As the owner of a brand-new ball of fluff, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed at the responsibility ahead. That’s why it’s important to start off on the right foot (or paw!) by setting up a routine for your pup as quickly as possible.
While every family is different and every dog has its own unique needs and personality, here are some tips we recommend to anyone bringing a new puppy home. Remember: patience is key! Puppies will try your patience, so you have to stay strong and positive. Puppyhood is over so quickly, and doing the legwork now will pay dividends long into the future.
5 top puppy tips for new dog owners
- Get puppy-proofing!
Just like human babies, puppies have a knack for finding the wrong kinds of things to play with or gobble up. Make sure you puppy-proof your home by removing anything that could be harmful to your new furbaby (including these dangerous foods for dogs). Since it’s difficult to remove every single danger from your entire home, consider sectioning off an area for her with child gates, and making sure that the area is as close to 100% safe as possible.
- Set up a schedule for your pup
It’s so much easier to housetrain a baby dog when she has set meal times, exercise times and play times. If possible, try bringing your new puppy home just before the weekend, so you have extra time to start setting up a routine. House-training isn’t easy, but it also needn’t take too long. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best way to house-train your new pet.
- What’s up, doc?
Speaking of vets, it’s a good idea to take your new pup for a check-up within the first 72 hours or so, even if she comes from a breeder who should’ve done all the necessary health checks. You want to be sure your new baby is in tip-top health, and this is also the perfect time to get her microchipped and make sure all her vaccines are up to date. See the table below.
- Help her feel safe and secure
Your new pup is likely to be missing her mom and siblings, and may also be feeling unsure in her new environment. Give her a safe, warm spot to sleep in (ideally inside), a hot water bottle (not too hot), and a soft toy or chew toy for comfort. Some pups can only sleep if they’re in a quiet place on their own, while others like to be around the family. You’ll need to experiment to see what makes her most comfortable.
- Enrol her in puppy training
This is an excellent way to socialise your new pet and teach her important skills like how to walk on a leash, how to interact with other animals and how to behave at home. It’ll also help teach her her place in the family.
Congratulations on your new furbaby! With the right diet, exercise, love and attention, she’s going to have a wonderful life, and you’re going to love having her in yours.