Hooray! You have brought your new puppy to your home, and this moment is exhilarating; you can’t wait to start bonding! Help your puppy adjust to their new life so they can be happy and safe. How to care for your puppy week by week? Read our puppy care guide.
1. Puppy-proof Your Home
Puppies like to explore and chew on everything and anything they find, so it is essential to puppy-proof and block off certain areas in your home. It will prevent your puppy from having access to places that they can get to that can cause damage to your personal belongings or property and, in some unfortunate cases, causing the pup to be in a medical emergency. It is similar to how parents to a newborn baby will baby-proof areas; you should do the same for your new four-footed baby. Create a space in your home where you can have your puppy safely walk around. For example, you can set up a puppy playpen area in your living room or put up a baby gate. It should be in an area where you can easily supervise your pup. Fill the space with fun toys and food-stuffable chew toys so you can teach your puppy what is appropriate to chew on and prevent boredom and household destruction. Hide any electrical cords, shoes, socks, and lock up any medications and house cleaning supplies. Surprisingly enough, certain houseplants are poisonous and toxic to dogs, so it is best to do your research if you plan to buy any indoor plants.
In addition to puppy-proofing your home, it is important to supervise your puppy at all times. This will help you to catch any harmful behavior and prevent accidents from happening. If you notice your puppy chewing on something they shouldn’t be, redirect their attention to a chew toy or something that is safe for them to chew on. Consistency is key when it comes to puppy-proofing your home. Make sure to check for any new hazards that may arise, such as cords or wires that have been left out. It is also important to teach your puppy what is off-limits. If your puppy tries to jump up on the couch, for example, gently remove them and redirect them to their designated play area. Remember, your puppy is learning, and patience and consistency will help them to understand what is expected of them.
Some of these toxic plants include:
Bird of paradise
Be careful and stay away from certain outdoor plants that are toxic to dogs, such as tulips, lilies, oleander, amaryllis, azalea, carnation.
2. Train Your Puppy
Once your puppy arrives, train them on crate training, potty training, basic manners, and obedience as soon as possible. Teach your puppy that their crate is a happy, safe, and fun place to be. A crate is so valuable when it comes to housetraining, teaching alone time, and great for when your puppy needs some peace. The size of the crate should only be big enough for your pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down.
Young puppies generally can’t hold their bladder and bowel movements, so it is crucial to set up a consistent bathroom break schedule. Puppies need to eliminate themselves after meals and drinking water, sleep time, and after playtime. So, be prepared to bring your pup out for frequent bathroom breaks. If you plan to potty train indoors, create an area within the confined space where you can lay down some potty pads for your pup to eliminate on. Confined spaces and crates are not cruel forms of management; it is used to keep your puppy safe. If you teach confinement to your puppy at a young age, your pup will end up having a lot more freedom when he becomes an adult dog.
Training your puppy not only helps them to become well-behaved and obedient, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. In addition to basic obedience training, consider teaching your puppy some fun tricks, such as roll over or play dead. This will not only impress your friends and family, but it will also provide mental stimulation for your pup. Another important aspect of training is socialization. Introduce your puppy to new people, places, and other animals. This will help them to become comfortable and confident in new situations. Consider enrolling your pup in a puppy socialization class or taking them to a dog park to interact with other dogs. Remember, socialization is an ongoing process, and it is important to continue exposing your puppy to new experiences throughout their life. Finally, make sure to use positive reinforcement when training your puppy. Reward good behavior with treats, praise, and playtime. This will help your pup to associate good behavior with positive experiences and will encourage them to continue to behave well.
It is crucial to teach your puppy basic obedience such as come, sit, down, heel, and incorporate handling training and impulse control manners. You can find valuable training tips and guidance with Dogo App programs, including New Dogand Impulse Control!
3. Socialize Your Puppy
Expose your puppy to the new world and get them comfortable and confident around your family and friends, strangers, dogs, and children. Bring your puppy to new places and let them see, hear, and smell the different sights, sounds, and smells of the world. Research local dog training facilities or doggie daycares that hold puppy socialization classes so your puppy can socialize with other dogs in a supervised environment.
Figure out what types of treats and toys your puppy loves and use them during training and playtime.
4. Visit a Vet Regularly
As a responsible dog parent, you will need to follow your pup’s health and well-being throughout his entire lifespan. It is recommended that you take your puppy to the veterinarian for several vaccinations and follow up with yearly vet exams. You will also need to consider flea and tick prevention along with monthly heartworm prevention medications. Ask close family members, friends, dog groomers, dog trainers, dog walkers, or visit pet stores for referrals to find yourself the right veterinarian.
5. Provide Proper Nutrition and Meal Portions
Consider consulting with your veterinarian on the correct serving size that you should be feeding your puppy. Your pup should be eating a well-balanced nutritional diet along with the proper balance of fat and protein. It will also help to stick to a water feeding schedule. Avoid putting down a big bowl of water for easy access. Manage the times when you let your puppy drink water to avoid elimination accidents and a life-threatening condition called bloat or “twisted stomach” which is caused by several reasons, and excessive water drinking is one of them.
Human foods that are toxic to dogs
Keep in mind that along with certain plants, there are human foods that are toxic and poisonous to dogs, and some of those include:
Onions and garlic
Coffee, tea, alcohol
Milk and dairy
Do your research and avoid feeding your puppy any human foods that are toxic or poisonous.
6. Arrange Exercising Activities
Your puppy will need an adequate amount of physical exercise. Take your pup out on walks to prevent boredom and to stimulate their mind mentally and physically. If your vet does not recommend you to bring your pup outdoors until all the vaccinations are given, then consider providing fun indoor activities such as tug-of-war games, toss of a ball back and forth, indoor agility activities, and puzzle games.
7. Take to a Groomer
Depending on your pup’s breed and hair, you will need to bring your puppy to the groomer. Even if you take your pup to the groomer, you should have essential grooming products in your home such as dog-friendly shampoo, brush or a comb, toothbrush, dog-friendly toothpaste, ear cleaner solution, and nail clippers if you choose to clip the nails yourself. It is important to keep up with the ear cleaning, especially for pups with floppy ears, because they can cause ear infections. It is also important to keep up with brushing your puppy’s teeth. Again, consider consulting with your vet on how often you should be bathing, ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and nail trimming.
8. Spay or Neuter
Spay or neuter your puppy so your dog can live a longer and healthier life and to prevent contributing to the overwhelming population of animals that will need homes.
Take it One Step at a Time
Most importantly, always be patient, kind, and gentle with your puppy. Your puppy will need all of your love to live a happy and healthy life.