Our list of top 10 tips will get you quickly started on the right foot when bringing your new puppy home.
Just like you would prepare for a baby, you will need to puppy proof your home. Use gates to block stairs and rooms you do not want your puppy to enter. Pick up any items on the ground that are small and could be easily swallowed. Tuck away any electrical cords that could be chewed on. And finally make sure to empty any small trash cans that can be easily tipped over and rummaged through.
Puppies are like young toddlers that still need to learn what is right and wrong. They will make plenty of mistake when you are not paying attention. If you find a mistake, understand that they will not understand what you are disciplining them for several minutes after an accident has occurred. Stay calm and consistent and your puppy will eventually get it.
Set up a regular schedule for walking, feeding, and playing with your puppy. You should also be sure to have your puppy go potty every two hours and within 30 minutes after feeding them. This schedule will quickly develop their daily routine.
Your puppy will begin exploring the world with their mouth by biting on your fingers, toes, and shoes. Though it seems cute, this is a bad habit that will begin to hurt the older they become and will be harder to stop. From the very start discourage this behaviour by taking away any items they should not be chewing and replace it with a proper chewing toy.
Begin socializing your puppy with family, friends, and stranges within the first 4 months. Allowing people to introduce themselves with a small treat can help your puppy associate good things with new acquittances instead of fear or aggression.
Your puppy needs to learn to be submessive to close handling of their paws, face, and mouth. This will be essential when you take them to a veterinarian or groomer. On ocassion grab their paws, grab a toe or nail, place your fingers in their mouth and gently open it. This will help your puppy to have a more pleasant expereince on their next office visit.
Prepare a crate for your puppy that will be a welcoming den which they can retreat to when tired or a place to stay safe when you are not home. However, never use the crate as discipline so they never associate the enclosure as a bad place. It is also important to never leave a puppy longer than a few hours in a crate as they will not be able to hold their potty for a long period of time.
A crate can also be used to simulate short periods of seperation in order to try and prevent seperation anxiety.
Certain foods can be toxic to dogs and should never be left on an easy to reach tabletop or fed as scraps. These toxic foods include chocolate, xylitol, grapes/raisins, onions, and garlic.
You can read more about other poisonious substances on WebMD.
Set up an appointment immediately with a veterinarian. It is important to have the health of your puppy checked and to plan future vaccines and when to have them spayed or neutered.
It is also important to get your puppy microchipped. Microchipping is permanent pet identification and will quickly assist in helping reunite you and your puppy if they ever become lost.
Your puppy won;t be little forever. Take as many pictures and videos as you can. When your puppy is older you will enjoy these pictures and cherish the memories of when they were so young.