Bringing home a new puppy is one of the most exciting things in life! Pups fill our lives with an endless amount of joy and companionship. However, it's important to remember that taking care of a new puppy requires work and commitment to ensure good habits from early on. In this guide, we'll give you our best tips for new puppy owners.
Invest in Good Quality Puppy Equipment
Investing in good quality equipment for your pup is a must! Although it may be a bit more expensive, quality always pays off in the end.
Some puppy equipment includes:
- Food and water bowls
- A leather leash
- A soft harness or collar
- A crate
- A dog bed
Read Up On Training Books for Puppies
We love a good read, especially when it comes to our new furry friend! For the first time puppy owner, there are plenty of great books and websites (dogwise.com) out there to learn all about proper training techniques. It's important to remember that the best training starts now. Puppies learn fast, and with positive reinforcement, obedience and training, your puppy will learn in no time. Keep the training fun and light, and most of all, positive, and we promise you'll see amazing results
Crate and Kennel Training for Puppies
Many first-time puppy owners think that training their puppy in a crate or kennel is cruel. However, it's quite the opposite! Investing in a good crate or kennel is one of the best decisions you can make when it comes to your new puppy. The crate or kennel can serve many functions within your household.
Some of the benefits of crate training your new puppy include:
- Assisting with potty training
- Avoiding mischief when left alone
- Serving as their quiet and cozy getaway
- Travelling safely while in the car
Crates aren't used as punishment, but more of a haven that satisfies your puppy's natural denning instinct. Most puppies will probably whine or howl at first. However, don't react or give attention. After they've rested quietly, let them out again and reward them with a treat (or two). Continue to lengthen the amount of time you leave your new puppy in their crate, and pretty soon, they'll love going inside.
Create Puppy-Safe Rooms
When it comes to your new puppy, baby gates come in handy! Buy one and block off the rooms you don't want your puppy in initially (at least until they're housetrained). It's impossible to supervise your new puppy 24 hours a day, so having a "puppy-safe room" for them to wander around is a great idea. Put some toys in the room, as well as their crate, bed and water.
Create a Daily Routine for Your New Puppy
First-time puppy owners need to be consistent and establish a routine early on for their new furry friend! Puppies are much like children, and creating a consistent schedule is expected behaviour is important. Create a routine for things like feeding, playtime, training, potty time, and of course, cuddles, and it'll help your puppy feel secure and happy.
Practice Potty Training Your Puppy
Practicing potty training can be a frustrating exercise for new puppy owners (trust us, we get it). Puppies don't have full control of their bladders until about 12 weeks of age, so expect to encounter a little (or a lot) of accidents. However, if you're good about taking your puppy out to potty often and praise them when they do, the process will be much easier for both of you.
Take your puppy outside first thing in the morning, after a nap, after eating, after playtime, and before bed. Remember the crate? This is the time when it becomes your new best friend! If you have to leave your puppy at home alone, put them in their crate while you're gone. The crate will encourage your puppy not only to control their bladder but will also curb the instinct to chew everything they can get their teeth and paws on.
Enroll in Puppy Training Classes
Enrolling your new puppy in training classes is a great way to jump-start the process! Your new puppy will learn basic obedience exercises such as 'sit,' 'down' and 'come' and maybe even 'Fetch the slippers!' Most importantly, your puppy will have the opportunity to socialize with other puppies. Socializing is very important in the first few months. Expose your puppy to lots of new experiences and people. Places like dog parks aren't the best option for socialization as some dogs may not be properly trained themselves.
Correct Behavioral Problems Early On
Remember that behaviour that seems 'cute' when puppies are young may become annoying or dangerous when fully grown. Behaviour like jumping or crawling into your lap uninvited can be a problem down the road. Therefore, teach your puppy to enjoy being held from the very start. Look in their mouth and run your fingers over their gums to prepare them for tooth brushing. You can also run a brush over their body to get them used to grooming and handle their feet often to prepare for nail trimming. We promise your vet will thank you later!
Choosing The Best Puppy Food
Feed your puppy the very best quality food you can afford. Serving high-quality food is an excellent investment in your puppy's health and happiness. Our NOW FRESH Grain-Free Recipe for puppies offers fresh ingredients like meats and fish for healthy growth and development. Similarly, when it comes to treats, choose natural treats like carrots or broccoli and high-quality commercial treats with healthy ingredients.
When all else fails, let common sense and love rule your actions - you can't go wrong! Enjoy the puppy stage while it lasts. It's over much too quickly!