Bringing a new pup into your home isn’t as easy as it seems. Like a baby, you are going to need to teach them everything. That means potty training, no sock stealing training, biting training, and just about everything else.
As you might be able to tell, this will take time, patience, and a little bit of money. So before you go on buying a puppy, make sure you can give it the love and effort it deserves.
Here are our tips:
- They say dogs are like their pawrents, keep the saying alive
Unlike a kid you can choose what kind of dog you are getting, so choose wisely my friends.
Some things to consider when choosing a pup are:
Size- if you live in a small, city apartment you might not want a German Shepherd taking up a fourth of it. It’s also not comfortable for a dog of that size to be in such a contained space, so try to find a pup that fits your current living situation.
Yes, we know you are soon going to move out into a home with a massive backyard, but for now, live with what you got.
Fur type- if you’re like me, and you don’t enjoy dog hairs on the floors, couches, clothes, and your car, look for a pup that doesn’t shed. Shedding, however, is the natural process of getting rid of old, dead hairs to make room for new and healthy ones.
That means your going to be having to do more grooming or more paying someone to groom.
Energy levels- whether you’re a Netflix and chill type of person, or an Energizer bunny, you’re probably going to want a pup that catches your vibe.
Got kids? dogs can get jealous, and bringing a baby into a home where a puppy exists can cause your pup to act out. So if you are planning on having kids, or already have them, try to find a more child-friendly dog like a Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, or Lab.
Allergic? if you don’t want to be sneezing and sniffling all day, it would be a good idea to find a hypoallergenic pooch. Some allergy-free dogs are Afghan Hounds, Maltese, and Mini Schnauzers.
Bark o’ meter- Are you the type of person that likes to hear barking often, or only when the mailman comes by? I'm more of the latter, but hey, to each their own.
Breed purity- Some people want to raise their pups to be the next pure-bred Westminster champion, others just want a unique, interesting-looking shelter pooch. Find what's right for you.
- Ready up the home!
Similar to covering sharp corners and locking dangerous cabinets for babies, you might want to prep your home for your pup's grand entrance. Here’s how:
- If you are going to be keeping your pup in a certain area, like the kitchen, or if you don’t want him going up and down stairs, make sure to have a gate you can place before your pup arrives. Remember you’re not locking them in, just helping them accommodate.
- Also, if you have any outdoor areas that need fencing, like your backyard or pool, try and do it with enough time so you aren’t worried about your dog escaping or jumping in the pool before they are allowed
- Pups are clumsy and full of energy, so you might have to move some stuff around to make sure they aren’t always bumping into them and causing things to break
- Here’s my favorite. Hide your socks, shoes, or anything else you don’t want getting chewed on. Trust me, they are going to be chewing on anything they can find.
- You could also get some anti-chew spray, it doesn’t hurt.
- Make sure to keep anything dangerous out of their sights, such as wires, laundry items/chemicals, and foods or plants that could be dangerous for them
- Puppy stuff…
As you might be able to tell, you're going to need some puppy stuff. Here are the most important things you need:
- Food that is right for your pup’s breed and size
- Bowls to eat the right foods and drink water. (We’ll let you choose what kind of bowls you like)
- A collar, leash,, and ID tags with your information (address, phone number, etc.)
- Potty pads and poop bags for when they level up (get some type of cleaner that is right for your floors/carpets in case they miss the spot)
- Beauty products: puppy shampoo, brush or comb, nail clippers, and a toothbrush and toothpaste
- A comfy bed
- Training items: a training leash, clicker, and training treats (get them some regular treats too)
- Fun toys for them to play with
- Supplements (I know someone who makes some good ones ;): it is never too early to get them started on a healthy diet. Just make sure with your vet before you start feeding them if they can take them.
- Ensure yourself, before you wreck yourself
78% of people underestimate how much owning a dog costs in the first year, says Credit.com. The American Kennel Club projects that veterinary costs per year are about $650, and that’s probably more during the first year.
Aside from pup expenses, like vaccinations and first checkups, as your dog grows there could be sicknesses or injuries that cost you some money. There is no way to anticipate how much you would spend on your dog’s healthcare throughout their life. Hopefully, not much at all.
However, I’m off the better safe than sorry mindset. For about $30 to $50 a month, you can give your dog coverage for common vet visits and save some $.
- Draw the line
This is an important one. Setting boundaries early on will determine a lot of how your dog will behave as they grow up.
Deciding where they will be sleeping, where in the house they are allowed to be, and which couches they can jump on (if any) are some examples.
- Find a trusted vet
Like with your doctor, you want someone good, but also caring, trustworthy, and there for your pooch. If you don’t know where to start looking for a vet, ask whoever you got your pup from, whether a shelter or a breeder, if they have any trusted ones.
You can also ask other pawrents you might know, check Google for ones near you (read the reviews before you go), or go on online forums for larger amounts of information.
Some other things you might want to consider are whether the clinic has all the necessary treatments your dog might need, or if you have to go elsewhere for certain procedures, if the facility is clean and if the staff seems caring and helpful.
Once you’ve found the right vet for you and your pup, take them to their first visit to get checked up and receive the necessary vaccinations.
- Microchip that pooch
Although your pooch might have their ID tags, you might want to invest in something that can give you greater comfort in the horrible case they get lost. Unlike a collar that might break, causing the ID tags to be lost, a microchip is injected under your pup's skin containing their identification numbers.
Once that is done, you just have to register, license, and save your furry friend's chip number somewhere safe.
If your pooch is found at a shelter or clinic, they are immediately scanned for a microchip, and if it contains the right information, you should be reunited with your pup pretty soon.
If you want to have real-time GPS information on your pup’s whereabouts, you might want to check out the Apple Airtag and compatible collars.
- Train, train, train, oh and train
Now on to the hard stuff, training.
A young pup is going to need to eat about 3-6 times a day. About 10-20 minutes after they eat, they are going to have to potty, so get them on the potty pad.
Hopefully, they are doing their business where they are supposed to. If they are, leave the used potty pad there for some time so that your pup gets used to the smell of where they are supposed to go.
Now for real training.
If you want your pooch to obey commands and behave properly, the easiest and least time-consuming way to do this is going to be by hiring a trainer or taking them to a puppy school. If you want to do it yourself, it is going to be harder, but you can do it!
Buy some training treats, and a clicker, be patient, and things should start to work out.
- Give them their space, adios mom and dad I am an old dog now!
Crates. To humans, they seem like prison cells, but to pups, it is the idea of a safe space that is theirs, and not yours.
Crate training your pooch might be a long and tedious process, but it is an important part of improving their behavior and helping them feel comfortable.
Find a crate that is right for your dog's size, play around the crate so they develop a positive idea of it, and treat them when they follow your instructions and get in.
Make sure they are comfortable in there and that they aren’t wearing any collars, tags, or clothes when inside the crate. Sometimes collars or tags can get stuck to the crate fence, and this can be very dangerous for your pup.
Be conscious of the time they are in there so that they are not becoming anxious or fearful. Gradually, the amount of time you can leave them in their crates should increase, and you will be able to leave them in there for a few hours without worry.
Again, be patient.
- Let them be socialites
Who doesn’t like socializing? Well, I guess some of us don’t, but it is an essential part of your pooches growth.
Having fellow pup friends allows your dog to be playful with their kind and practice not biting others. Although that might be a tough one.
It’s also important for your pup to get to know other people and learn how to behave around them. Doing this early on in their life will be much easier than once they are an adult.
- Patience & Love
This last one is easy. Not the patient part.
Patience is extremely necessary. The process from when you get your puppy until they are a behaved companion is a long and difficult one. However, it will be paid back in full with the love and loyalty they will give you.
Make sure to give them that love, loyalty and patience, however, as they begin to learn and become adjusted to their new home.
And most of all, have fun!