Congratulations on your new puppy! There’s nothing more wonderful than welcoming a little fur-ball into the family.
Now that you’re a pet parent, there are three things you can count on: cleaning up messes, a lack of sleep, and all the snuggles and playtime you could ever want. Although raising a puppy takes a lot of work and patience, we promise it will be worth it.
It all starts with establishing good habits right from day one. Here are the puppy care basics you need to know to ensure that your new puppy gets off to the best start possible.
Puppy Care Basics: Scheduling the First Checkup
According to puppy care experts at Bond Vet New York City, scheduling your puppy’s first checkup should be a top priority. “Scheduling your puppy’s first checkup as soon as possible ensures that
he is free of any overlooked health issues. It also gives you, your new vet, and your pup a chance to get acquainted, which will make future visits less stressful for everyone.”
Choose a vet that’s in a convenient location. The staff at Bond Vet recommends asking for references from family and friends and reading reviews online before you adopt your puppy. An in-person visit to check out the office can tell you a lot, too.
Your first visit is the time to ask all of your questions about vaccines, parasite control, spaying or neutering, and feeding schedules. You can also ask your vet for tips on house-training, socialization, and basic obedience.
Puppy Proofing Your Home
Puppies are curious little creatures and their way of exploring usually involves chewing. Unfortunately, they have no concept as to whether an item is precious to you, valuable, or potentially dangerous.
Do both of you a favor and puppy proof your house to ensure that your puppy and your favorite things stay safe:
- Any medications or toxic cleaning supplies should be locked away in a puppy proof place.
- Electric cords must be covered or out of reach.
- Get down on your puppy’s level and search for anything that might be valuable or dangerous.
- Your puppy should have a safe place to hang out, such as a crate or playpen. Anytime you can’t supervise him, put him in his safe place.
- Provide plenty of puppy safe toys, but never give your puppy things like old stuffed animals or shoes to play with. That can lead to confusion about the differences between his toys and your kids’ toys or your expensive shoes.
Establishing a House-training Schedule
House-training is a puppy care basic that can give new pet parents a lot of anxiety. Remember, it’s harder to break a bad habit than it is to establish a good one. You should establish a house-training schedule right from day one.
Crate training is a great way to house-train a puppy because they love having their own cosy den. Take your
puppy out at least every two hours, after every meal, after naps, and right before bedtime.
If he seems to be looking for a place to go, take him out right away. Until he’s house-trained, anytime you can’t be supervising him, he should be in his crate.
The key is positive reinforcement and patience. Never punish your puppy for an accident because that will teach him to hide the next time he has to go. You want him to let you know when he needs to go, not try to hide it!
Socializing Your Puppy
Socialization is essential for preventing behavior issues later in life. Once your puppy has received his first vaccinations,
slowly begin introducing him to new experiences, other pets, and new people.
Puppy obedience classes are a great way to socialize your puppy. They’re a lot of fun and your puppy will learn valuable skills, including how to act properly around other dogs and people.
Some Final Tips
Just like children, puppies require a lot of care and they have to be taught about rules and boundaries. Dedicating yourself to the essential puppy care basics now will ensure that he’s a well-rounded, healthy family member for years to come.