You’ve just added a new member to your beloved family! They may have four paws and a tail, but think of your furry friend as a newborn baby. Meaning they will need extra love, care and attention until they are full-grown pooches. Every breed is different but there are some basic guidelines to follow to ensure your new cherished pup has a great start in life.
First things first, get your puppy to the vet to ensure they have all the necessary shots and a thorough check-up. This is especially important if you have little ones at home to be sure both your puppy and your family members are safe. Consider a puppy multivitamin to give daily with their meals or between meals. Puppy multivitamins are packed with the essential nutrients necessary for your dog’s health and growth.
Your new puppy needs to have more food than the average full-grown dog. Find one puppy chow and stick with it. Frequently switching brands can upset their fragile stomachs. Always have a bowl of water available. Puppies are more active than older dogs and will need plenty of water. Depending on their age, some dogs need up to 4 meals per day. Consult with your vet to find out the proper amount of food for your puppy to thrive.
Even if you hire a dog trainer, you will still need to do some of the handy work yourself. This means creating a routine for your pup. Establish consistent feeding times, walk times, leash training and possibly, crate training. Crate training is helpful for establishing a healthy sleep pattern. Do not use the crate as a place of punishment, use it as a place for comfort so they don’t get into any trouble during the night or when you aren’t at home for the first few months. If you aren’t comfortable with a crate, an alternative is a baby gate in a sectioned off and designated area in the home. It’s easier to establish good routines than trying to break bad habits.
Your dog will love to get rewarded for good behavior, learning a new trick or just for fun. If you are going to give your puppy a treat, it is best to give treats specifically made for puppies. Do not over do it! Steer away from table food especially these items, chocolate, grapes, raisins, chicken bones, raw fish, raw meat, sugar, nuts, avocados, bacon, caffeine, alcohol, onions, garlic and anything dairy-based. Some puppy supplements double as puppy treats, check the label for dosage and nutritional facts.
Like 2-year-old children, puppies get into everything. They don’t know any better yet. Puppy proof your home by covering electrical cords, tie up window cords, curtains, keep shoelaces inside of shoes and place toxic cleaning supplies in locked cabinets. Don’t leave valuables lying around or within reach for the first year. Be sure to have a heavy trash can with a lid. Keep the toilet bowl seat cover down at all times. Only give them puppy friendly toys. Do not give them stuffed animals or old shoes which may reinforce that chewing on similar objects is safe to do. Until they learn the proper way to greet strangers, keep them on a leash when visitors or company arrives.
Some of the gifts that come with having a new puppy are playing catch in the park and cuddling up on your sofa. But don’t forget, there is also hard work and basic necessities your pup will need as it grows into a full-grown pooch. If you prepare properly, follow these basic guidelines and consult with your vet, your pup is sure to have a wonderful and happy life!