Are you considering adopting a puppy? Are you wondering what you should know first aside from puppies being cute and sometimes cuddly?
It can be so tempting to catch “poor-puppy syndrome,” and before you know it, become a dog-parent. Yes, those cute little beady eyes and dark round nose are hard to resist. The story the adopter tells you is sure to tug at your heart. But before jumping into puppy ownership, prepare yourself.
You need to be aware that dog ownership is a long-term commitment that can be trying and financially draining. It’s also a big responsibility as your dog relies on you. From initial puppy care to when they’re a senior, your dog needs you and you must be there for them. That said, most dog owners will tell you the hard work is rewarding and definitely worth it.
If you’re about to become a first-time puppy owner, it only makes sense to be prepared for what will ultimately be a major lifestyle decision. Puppies need fulltime hands-on dedication when they first come home. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for a puppy.
How to prepare for a puppy
Your environment, as familiar as it is to you, is new to your puppy. You will need time to get to know your puppy just as your puppy will need time to adapt to you and his or her new surroundings.
A safe environment
Make sure your puppy’s new environment is safe before you bring them home. Anything that could harm them, such as poisonous plants, power cables they may chew, washing powder and cleaning materials and so on, should be out of their reach.
Have an indoor kennel ready for the puppy to spend time in. While locking up your puppy may sound cruel to some new owners, a kennel actually provides a sense of security to a dog. It will also give you a place to tuck him or her away as needed. A kennel offers you peace of mind knowing your puppy is in a safe place.
Your puppy will need time to adapt to you and your family members. Introduce others gradually. Expect your new puppy to be a little skeptical or fearful at first. He or she may test the boundaries and try to run out a door, so be vigilant watching the puppy’s activities at all times once you bring him or her home.
A routine of peace
Establishing a schedule or routine is also good for you both. A regular routine will help your puppy predict what will happen next and will add to his or her sense of security. Your puppy’s schedule will include toileting, feeding, playing, walking, running, and sleeping.
Plan a schedule that works for both of you. You don’t have to follow the routine your friend or neighbour follows. Your dog will adjust to your schedule. If you’re an early morning riser, he or she will be one too. If you sleep late, in time, he or she will sleep in late with you too.
Prepare your routine in advance so you can start getting your puppy into it as soon as you bring them home.
A puppy’s energy
New puppies require ongoing opportunities to release their energy. Puppies thrive on opportunities for socializing, playing and exercising. It’s important to know that an exercised puppy is a happy puppy. If you want your puppy to settle down and sleep nicely, let him wear off some of his energy first by playing outdoors.
Have a supply of toys ready for when you first bring home your puppy.
Gain training and support
Puppy training classes are highly recommended for learning how to socialize and train your dog. Your cute little puppy might occasionally cause problems so having a resource such as a professional trainer to talk to may be helpful. Try the tips suggested and find what works for you.
Puppies have an inborn urge to chew. It can be fun to shop for chew toys for your puppy. They’ll love chasing a soft ball and nibbling on dog-approved teething rings.
Puppies use their mouths to explore the world around them just as babies do. Some puppies will chew objects as a way of relieving pain associated with new emerging teeth. They may get into mischief and chew something of yours. Try not to get angry. They don’t do it out of spite. They simply follow their chewing instincts.
It will be up to you to remove personal objects you don’t want your puppy to chew and to ensure there are no dangerous objects around for him or her to get into. You might also want to block access to rooms that haven’t been puppy-proofed.
Provide some chew toys designed especially for puppies. Choose durable hard-surfaced good quality toys that have met veterinarian standards. Avoid giving your puppy bones that could fragment leading to intestinal problems.
Bringing home a puppy is an exciting experience you won’t soon forget. Bonding with your puppy takes time, but will bring you joy. Your puppy is bound to help get you off the couch and into the world where you’ll learn to explore nature in a new way.
If you’re considering buying a dog, once you’ve done your research and learned how to prepare for a puppy, take the next step. Your cute little puppy is out there somewhere waiting for you.