You have waited for months, maybe even years to bring home your adorable, snuggly new puppy! You go and pick out the perfect one, maybe with the cutest eyes or most playful personality. You bring home a barrage of toys, treats and the fuzziest dog bed you could find.
Parenting a new puppy is no “walk in the park,” but it can be a rewarding experience if you follow these simple tips to bringing home a new puppy.
5 Tips for First Time Puppy Owners
1.) Be prepared and patient
They are excited, nervous and adjusting to a new home. In addition, they are a puppy! Similar to babies, they don’t know what best practices are yet – so they need to be potty trained and taught proper, healthy habits to become your best furry friend! Being patient with a new puppy will help them to feel comfortable and welcome in their new environment.
2.) Find a trusted, caring veterinarian
One of the first places to visit with your new pup is the vet for a checkup. Make sure your puppy has all of their shots and is free of any serious health issues and establish a good relationship with the vet. You can ask friends and family for recommendations, or talk to a local shelter, dog walker or groomer!
3.) Make sure to ask plenty of questions
When you meet with the vet, establish a good repertoire with them! Ask what kinds of food your puppy needs, the size of the breed, the estimate of how big your pup will grow, the portions of food to feed and at what times, proper grooming practices and more. In addition, make sure to set up a vaccination plan, discuss options for controlling issues such as fleas, ticks and parasites, learn about puppy illness and discuss lifestyle choices for your canine companion.
4.) Set a bathroom routine
Puppies are like babies in that they learn to use the bathroom in a certain place instead of being born with that knowledge. Unlike babies, they do not like diapers so you must quickly begin housetraining them! The best tool to train your new canine companion is to be patient! Create a plan for their training and use plenty of caring, positive reinforcement to help them learn in the best way possible!
Here’s a list of the most common times to take your puppy out to potty:
- When you wake up.
- Right before bedtime.
- Immediately after your puppy eats or drinks a lot of water.
- When they wake up from a nap.
- During and after physical activity.
5.) Teach them obedience
Teaching your puppy obedience is very important, it teaches them proper manners and sets the course for a life of happy social interaction. It will also teach them to respect and rely on you as their master. Be sure to utilize positive reinforcement, as it is proven to be a great deal more effective than negative reinforcement.
Many dog owners find that obedience classes are a great way to train both the owner and dog in this new venture. Classes typically begin accepting puppies at age 4 to 6 months.
Now that you have these tips, bringing home your puppy can be a stress-free and happy experience, just as you always wanted it to be!