. The length of time will depend on the size of your dog and its breed, so it’s best to research various types of dogs so that you can get a ballpark figure for the appropriate amount of daily exercise they may require.
Housebreak: Housebreaking your puppy won’t be a simple process. You’ll reduce the odds of your puppy having an accident in the home, however, by taking it outside every couple of hours for as much as half a
dozen times daily. And be sure that some of those bathroom breaks take place shortly after mealtime. If you’re observant, you’ll not only notice when your dog wants to go out, but also figure out the times of day that it is likely to want to do so. In the event that you
have to be out for work or errands, you need to crate train your pet or restrict it in a specific location.
Train: It’s very important to train your dog. It should learn its name and some commands, for instance, and you should reward your puppy with a treat when it responds appropriately to instructions. The key is to be consistent and patient so that your puppy comes to know what is expected of it. Remember not to encourage the sort of behaviour as a puppy — like enthusiastically greeting people by jumping on them — that you won’t appreciate when it is older and, presumably, heavier.
Food: Your puppy’s dietary needs will be different than if it were a grown dog. During your vet visit, be sure to ask about how often and how much you should feed your new pet. This will ensure that your four-legged family member gets the nutrients it needs to grow up healthy.
Yes, getting a new puppy is an enormous undertaking, and there are a lot of things to mull over. If you take the recommendations above to heart, however, you’ll be well on your way to successfully introducing a new puppy into your home. Good luck!
Written by Amber Kingsley
Travel junkie, Amber Kingsley, is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA. Her art history background helps her hone in on topics that are of interest to readers. She is a dog enthusiast and loves spending time with her pomeranian, Agatha.