Being a puppy parent is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have in your life. You’re raising an animal from just a few weeks old until maturity, and seeing them through every stage of their development.
However, if you want to be a great puppy parent, you’ll need to brush up on your skills. Unlike human parenting, it doesn’t come naturally. After all, dogs are a totally different species.
Fortunately, this post is here to help. In it, we take a look at puppy parenting and everything you need to know. Read on to learn how to raise your new pet successfully.
Keep Them In A Clean Environment
Just like human babies, it takes a while for puppy immune systems to develop and become fully operational. During that time, they can be susceptible to diseases and other issues. Therefore, during the early phase of their development, make sure that you keep them in a clean and hygienic area. After you get your puppy, you may want to wait a few weeks before slowly introducing them to the outdoors, depending on how old they are when you get them.
Collect All Your Supplies Beforehand
Even if getting a puppy is a spur of the moment decision, you’ll want to collect all your supplies beforehand. Otherwise, you run the risk of feeling overwhelmed, particularly if you are a first-time puppy parent.
Fortunately, getting organized for the arrival of your new pet is relatively easy. Once you have the basics, you’re pretty much home and dry.
Essential supplies include:
- Puppy food
- Training treats
- A collar and leash
- Dog bed
- Medical supplies and materials
Crates are important because dogs are den animals. In other words, they like spending most of their time in enclosed spaces, unlike birds that typically prefer the freedom of the open air.
Crates are particularly important for new puppies to feel comfortable. It gives them a sense that they are part of a family and are living in a safe environment. Furthermore, they help keep them safe. In general, dogs are not particularly good decision-makers, particularly puppies, so restraining their movement prevents them from exploring things they shouldn’t with their mouths.
Prepare Your Home
The next step is to prepare your home for the arrival of your new dog, similar to how you’d adjust your setup for the arrival of a new baby.
The first thing to do is to get down on your hands and knees so that you have a pet’s eye view of potential safety hazards. Take a look around your home to see whether there is anything that could potentially cause your new puppy harm, like loose wires or harmful chemicals.
If you can’t puppy proof your entire home, then cordon off an area in which the puppy will spend most of its time. Try to arrange your home so that the puppy’s range includes access to an exterior door so that if you have to take them outside at any point, you can. Also consider installing a pet door from a dog door company that makes a door suitable for your new furry friend!
These days, pet gates are relatively cheap and easy to install. These can help keep puppies out of rooms with expensive furniture.
Once your puppy returns home with you, you might also want to switch on a pheromone diffuser. These are good at relaxing and calming your pup during stressful situations.
Once the puppy comes home and has had some time to settle in, you’ll need to establish some rules. This part isn’t always fun, but it is necessary if you want to live harmoniously with your dog in the future.
For potty training, you’ll want to take a detached perspective. Puppies will have regular accidents for the first few weeks because they don’t yet have much control over their bladders and bowels. You’ll need to give them a bit of space and follow proper toilet training models.
For the first four to six months of life, puppies also have a habit of chewing everything in sight. Researchers aren’t entirely sure why they do this, but it has to do with the fact that their needle-like teeth fall out when they are young, and they may be massaging their gums to reduce discomfort.
The trick here is to give your puppy something that he or she can chew on that won’t cause damage to your home. Generally, you’ll want to offer multiple chew toys, each with different textures.
It’s important to socialize puppies from a young age, just like children. Therefore, it’s a good idea to introduce them to other dogs and young puppies as part of a group. This will give them a chance to develop their social skills and avoid being too fearful of other dogs in the future.
Start by taking them to the park so that they have a lot of open space. Then, when they are more comfortable, take them to more confined spaces where other dogs are present.
If you want another dog to keep your puppy company, you can find more here. It’s good if dogs can have companions from a young age.
Watch Out For Warning Signs
Puppies will sometimes display warning signs that something’s wrong. For instance, if your puppy is hiding or sleeping too much, it could mean that they have an underlying health issue and that you need to take them to the vet.
Likewise, if your puppy drools when you leave them alone, it could indicate that they have severe separation anxiety. If you’re having trouble with this, speak with a vet about the actions that you can take.
Growling is another sign of sickness. It is not a barking sound, but a noise that appears to emanate deeper in the throat.
If your puppy mouths you, that’s usually quite normal and an indication of teething. However, if they bite you hard for no apparent reason, then it could suggest that they are in pain or stressed out. Again, you’ll want to take the animal to the vet if you notice this behavior.