What’s the idea?
Getting a puppy can be a wonderful experience. However, it doesn’t come without a few challenges. Find the best way to take care of your puppy below.
What’s the story?
So, you’ve finally decided you’re getting a puppy—basically a fur baby you’ll care and love for the next 10-20 years. Congratulations!
These cute and cuddly canine pals make loyal companions, fun playmates, and lifetime friends.
People should do this because…?
Caring for a puppy is a huge responsibility that may require a copious amount of research and preparation.
So, before getting a puppy and bringing home your new BFF, make sure you’ve read these tips below.
How do you do it?
First, lots of research
Dogs have different characteristics and personalities that are distinct to their breeds.
Each breed has its own challenges and it’s important to keep them in mind.
Some dogs are very energetic, some are hard to train, others tend to be highly aggressive to strangers.
Don’t just choose one because of how it looks—puppies grow into adult dogs that can be energetic, messy, and stubborn.
When you choose a dog, make an informed decision about their breed.
If you’re getting a large and active breed, make sure you have enough space.
Preferably, a huge backyard for your dog to run around, dig holes and play.
Or at least have enough time (1-2 hours a day) to give him walks and regular visits to the dog park.
Getting your finances in order
Puppies can be costly to take care of—perhaps even more so than adult dogs.
Aside from their basic needs such as food, leash, bowls, collars, and dog beds, puppies need starting care vaccinations, vitamins, and medication.
Unless you’ve adopted one from a shelter (most shelter dogs are already vaccinated and microchipped), you have to shoulder all expenses yourself.
According to Jenna Stregowski, a registered veterinary technician and writer for Spruce Pets, the yearly average of the basic costs of owning a dog can amount to $1500 to $9,900.
Getting a puppy can be costly, so make sure you’ve got the funds.
Dog-proofing your home
As much as possible, don’t leave your puppy unsupervised especially during its first few weeks in its new home.
Puppies love to chew and explore so they require more supervision than adult dogs.
Here are simple ways to dog-proof your home.
- Buy chew toys to prevent your puppy from chewing furniture and shoes.
- Get rid of poisonous houseplants such as poinsettia, mistletoe, and amaryllis. Here’s a helpful guide about poisonous plants for dogs.
- Keep your cleaning supplies and medicines out of reach.
- Block elevated porches, balconies, and decks.
- Close your toilet lids and keep your trash cans covered.
- Keep dangerous food such as onions, grapes, and onions away from your puppy.
- Use dog gates or doggy doors to keep pets out or in rooms of your home.
Training your puppy early
Puppies are much easier to train than adult dogs.
Since they love attention and affirmation during this stage, they’d be more responsive to you.
According to experts, they can benefit from training as early as seven weeks of age.
They also have short attention spans so you want to start with simple commands such as “sit” and “stay” at around 7-8 weeks of age.
The secret to training your puppy is consistency.
Teach them the trick every day and give them rewards for good behaviour.
You can learn how to house train your puppy here.
Supervising young children with your puppy
You’ve probably seen those adorable videos of young children and dogs playing together, however, be careful—puppies are not as gentle as some adult dogs.
Puppies will think of your child as his littermate and can nip and jump on your child.
Don’t allow aggressive play of tug-of-war with your puppy and child as this can lead to aggressive behaviour and biting.
When your puppy is sleeping, instruct your children to leave him alone as he needs proper rest.
Setting time for play
Don’t get a puppy if you don’t have time for it.
Play is an important part of your puppy’s development and well-being.
Play provides mental stimulation and exercise for your puppy.
It also improves the bond between you two.
Puppies that learn how to play with other dogs also are more social and more communicative, while dogs that are isolated are more likely to develop aggression and anxiety.
You can learn more about addressing aggressive puppy behaviours here.
If the puppy is likely to grow into a larger dog, check out our article about Chuckit balls!
Finding a good vet
Choose a vet you can trust.
Someone who truly loves to take care of animals and wants them to have a long and happy life with you.
Your vet should help you know all the routine healthcare your puppy needs.
He should also help you prevent potential health problems and assist you with preventive care.
Taking care of a puppy is a lot of work.
You have to be prepared to clean up, lose a shoe, and invest time for your furry best friend.
Are you considering getting a puppy soon?
What preparations have you made? What are you most worried about? Let us know.
Stuff you may need
- Dog crate
- Chew toys
- Pet food bowls
- Dog gate or doggy door