Welcoming a new puppy into your home is a joyous and exciting time. However, caring for this furry friend can also be overwhelming, especially in the beginning. It is important to make sure your space is ready for all the cute chaos headed your way.
Some preparations will be obvious, while others might entirely slip your mind. Ironing out as many details as possible ahead of time will make the transition easier for you and your pup. Here are six things to figure out before bringing a new puppy into your home.
Unfortunately, pet dander is a common trigger for many allergy sufferers. You don’t want to miss out on any sweet cuddles and fun playtime with your new canine cutie. Luckily there are solutions to make sure all family members can comfortably coexist.
Your central air conditioner is one of the best lines of defense against irritating allergies. Because AC units cool air by removing water from it, a happy side effect is an accompanying reduction of allergens. Regular vacuuming is essential for keeping your space clean and comfortable as well. You can also reduce irritating dander by ensuring your new puppy stays well brushed and bathed.
If this isn’t your first pet, consider how to best introduce your new pup to the rest of the cuddly crew. Dogs will generally be more welcoming to a puppy than to a cat. Closely supervise interactions between all your pets, especially during the first couple of weeks.
Make time to give your other pets some extra love and attention while they get used to the new family member. Unintentionally neglecting them could instigate behavior problems, hindering the bonding process with the new pet. Talk with your vet if you notice any continuing trouble in pet paradise, such as aggressive behaviors.
While puppies might be adorable, it is crucial to remember that they come with their own unique brand of chaos. There might be spaces in your home that you wish to spare from all the mutt mayhem. Consider installing puppy gates, a similar concept to baby gates, for rooms where the dog is not allowed.
Puppies are experts at sticking their noses where they don’t belong. So you might find that snout digging through the trash or trying to open bins and cabinets. Since this is a common pet owner problem, you can purchase locks specifically designed to keep dogs out of trouble.
4. Stick to a Consistent Feeding Schedule
You will want to start your new pet on a consistent feeding schedule. Younger pups will need more meals per day. How much and how often you feed your dog depends on age and weight at maturity. Consult an online puppy feeding chart for specifics on what is right for your furry friend.
Be sure you’re selecting food formulated for young dogs. Both wet and dry foods should work well if used as directed. You’ll likely notice whether your pup has preferences, which will help you decide what foods work best in the long run.
Your puppy will do best with a regular routine with lots of potty breaks. The general rule is that every month of a puppy’s age translates into one hour of bladder control. So a three-month-old puppy should be able to hold it for around three hours. You shouldn’t be surprised if your pooch has some accidents inside, especially during the early weeks after bringing them home.
Consistency is crucial in the potty training phase. Make a habit of taking your dog out upon waking up, after playing, and following meal time. Pick a specific spot outside so your pup will associate that area with doing its business. Rewarding your puppy for relieving itself outdoors is a great incentive, so be sure to keep treats on hand.
Taking care of a new puppy is a huge undertaking. Be sure to parcel out the long list of responsibilities if you live with other people. If you have a partner, figure out how you want to divvy up caring for your new pet. You could rotate duties based on your schedules or by type of task.
Parents should ensure the kids do their fair share, especially since they’re likely the ones who wanted the puppy most. One family member could handle feeding time, while another is the designated dog walker. You might take turns playing with the pup, which will be a ball of energy in the first few months.
Caring for a puppy will definitely keep you on your toes. You’ll quickly learn to pick up what you don’t want to be chewed to a shred. Forgotten sneakers near the front door could become your pup’s new favorite chew toy if you aren’t careful. You will learn as you go along, even if there are a few footwear casualties.
Creating consistent routines and puppy-proofing your space will help make the training process a little less chaotic. Through it all, remember that your pet is there to love and be loved. Enjoy the early stages of welcoming your new doggo. Following the proper steps helps make your new furry friend a forever family member.