Having your own cute little furball will change your life forever. There is actually not much of a difference in taking care of an actual toddler and a puppy. They have a lot in common and the ultimate goal is to pay attention to their needs. Knowing how to take care of your puppy is your ticket to responsible pet-parenting. Show your love and affection to the new member of the family by heartily familiarizing the following guideline.
Table of Contents
- 1 Make your home puppy proof
- 2 Dog food
- 3 Puppy supplies
- 4 Name your puppy
- 5 How to keep your puppy healthy
- 6 Train Your Puppy
- 7 Bond with your puppy
- 8 Summary
Make your home puppy proof
Long before your little puppy sets foot into his new home, make sure that your humble abode is as safe as possible. You must protect your puppy against things that can possibly harm him. At the same time, you might also want to protect your belongings against your new pup.
You can expect your little doggo to be highly adventurous and always curious about his new environment. He will undergo an adaptation process until he gets comfortable and used to his new home. Until then, expect him to be adorably playful while being importunate and stubborn at the same time.
Puppy-proofing your house is a way to attain peace of mind while keeping your puppy safe.
1. Consider your puppy’s eye view
Put yourself in the perspective of your puppy. What are the things that can possibly catch your attention? Visualizing the idea gives you a clear insight.
Start by making things out of reach – this may include breakable items, potential toxins, and electrical cords.
2. Lock your stuff
Puppies can climb, jump, scratch, and chew things. So you must transfer delicate items at higher elevations.
You must also lock your cabinets up especially those drawers at the bottom. For a determined and curious puppy, child-safe latches do not tend to be effective all the time.
It’s advisable to use metal hardware or any lock to secure your lower drawers and cabinets.
3. Install gates
If there are particular rooms in your house that must be restricted, you can install pet gates or baby gates to keep your little pup from entering those areas.
Ideal places to mount baby gates are the stairs and kitchen. You don’t want your dog to discover the trash-bin. And you sure don’t want your puppy to fall down the stairs.
Puppy food is also a crucial decision. It’s the determining factor in your dog’s future well-being and health. There are also breeds that require specific types of food so you might want to do some research.
A great way to confirm the right type of food for your growing puppy is to consult your vet and other pet professionals. Note: There is no harm in switching your dog food to another one.
1. Know your budget
Depending on the lifestyle you want to incorporate, there is virtually an endless array of dog food choices. Most users prefer a holistic and natural diet for their dogs. There are also people who like to feed their pup with premium foods.
2. Show a personal touch
If you don’t want your dog to consume processed food, you can always make your own. Raw and homemade diets are also becoming increasingly popular. However, you need to have knowledge on how to make dog food in the first place.
Puppy supplies are quite helpful – these important items will improve his well-being. Essential items include chewing toys, water bowls, and a leash & collar with identification on it.
You should provide him with something to sleep. You can either build or purchase a dog bed – the important thing is it must be something that can keep him comfortable.
It is advisable to get him a crate or a kennel. Moreover, it is practical if you get him something big even though he’s still a puppy. Doing so will invalidate the necessity of providing him another bed or shelter as he gets big.
However, there are things that need to be replaced as your puppy grows. Things like a collar can only be adjusted to a certain fit but it will inevitably become too tight.
Dog ownership surely means some expenses – and it’s your responsibility. You need to be financially prepared before ever deciding to adopt a cute, little furball so you can provide his essential supplies.
Apart from your initial budget, you must also allocate some extra money for some unexpected costs. You’ll never know when you’re going to need the vet.
Name your puppy
Taking care of your little puppy also means you have to name him first. It’s like a rite of passage that makes him an official part of the family.
It’s a matter of personal preference and creativity to name your furball. The most attractive names are those that are simple but highly unique.
There’s no need to name him with something complicated and long. Remember, you will be using his name pretty much every day all throughout his life - calling and training.
With that in mind, you would want something that only has two syllables as much as possible (i.e. Bobbie, Charlie, etc.).
- Something that is simple to say so your little doggo can also easily understand.
- Something that may describe his appearance or personality.
A wise tip is to name him with something distinct and does not sound similar to some words you are going to teach him. Use the name frequently and sooner your puppy will learn to respond to it.
How to keep your puppy healthy
1. Go for puppy vaccinations
Similar to human babies, your little furball also needs his vaccine for immunization purposes. The vaccine will defend your puppy when his maternal antibodies fade.
Matter of fact, the most vital aspect of your puppy’s early life is a series of vaccination. Immunization will protect your pup from possible fatal illnesses.
Consult your vet about the best vaccination for your puppy. The vet office will also monitor your puppy’s growth and health through some routine vaccine visits.
2. Visit the vet often
It’s advised to find a veterinarian first before you adopt a puppy. A general exam is needed within a few days of taking your new little furball home.
You also take part of the responsibility of making your dog’s vet visit a great experience; that way your puppy will be less likely to fear his vet.
3. The first six months is crucial
You will visit your vet a lot of times during the first six months of your puppy’s life. You will start with immunization vaccines and will eventually proceed to a neuter or spay. It’s pretty common for dogs to be neutered or spayed around their first six months.
Your initial visit will officially acquaint you and your dog to the vet. More importantly, your vet will help in diagnosing potential health problems and treat them during the early stage to prevent making it worse.
4. Get insurance
A wise tip – purchase a pet health insurance. This will significantly keep your dog’s expenses down and can cover up to 80 percent of your puppy’s health care costs.
Train Your Puppy
1. Potty training
The first training you can teach your dog is house training. Fundamental training will include potty spots but you can’t do this right away. It’s quite laborious but you’ll get to it.
For the first four months, puppies can’t generally control their bowel movement. So you must be extremely patient when dealing with your little pup until the time he’s mature enough for potty training.
It’s not necessary to wait for your puppy to be ready. You can start early by getting your puppy into a routine. Immediately after eating or drinking, take your puppy to a chosen potty spot. A lot of ‘accidents’ is expected to happen so be patient and consistent.
Eventually, he will familiarize the act of going into that spot should the occasion arise. So when the time comes he’s grown enough to control his bodily functions, he already knows what to do.
The next thing your dog should learn is socialization. Avoid isolating him in your home and let him interact with other people’s pet – probably in the park or somewhere down the road.
Socialization is actually not something you can directly teach but constant exposure will do the trick.
3. Leash training
After socialization, you can start teaching your dog leash training. This is the prerequisite for teaching him fundamental commands like stay, come, and sit. Training your dog also allows you to spot behavioral problems.
4. Watch their mouth
If there’s one thing puppies can’t control, it’s probably their mouths. Expect your little furball to be always curies and active around.
He is also teething and tends to put everything in his mouth – sometimes your hands! Watch out if he puts something in his mouth. If it’s something inappropriate or potentially dangerous, replace it with a safe chew or any acceptable toy.
5. Give treats as rewards
Sometimes, it’s good to be vigilant. Watch out for any mischievous behavior and offer your puppy something more pleasing.
Don’t forget to always reward your puppy with a praise or treat if he does something good. Rewards will make him strive to do more good. This is also an effective technique to shift his attention.
It’s indeed challenging to train your puppy but the result is so worth it. Well-trained dogs are the happier and smarter ones.
Bond with your puppy
Ultimately, it’s the bonding that counts. Nothing gives more delight than a genuine bonding that benefits both parties.
The moment you took that little furball into your doorstep is a turning point both for you and him. Now he’s a permanent part of your life and you must be there on his side as he grows.
You can nurture your bond by playing with him and showing affection consistently. General exercise, grooming, and training are also forms of bonding.
You can also deepen your bond by joining dog shows or start training him in agility sports from simple fetches to fly ball.
There is something in the human-canine bond that gives us a different sense of purpose. What a great relief to come home so tired from work only to be greeted by an adorable, energetic puppy. Now you already know to treat him well.
Knowing how to take care of your puppy is an imperative step towards a greater pet-owner relationship. Your little furball will return the favor with his pure love and loyalty!