First-time pet owners often fall in love with the idea of getting their first pooch so much that they neglect to do their homework on to what to expect in the months and years to come. As wonderful and rewarding this bond is, it’s also a commitment that requires lots of patience, and it comes with a never-ending learning curve that reminds us how unique each of our four-legged pals can be.
Before you go pick your furry family member, let’s talk essentials of puppy care and the most frequent struggles of new pup-parents. This little guide is meant to help ease you into your new role and make the transition as smooth as possible both for you and your little pooch!
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A top concern among future pet parents who plan to share their home with their pet is teaching them the acceptable pee and poo spots inside. All dogs come with a natural instinct not to do their business where they sleep, but since your home is a new and unfamiliar territory for them, it will take a while before this instinct kicks in. This is especially relevant for boy doggos, since they will also need to fight their need to mark their new territory, particularly when you bring over other four-legged creatures.
Patience and consistency are the two pillars of successful potty training. First of all, you’ll need to spend lots of time to learn their body language, as certain tail positions and sniffing patterns will be the telltale signs that they’re getting ready to go. Then you can take them to the right spot, encourage them, and when they succeed, reward them. Remember – every puppy needs a schedule, and they often need to go potty every hour or so in the early months of their growth.
Further, we encourage pet owners that don’t have much time to keep the house clean while their puppy is in the potty training phase, you can hire a home cleaning service. It will make it a lot easier for you and disinfect the house thoroughly at least once a month.
Socialization and playtime
When they are young, puppies need lots of stimulation to keep them occupied during their awake time, which means you’ll have your hands full to animate them with toys and teach them tricks. When they don’t get enough attention, exercise, and stimulation, they often get destructive – which translates into the downfall of your favorite sofa.
As soon as your little pooch has been fully vaccinated and is parasite-free, you can start introducing play pals into their daily life. Regular walks to the park and playing with their peers will help them grow up into stable, socially-adapted dogs who know how to behave around their fellow canines.
Most of us spend our days working in an office, and not all of us are blessed with a pet-friendly office that will make your pooch a happy little pupper. However, if they spend all day alone and in your home, with no physical or mental stimulation, they will most likely develop separation anxiety, which is already quite common among puppies that have been separated from their moms very early.
The best thing you could do for your little pup is to ensure puppy day care, so that you can have a peace of mind knowing that they are taken care of while you are at work. There are people who are happy to come to your home and spend that time with your dog, or you can take them to a specialized center with trained folks who’ll supervise and care for your pupper at all times.
Before you settle for a perfect pet for your family, you should consider the needed budget for their regular vet visits, vaccinations, food, supplements such as calcium, toys, grooming, and other essentials. You’ll also need puppy training pads at first, a crate to teach them where their spot is, and a few wearables for those rainy and snowy days.
Do your homework to find a vet that will take excellent care of your new family member, and who will guide you through the process of feeding, training, and caring for your pet. Some of them are on-call 24/7, which makes for a handy option in case of an emergency, although you’ll hopefully never have to pick up the phone in the middle of the night.
Getting through the teething period
Puppies are prone to destructive behaviors especially in the first four to five months of their puppyhood, as this is when their teeth are starting to change, which can cause discomfort. Add to that the lack of play and stimulation, and these little rascals can munch on all of your possessions for hours on end, be it your pricey couch, a random slipper, or a computer cable sitting idly in the corner of your room – they will find and chew them all!
In order to help your dog go through teething, you’ll need to spend lots of structured playtime with them, provide them with various toys of different textures, sizes, and noises, because puppers get bored too easily. Teach them which items they are allowed to munch on, and which are off-limits, but rest assured they will test your boundaries until all of their permanent teeth set in.
Finally, although there are many breeds out there make perfect companions, consider adopting a pooch, no matter if it’s a pure-bred or a mixed-breed, as they make for equally cuddly, lovable, and loyal family members. Do your best to make them happy and healthy, and they will fill your life with pure bliss!