Getting a puppy is such an exciting opportunity, and it’s one that will certainly be life-changing. Puppies are like babies, and they need your constant attention. They rely on you for food, for taking out for walks, and relieving themselves outside. When getting a puppy, you want to ensure that this is the best decision for your situation now and that you’ve made the right choice in buying or adopting a puppy. They will certainly be a challenge, but one that will forever be rewarding. Dogs love you unconditionally, so you need to be prepared to offer that same love back. Here are seven tips when getting a puppy.
Know What The Breed Is Like
Firstly, you want to figure out what breed it is you want in a dog. There are lots of different breeds out there, and there’s also crossbreeds to consider too. It’s good to do your research and find a breed that is going to match what you want in a dog, from their behavior to the size of the dog itself. Some may prefer to have a small dog, whereas others may want to have a bigger dog. We all have different preferences and so it’s important to spend a lot of time thinking about what type of dog you want. It’s also worth considering the age of the dog too, whether you’re choosing to adopt one or buy one from a breeder.
There’s a vast amount of information out there that is dedicated to every individual breed, and there’s also official societies and clubs that are dedicated to certain breeds as well. With that being said, it’s good to get yourself well informed with the breeds that you’re looking at and only to start looking for a puppy when you’re absolutely certain about the breed you want ot get.
Puppy-Proof The Home
Puppy-proofing your home is the same as baby-proofing it or protecting your home from a roaming toddler who has recently found their ability to crawl or walk. With a puppy, it’s going to be interested in anything and everything around the home and so it’s important to introduce your puppy to sections of the home at a time. Give them free roam of the house from the beginning, and it might be a little overwhelming for them. Instead, try to focus on one specific area, to begin with.
However, you should spend the time to go around the entirety of your home and puppy-proof it. Take anything that’s lying around on the floor, and that could be a chew toy or easily swallowable and find a space for it elsewhere. You may want to put down some puppy pads around carpeted areas in order to stop the puppy from pooing and peeing on your carpets. They’ll slowly get used to peeing on the puppy pads, rather than your floors.
With puppy-proofing, the more you can do, the better. Hide any cables, and any exposed cabling needs to be blocked off where possible. This is not only important for your electrics but also for the safety of your puppy.
Prepare For Some Sleepless Nights
Having a puppy is a lot like having a baby in that you’re likely to have some sleepless nights when it comes to the first few weeks or months. As your puppy grows and adjusts to its surroundings, it might find it hard at times to fall asleep, and it might be needing something that perhaps they can’t fall asleep without having first. This might be some more water or possibly needing to pee or poo.
If you’re struggling to get them off to sleep, make sure you’re putting their cage in a place that’s comfortable and quiet. You want to put them in a dark place where there’s very little light in order for them to sleep throughout the night. Over the first few days, try and get them into a routine otherwise it’s going to cause a few more sleepless nights if there sleeping pattern is all over the place.
It’s also not going to be helpful to you when you’re also trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Give Them Plenty Of Attention & Love
Plenty of love and attention is needed when it comes to a puppy. Why? Well your puppy is reliant on a lot of what you give them and if you simply lock them away in a crate or ignore them, then they’re going to feel distressed. They may also start taking out their anxious feelings out on your furniture. It’s important that you’re offering them up plenty of love and support during their puppy period where they’re growing and learning quickly.
Try to organize your time so that you’re spending time with the puppy as and when you can. This might be difficult when you have to go to work, and either way, it’s a good opportunity to work on their separation anxiety. However, the more you can structure the time you have with them, the better it will be. It means you’ll get enough time with them, without them feeling too lonely.
Start Training From The Beginning
Training is important to start from the very beginning. You may feel like they’re too young to start training, but much like children, their brains are like sponges. They’re going to absorb all the information that you give them, and therefore, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to get all those basics when it comes to tricks and commands. By starting from the beginning, you’re going to benefit from a well-behaved, trained dog. There are plenty of puppy training opportunities, including www.puppytrainedright.com to consider.
Keep Commands Basic & Lessons Brief
Talking of commands, it’s important to keep the commands basic. You don’t want to use too many words when commanding your dog to sit or give a paw. You want to keep it to one word commands and that way, they’ll likely pick it up a lot quicker as a result.
When it comes to the lessons, keep them brief. As a puppy, they won’t have much of an attention span, and so it’s important to make sure you take advantage of them when they are looking at your for attention. That way, you’re going to get the best out of them, and it’s not going to feel like a wasted time.
If you feel like their attention is wavering, then cut the lesson off at that point instead of dragging it out any further.
Take It A Day At A Time
And finally, make sure you’re taking the puppy time a day at a time. There are going to be plenty of times where you feel a little overwhelmed and perhaps you have the odd bad day or two. That’s expected and it’s not that you’re doing anything wrong. Puppies can be great one day and they lessons they’ve learnt go out of the window, the next. It’s part of their puppy brain, and so it’s important to take the days as they come, rather than expecting too much, too soon.
You may feel at times that you’re going backwards, but it’s all a learning curve that you’ll get the hang of as you go. As a new owner of a dog, it’s always going to be a challenge for the first time!
When getting a puppy, make sure you’re following the tips that are above, as well as doing your own research. The more prepared and clued up you are, the better it will be.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.