Our top 3 steps for raising your puppy properly will begin with the very start of your puppy journey.
1. Getting Your Puppy and Bringing Them Home
You finally got your puppy. Whether it was after months of research, planning and prepping or a spur of the moment decision - you finally got your new puppy and they are finally home! This initial step of bringing your puppy home is very important. This is where you start your journey and set yourself and your puppy up for success.
Whether you are raising a puppy while working full time, in an apartment or even raising a puppy and kitten together, there are little things you can do when you get home to master the art of raising a puppy. Start with puppy proofing your home. This means moving your shoes, storing your food higher, blocking off rooms or exits you don’t want your puppy getting near and removing anything else you don’t want getting mistaken for a toy.
Then you’ll want to make sure you find your local vet and set up your first appointment. Before your puppy can socialize and make puppy dog pals, they will need their vaccinations. Finally, show your dog around their new home. Help them learn and understand where their water bowl is, where the door to go outside is, if you choose to use pee pads, make sure they know where they are, and so on. This is just as new and exciting for your puppy as it is for you.
2. Training your puppy
Dog training is very important. A lot of the initial and basic training methods are learned in the first couple months of having your puppy. You will want to start creating positive puppy behavior as soon as you can. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to training your puppy but the most important to start with now are potty training, recall training and learning to socialize.
The most efficient and easy way to potty train your new puppy is to use positive reinforcement. It will take a lot of trial and error so it’s a good thing you prepared your home. When your new puppy goes in the right place, give them a treat. If your puppy went in the wrong place, try to not shame or punish. Positive reinforcement goes a much longer way!
Recall training is essentially making sure your puppy knows their name and comes when you call. Start with calling their name and giving them a treat whenever they run towards you. And of course, just give them lots of cuddles and say their name - they will catch on.
When it comes to socializing your dog, the best thing to do is exposure. Help them make puppy dog pals! They will learn how to properly socialize on instinct when you help them make introductions to other puppies and even humans.
3. Adjust to your new lifestyle
When you get a dog, your life changes. Your daily routine now includes your puppy and they require a lot of the same things you do. They will need food, exercise, grooming and treats. As you figure out your new routine make sure to include these things and help you adjust your new life to accommodate your new pet. Make sure you choose the right puppy chow. This may take some trial and error to figure out what your new puppy likes, but you can always consult your vet.
Your puppy will also need exercise. Naturally, puppies are more hyper, but you will still want to take them on walks and do different dog exercises. Grooming is also a huge component to dog care, one that takes learning a new skill. You will have to learn how to properly bathe them, do puppy nail trimming and if they need it, getting their haircut.
This is truly the best part of the journey. You are now getting to enjoy your new life with your puppy and get to share them with your friends and family and get all the warm cozy cuddles you can.