Do you have puppy fever? It’s the feeling you get over that little ball of cuteness you just saw or held or maybe both. Or, perhaps your kids have been harassing you to get a puppy, and you’re about to cave. Here are a few helpful tips from TTPM Pets to help you on your journey to puppy parenthood.
Puppies Grow Up
First and foremost, puppies are only puppies for about six months. So their puppy breath will disappear, their tiny little paws and noses will become full-grown, and their soft fur will likely change and become coarse. All of this means, they won’t look the same when they mature. So please be sure that you have dog fever and not just puppy fever.
Whether you get a puppy from a breeder or a shelter, visit a vet clinic or veterinary physician as soon as possible. Your new best friend will need to be checked for parasites and other maladies usually associated with puppies. This rule still applies if you are told your puppy is fully vetted. Also keep in mind, vets aren’t free so make sure your are financially prepared for the periodic vet bills for the lifetime of your dog. Pet healthcare can be expensive, so we suggest looking into pet health insurance plans to help cope with costs that could arise.
Puppy Boredom Busters
Puppies are easily bored, and unfortunately boredom for puppies often leads to destruction. Folks, it’s going to happen. You can, however, offset some damage by having an ample supply of dog toys—especially chew toys—to distract your puppy from the pillows on your couches and the fabulous leather shoes you recently purchased. Toys can be effective but they aren’t magical. To help keep your puppy from being more destructive, spend time interacting with your new fur-baby. Not only does this set the foundation for a lifelong friendship, but you can begin to instill a sense of right and wrong by using the very first command a puppy usually hears: No!
Socialization with humans and other dogs should also start at an early age. The sooner your puppy is used to being around other people and dogs, the sooner it will stop barking at strangers or strange dogs. If you have company often, don’t lock your puppy away in a room; let it interact, but be sure there is a spot where your puppy can go to feel secure and relax like a crate or a bed. If loud music is common in your house, play loud music. They will eventually adjust to your lifestyle. If you keep them away they can get resentful and bored and we know what happens then.
Lastly, puppies are going to have accidents in your home. Whether they are of the liquid or solid variety, it’s going to happen until they are housebroken. To get a jump on puppy housebreaking, we suggest taking puppies for a walk every two hours when possible. Bring treats with you so when they do have success doing their business outside you can reward them. This will help condition your puppy to relieve itself outside early on. It’s also a good idea to have plenty of housebreaking pads around the house, and to use them in areas that your puppies seem comfortable using when nature calls. Your puppy will get used to going on the pads so even when there is an indoor accident, it will likely be on the pad which makes for a much easier cleanup. At night, it’s not a bad practice to have your puppy sleep in a dog crate until housebroken. Puppies do not usually like soiling where they sleep.
These are just a few things to think about when you decide to get a puppy. Bringing a four-legged family member into your home can be a beautiful experience as long as you go into it with eyes wide open and are realistic about what to expect.