6 Tips For Dealing With a New Puppy
A new puppy is a bit of a handful.
You’re in for a few months of chaos before they finally settle down a bit. There are so many different things to consider and in those first few days, you might think that you’ve made a mistake in getting a dog.
But don’t worry, it’s all manageable and soon you’ll be enjoying the company of your new best friend.
If you’re fretting about the prospect of looking after your new puppy, here are a few simple tips to help you get by.
Find A Vet
The first thing that you need to do is find a good vet and take your puppy in for a check-up.
This needs to be done as soon as possible.
Taking them to the vet will ensure that there aren’t any underlying health issues that could cause problems in the future.
As well as sorting out any issues that your new dog might have, taking it to the vet will help you to establish a good health routine together.
If you don’t know where to start, try asking friends with pets for their recommendations.
A local dog shelter is also a good place to ask as they will know the best ones in the area.
When you go, make sure you set up a vaccination plan and ask about ways that you can avoid parasites.
You can also discuss when you are going to have your puppy neutered and ask questions about the signs of illness that you should be watching out for.
Eating well is a struggle for all of us, and it’s the same when you’re trying to find good food for your dog.
A lot of the more well-known brands are actually very bad for your puppy; they’re basically like junk food for dogs.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by marketing, you need to make a decision yourself based on the ingredients in the food that you choose.
Fewer ingredients tend to mean less bad stuff but this isn’t a set rule.
Smaller and medium sized dogs can move onto adult food after around a year, however, larger dogs should be kept on puppy food for at least two years.
Between six and twelve weeks, you need to feed them four times a day. Reduce this to three times up to six months and then twice a day after that.
Establish A Good Routine
Without a good, structured routine, your puppy is likely to end up being very badly behaved.
Somewhere between eight and twelve hours a night, but this will vary depending on age and breed.
If you’re having trouble with getting your puppy to sleep, you should try moving their bed and making sure they have no distractions around their sleeping area.
The other main thing that you need a routine for is bathroom breaks. As hard as you try, there are still going to be accidents in those first few weeks so be prepared for cleaning the carpet. If you do it right, you can avoid most of them and get your puppy into the routine of going to the bathroom outside. Knowing when to take your puppy outside is one of the key things to get right.
If you keep taking them out at the wrong times, they won’t go and then they’ll end up having accidents later on.
Take them out as soon as you wake up and just before you go to bed. You should also take them if they’ve eaten, exercised or had a nap.
Before you have had them vaccinated, make sure that they have somewhere to go to the toilet that is free from any other animals otherwise they are at risk of infection.
Watch For Early Signs Of Illness
The damage caused by illness can be greatly limited if you catch them early.
During the first few months of their lives, puppies are far more susceptible to diseases.
There are a lot of common illnesses that occur in puppies regularly so if you’ve spoken with your vet, they can tell you what to look out for.
Lack of appetite and poor weight gain are both very bad signs, especially as your puppy should be growing fast at this stage.
Apparent tiredness is also alarming as puppies tend to be incredibly energetic.
Look out for vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, swollen red eyes and trouble going to the toilet.
If you notice any of these things, take your puppy to the vets immediately.
Teaching your puppy to behave properly will save you a lot of hassle in the future.
Having a badly behaved dog can be a real pain, especially once they get bigger and louder.
Teaching it obedience will also help strengthen the bond between you and your new friend.
Having a dog that can obey simple commands like sit and lay down can help in potentially dangerous situations otherwise they might run into hazards.
Most people tend to take their dogs to obedience classes to teach them to behave well.
Classes usually start taking dogs at around four to six months old so you might need to teach them a few things yourself in the meantime.
If you are teaching them yourself, avoid punishing them.
Studies have shown that negative reinforcement doesn’t work.
You should use praise and positive reinforcement instead, it will have a much better effect.
Another way of making sure that your dog is well-behaved when it grows up is to socialize it properly from an early age.
You need to speak to your vet and find out what a safe level of interaction is at this stage in your dog’s life.
Before you’ve had vaccines and everything for your puppy, it is not safe for them to be in close contact with other dogs as they could catch something.
You could try socialization classes if you want to but they aren’t really necessary a lot of the time.
It is much easier to just take them to a local park and let them run around with the other dogs.