How to raise a puppy?
So you have decided to get a puppy. That is great news! You are getting a new family member that is going to love and adore you until the end of their lives. If you have decided what kind of a puppy you will get that is great. It means you have thought about your free time, lifestyle, how much time you can spend with your puppy every day and many more things.
One of the first things you have to decide is: Will I get a purebred puppy or should I get a puppy from a dog shelter.
There are pros and cons to both decisions. When getting a purebred dog you basically know what the size of that puppy will be and what kind of character will the puppy have when they grow up. There are many more things you should know and do before getting a dog.
If you decide to adopt a dog there might be some surprises when the puppy grows up but nevertheless you probably saved that puppy’s life and are giving them a new chance at life.
No matter what your decision is there are some things you should keep in mind when raising puppies.
Make your home puppy-proof
Having a small puppy at home is not very different from having a toddler. They are very energetic and very curious about their new environment. Puppies explore their environment by smelling, licking, chewing and biting so it is very important to make all the hazardous products or plants out of reach. Your new puppy might get interested and try to chew or swallow something that can harm them.
They are also teething fairly quickly. Before you teach them proper behavior, you might lose a pair of shoes, a rug or some parts of your sofa.
It is also important to make all the plugs, outlets, vents and doggie doors puppy-proof. Your new puppy might go exploring and accidentally get themselves lost or stuck. It will also ease your mind if you have to leave your new puppy at home by themselves for a short time.
The good news is that your puppy will nearly be full-grown by the time they are 1 year old and will mostly know what they can or cannot do.
Your new puppy has arrived and it is a very exciting time for both your puppy and you and your family. The puppy will probably need some time to adjust to their new surroundings and new people in their life.
It is important to make your puppy feel welcome, loved and above all safe. They might keep you up at night for the first couple of days since they will not be happy that they are left alone during the night, but that will go on for a short time and soon they will sleep through the night.
In these first few days, your puppy is already learning the appropriate behavior so whether you know it or not, the training already started. That brings us to our next tip.
Early puppy training and socialization
Your new puppy is also going through a big change in life and they don’t fully understand what is going on yet. They are not sure what kind of behavior is allowed and they will test your limits just as toddlers would.
It is extremely important that you assume the “leader of the pack” role and that your puppy knows from the start that you are in charge. If your dog grows up and thinks he is in charge and that he has the alpha position, you might have a lot of dog behavior problems later.
If you manage to put yourself in the leader position, that will let your puppy know that you are the one that decides what kind of behavior is OK and what is not OK. Your puppy will have the urge to get your approval and will want to make you happy, but also keep in mind that the puppy needs your guidance as well.
Dogs in general love routines. They love having a schedule and living an organized and predictable life so having a schedule for walks and training is a must. The sooner your puppy training starts the more it is likely that the puppy will grow up in a balanced and well-behaved dog.
Pups and dogs, in general, are social animals. They love the company and feel like a part of the pack. As soon as your puppy receives all the necessary shots you can take them to your nearest dog park. Expose your puppy to all sorts of sights, sounds, and situations as well as dogs and people. That way they will develop a natural sense of hierarchy and will get used to different situations. Make sure your puppy is well socialized so you end up with a well-balanced and great dog.
Picking a Vet
Choosing a Vet is one of the most important things to do if you are a new dog owner. A Vet is a person who will be in charge of your puppy's health wellbeing. It is important to pick a Vet that has a good reputation and knows their way around a puppy. They have to be familiar with specific health conditions of the breed you decided to get. Some dog breeds have specific health conditions and it is important that your Vet can spot those conditions as soon as possible and that they have a proper answer and treatment.
Having a great relationship with your Vet is also one of the things you should keep in mind. They are a great team member and can give you great information when you need it.
Try to pick a Vet that has an emergency number that you can call at any time of day because you never know when you might need it. Read all the other things you should do before getting a puppy.
Your new puppy has a lot of things that they might need. From a place to sleep to food, leashes, and toys. Here is a helpful list of things you might want to keep in your household if you are a new dog owner:
- Food and water bowls
- High-quality puppy food
- Healthy dog treats
- A collar with ID
- A spear leash and possibly a dog harness for walks
- A crate or a dog carrier
- A dog bed (if you do not want your dog sleeping on the couch or bed)
- A dog brush
- Dog shampoo
- Nail trimmers
- Dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste
- Puppy-safe toys
- Poop bags (or recycle grocery bags)
- Travel bag when you travel
- Pet-safe home cleaner
If you decided to get a puppy, make sure you find a reputable and responsible breeder. Take your time and search through breeders to find the best one. If you don’t want that your puppy develops some health problems later in life never buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder or pet store. Always ask the breeder to show you the health certificates of their breeding dogs. If it’s possible always see the mother of the puppy you are interested in and the conditions she lives in. Talk to the breeder and ask them all the questions you are interested in. Because they spent most of the time with their puppies they can recommend what puppy is the right for you and your lifestyle. Also, make sure to read all the things you should know before searching for puppies.
World Dog Finder team