Bringing your puppy home is the first step toward years of loving companionship. But raising a puppy is easier said than done. To ensure you and your dog build a strong relationship from day one, it’s important to start training early. By setting healthy boundaries and establishing good habits right away, you can set your dog up for success.
To get started, there are several things to consider in the first few weeks of bringing your dog home. Experts offer several important facts about puppy development.
Top Tips on Puppy Raising From the Experts
As with any new pet, the post-adoption period is a formative time. It’s easy for pet owners to get caught up in the excitement surrounding the new family member, but staying focused on training is essential. Based on expert advice, here’s how to get off on the right foot.
Preparing for Your New Puppy
Puppies need a lot of attention, especially when you first welcome them into your family. Make sure you stock up on the essentials, such as a dog bed, a leash, a collar, a crate and toys. Before your dog’s arrival, consider setting some house rules that everyone in the family can follow. Puppies learn best with structure and consistency, so getting on the same page can give you a head start.
Puppy-Proofing Your Home
Just like human babies, puppies have a habit of getting into things they shouldn’t. This can make for an annoying habit and even put your young puppy in danger. To keep harmful items out of reach, take some time to puppy-proof your home before your new pet arrives. As you secure your home, make sure you include any outdoor spaces your puppy has access to.
Feeding Your Puppy
Puppies need plenty of nutrients to grow into strong, healthy dogs. Avoid giving your pet adult dog food, as it might be missing some key ingredients young dogs need. Pay close attention to the label on your puppy’s food to ensure it’s made with healthy, whole foods. Puppies also need to eat more frequently than adult dogs. Depending on your pup’s age, it may need to eat as many as three or four times per day.
Exercise and Playtime for Your Puppy
Playing is a great way to bond with your dog and a fun source of exercise. Consider bringing your pup to a dog park where it can play with other dogs and get some much-needed socialization. Or stock up on interesting toys to keep your dog entertained at home. As always, taking frequent walks is a habit that’s healthy for both you and your puppy.
Potty Training Your Puppy
House training is a key part of any puppy training routine. There are a few methods to choose from — including puppy training pads and crate training — so do your research in advance to find the one that works best for you. In any case, keeping potty breaks consistent and providing positive reinforcement can make the process easier.
Socialization: The Key to a Well-Behaved Puppy
Dogs need to socialize just as humans do. Good social skills make for a healthy puppy and help prevent future unwanted behavior. To ensure your pup can behave outside of the home, proper dog socialization is essential. This means exposing it frequently to unfamiliar people and other animals while reinforcing positive behavior. Walks, dog parks and other outings are great places for your puppy to meet new friends.
Nutrition and Health: Keeping Your Puppy Healthy
As your puppy grows, keeping up with its health is essential. A proper diet and lots of exercise will help your dog live a well-rounded life, but so will a trusted veterinarian. Schedule regular vet visits for your pup to keep it up to date with its vaccinations and checkups. A vet can also be a valuable resource who can provide specific guidance for your dog’s diet and exercise habits.
Need Help Training Your New Puppy?
A puppy is a big responsibility, but you don’t have to do it alone. For some extra help, puppy classes are a great resource. They offer fun spaces for young puppies to play and socialize and provide professional training all puppy owners will appreciate.
No one does dog training services that provide excellent classes better than The Dog Wizard. Call (877) 585-9727 today to find classes near you.