You’ve Got a Puppy! 🐶 Tips & Tricks for New Puppy Parents to Raise a Healthy, Friendly and Confident Dog
Hi, we got a new puppy! 🐶 Yes we did, and he’s sooooooooooo adorable. He’s just the cutest little thing on Earth. That tiny face, floppy ears and droopy eyes; it’s just the best feeling ever, to wake up to them. ❤️ But wait, he’s growing so fast, and he’s getting so naughty. I love him! But he has to play all night; oh boy, and he just doesn’t let me sleep. He’s chewing my mom’s favorite furniture. Oh no, puppy! Don’t pee there!
Sounds relatable? If you’ve ever got a new puppy home, it will! We’ve all, at some point or another, cursed the day we got the little imp in our house. And yet we’ve all spent countless nights without sleep, nursing them or attending to them when they’re sick, or just not in the mood to sleep. We love them. And we’ll all go to any extent to keep them safe and happy. Fortunately for us, it doesn’t take a lot (except for the initial few months, maybe)!
Namratha Rao, a certified dog-trainer and canine behaviorist at Pawsitive Tales suggests some tips and tricks for all new puppy parents to raise a healthy, friendly and confident dog!
One of the first things you should do after you get a puppy home, is to take them to a vet! Your vet will weigh your dog, run any necessary medical exams, and suggest their vaccinations and deworming routine. You must follow up with your vet as recommended and ensure your pup is always up to date with their shots!
Remember to consult your vet or a canine nutritionist and understand their dietary requirements for the first few months. You must also understand their basic grooming needs and some basic do’s and don’ts to give your pup the right start!
Socialization is not just experiencing new things; it is to do so in a positive manner! This process is absolutely critical to raise a healthy, calm and confident dog.
Your vet has probably instructed you to not take your puppy out until all the vaccinations are complete, i.e. up to 3-4 months of age. Unfortunately for you, your pup’s critical socialization period lasts only up to 12-14 weeks of age. That’s right! You have a very limited window to ensure your puppy gains a range of positive experiences. But you also can’t take them out too often. You’ll just have to get more creative with this! Some ideas below:
- If it’s just vaccinations we’re waiting on (i.e there are no other medical conditions), then you can most definitely train your dog using treats, toys and whole lot of positive reinforcement. It’s always better to start as early as possible.
- Throw a party! Ask friends and family members to come home. In addition to seeing new people, your pup can experience new smells, experience different types of handling and learn to trust and like people.
- Take your dog to work/friends’ houses as often as possible!
- Go on drives in cars and auto rickshaws! Not only this exposes them to new smells and sounds, it ensures your dog doesn’t grow up to have motion sickness. It could be very difficult to take your dog to the vet or other places, if he can’t travel comfortably.
- YouTube has some amazing sounds on thunderstorms, traffic, barking dogs and doorbells. You could try playing them at a low volume to get your dog used to such sounds (consult a behaviourist if you notice or suspect anxious or fear responses).
- Ask your vet if you can take your puppy to pet-friendly indoor spaces (with no other dogs around in the duration – to avoid infections through contact) such as restaurants and cafes.
- Play in the balcony, terrace or any safe outdoor space.
Read Pixie’s Puppy Socialization tales here.
Puppy-Proof Your Home from Mouthing
Everything from the trivial slipper to that expensive china, is a toy for your dog. The pup won’t know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate toys (yet!). You will have to teach him appropriate play, but in the meantime, you absolutely have to be careful about ensuring your home is puppy friendly.
Puppies explore new objects the only two ways they know how to – by sniffing and by putting them in their mouth. For their safety, be very careful about putting sharp objects, breakables, valuables and toxic substances and food items away.
- Keep the scissors, knives, jewellery and any other sharp objects away.
- Some food items are toxic to dogs, and include chocolate, onions, avocado, alcohol and coffee. Familiarize yourself with the comprehensive list, available here.
- Keep away small objects, or anything that can be swallowed.
- Watch your puppy’s behavior around indoor plants. They might find the mud interesting to chew on. Some garden plants and shrubs may also be toxic for them.
Teaching your dog a simple ‘leave it’ command can help prevent damage to property. You can then redirect them to a more appropriate and safe chewing surface. Keep a range of chew toys, ideally made of different materials such as cloth, jute, wood, rubber and pet-safe plastic, readily available so as to avoid damage to property. Remember to never leave your puppy unsupervised around toys.
Puppy-Proof Your Home from Poor Toileting
Roll away your carpets until your pup learns to pee/poop in one spot, on one surface, only. Toilet training doesn’t take months – but it can take a few days. Being patient, consistent, following a routine throughout the day and being alert to your puppy’s body language can help you crack the toilet-training routine. Seek help from a trained professional, if required or watch some of the DIY puppy toilet-training videos on YouTube to familiarize yourself with the drill.
As you go on to raise this furball of a pup, remember to have fun, laugh and love every moment. Your pup’s a pup only once! ❤️ 🐶
Got pictures of your new pupper? Drop them below. If you have any questions related to your puppy’s behavior or health, post them in the comments below. 👇 👇 👇
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