A new addition to the family often means sleepless nights, frequent feedings, lots of snuggles and potty training. No, we are not talking about when you have a new baby at home; we are actually talking about when you have a new puppy at home! While it is thrilling to add a new little bundle of joy to your home, it does not mean it is without work. There are certain things you should do to prepare before your puppy arrives and there are basics of puppy care that every new pet owner should know to make the transition easier.
Puppy Care – Before Your Puppy Arrives
- Purchase a dog bed and/or crate for your new puppy
- Purchase water and food bowls
- Plan ahead for potty training – do you want to install a dog door?
- Remove or secure anything that could potentially be poisonous for your new puppy.
- Find a local veterinarian
Puppy Care 101 – What To Do Once Your Puppy is Home
- Get your puppy acquainted with their new vet. This will include a checkup and standard vaccinations to ensure your puppy remains healthy.
- Invest in quality puppy food. Many inexpensive dog foods do not contain the nutritional variety or healthy components on which a dog can thrive. Do your research to determine what type of food is best for your new dog.
- Don’t baby your puppy, though they are young it is important that you do not set the wrong precedents at the beginning. Teach them your expectations right off the bat and be consistent. The more consistent you are the far more successful and quick you will be with training your puppy.
- Give your puppy quality time. Just like a baby wants your attention and cries to get it, your puppy may act out in an attempt to get your attention. They need more attention when they are young to bond and get the love that they need so be sure to set aside time at various points in the day to give them some undivided attention.
- Potty train your puppy as soon as possible. How you potty train will depend heavily on your living situation. Do you live in a house with a yard? Do you live in an apartment in the city? Do you have a dog door? Are you home frequently during the day or gone for extended periods of time? Whatever potty training method you choose, be consistent and your dog will pick up on expectations quickly.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. Just like an energetic toddler loves to run around with seemingly boundless energy, your puppy has a lot of energy they need to get out of their systems. Be certain to take them on walks, play fetch, take the for a run, give them some time to explore your yard or play with a toy or anything else that you can think of that will allow them to stretch their legs and exert some energy.