Preparing for your new pup is an exciting time. Pretty soon you will have a little furball (and joy) in the house and you are already thinking of all the fun times that lie ahead. But are you also prepared for the hard work and time-consuming, sleepless part of adding a puppy to the family? Very few puppy owners realize how much their lives will change. That might all sound a bit scary – but don’t panic! There are also many amazing moments that only a dog owner can experience.
Here are some things nobody will tell you before preparing for a new puppy, as well as some things to look forward to.
The learning curve for sleeping puppies
Puppy sleep can turn out to be quite adventurous. First, be aware that like human babies, puppies don’t sleep through the night and neither do they for a while. They have small bladders and haven’t been trained to use the bathroom yet, which means they need to use the bathroom – a lot. And you have to go with them.
There is actually some good news (although you won’t be thinking that at 4 am while standing outside in your dressing gown). This gives you more chances to reward them for going to the bathroom in the right place. The more chances you have, the faster the toilet training will be.
You can prevent many headaches by preparing for your puppy beforehand. Choose a place near you where your dog can sleep. This will help the puppy settle down, bond with you, and give you a chance to know when to wake up. As long as you are prepared and expect nothing else, you will find that managing nights out with your new pup is as easy as everyone says it is.
Daycare for puppies
Another thing to consider when preparing for a new puppy is that you now have an extra family member to add to your plans before you leave the house. Every time you go on vacation or book a vacation in the evening or on the weekend, your puppy needs to know who will give him food and hugs and who will accompany him on his daily walks.
If you are at work and you want the dog to be left alone, choose carefully who will look after your pup. You are at an important stage in your life. Therefore, you need someone who has the experience and knowledge to build your confidence, teach you vital life skills in a positive way – and know what to do if something goes wrong or in an emergency.
First, check to see if your dog is allowed to come to work when it is old. More and more employers are allowing well-behaved dogs into the workplace, and this may be the best long-term solution for you and your dog.
You may need to arrange to Daycare or a dog walker. Dogs are a social species and don’t do well on their own. A puppy needs constant attention to grow up healthy and happy – and to avoid anger – especially in the first few weeks.
Sometimes when the puppy is too young to attend dog daycare, family and friends can be the answer. Include them in your pup’s life from the very beginning – maybe even if you decide on a breed. Eventually, these aunts and uncles will be part of your pup’s family. These are also great people on standby for emergencies that we can never predict! Having someone who can take your pup with you on short notice can help you out in times of crisis.
If you don’t have family or friends who can help, you need to look for a professional pet sitter. Ask your veterinarian and other local dog owners for recommendations. Make sure everyone you choose has the experience, is fully insured, and has the appropriate qualifications (behavior, training, veterinarian, etc.).
Dog walking is important to keep your pup happy, healthy, and well socialized. It’s also something you have to do every day. When preparing for a new puppy, you need to be mentally prepared for all of the wee hours of the morning and go for walks whatever the weather. But wait until your tail-wagging puppy will shower you with kisses and soon you will forget all about it. At least until the next morning.
Puppy-safe house and garden
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your puppy is still growing up. Just like a human baby, puppies can get into all sorts of trouble when their back is turned. And when it comes to chewing and eating things, puppies go way beyond the normal dog food menu. Expect cables, book covers, and your favorite furniture to take the brunt of your pup’s bad behavior unless you are completely puppy-safe. Make it easy for your pup by picking up objects off the floor, keeping things out of the pup’s reach, and watching your pup all the time.
When it comes to Puppy-safe garden from fences to easily accessible plant types, everything needs to be considered. Make sure to fence in your favorite plants and remove those that are at risk of poisoning or irritation to the new pup. These are some of the least dog-friendly plants to watch out for: lily, azalea, daffodil, tomato, foxglove, yew, and hydrangea.
Parasites, fleas, ticks, mites
There are all kinds of nasty little creatures that can cause serious health problems for your pup. worms, Fleas, Ticks, and Mites are unfortunately part of a puppy’s life and it is up to you to look out for them. The ugly part is that you have to get used to some pretty rough details, but the good news is that your vet will have a solution to all of these problems.
Preparing for a new puppy also means preparing for all of the possible financial repercussions of owning a dog. From vaccination and neutering costs to nursing, daycare, and food, there are significant costs to consider. For full instructions on the Cost of a new puppy Read our in-depth article.
Puppy vet arrangements
There are a few things that can be done before your pup arrives. One of them registers the new puppy with the local veterinary practice. It is better to be in their books as soon as possible.
The veterinarian is someone who will be important throughout your dog’s life. After all, you trust them with your dog’s health and wellbeing, and you may even need their help in times of need or crisis. So find someone you like and are comfortable with. Ask about friends and family members who own dogs, use the internet, make a shortlist – then visit.
Make sure you get to the office easily and know who to turn to and where to go in an emergency outside of business hours. Some practices make their own emergency insurance while others get someone to do it. This is not something you want to try and work out in the middle of the night when you really need it.
Here are a few things that are good to clear up before your go puppy’s first vet visit:
- Insurance policies
- Puppy socialization Classes
Note that you are legally required to put a tag on your dog’s collar that must be worn in any public place. In addition to their label, they also need to be microchipped – a painless process that takes seconds for your vet to complete. This is already mandatory in Northern Ireland and will be mandatory in England, Scotland and Wales from spring 2016. So it is best to do this as early as possible.
Exciting things to discover and discover
A puppy is like a little baby. You have the whole world to discover and the best part is that you are there to experience it all by your side. Parks, shops, car rides, kids – everything is brand new and extremely exciting for the young pup. You can introduce them to other dogs and people. Puppy socialization classes are great fun, and it is often the place where the pups and owners make friends for life.
Puppy games and sports
There are so many fun games out there that your pup can’t wait to try it out with you. Make sure your new puppy checklist includes balls, frisbees, or tugs and that you are ready for lots of fun activities year-round. Puppy games and sports are an excellent opportunity to build the bond between the two of you and give your pup plenty of exercises. Also, you’ll add a few extra steps to the daily count without realizing it.
Puppy training Classes are another fun perk of being a dog owner. Imagine watching your puppy become completely clueless about what you are saying to a puppy capable of basic exercises and commands like “sit,” “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and even fun tricks like “give one” to recognize paw “or” rollover “.
It is important for every puppy to have dog friends. So find a good puppy training course conducted by appropriately accredited professionals. Not only will a good class provide your puppy with opportunities for socialization, but it will also give you access to a professional who can help answer your training questions as your pup grows up. Far better than relying on dubious results from Google!
A support network for fun things can add a new dimension to your life. When you have friends to meet for dog walks and dog trips, you and your dog will have the opportunity to hang out with different people, socialize, and discuss anything dog-related.
New puppy checklist
Put together the puppy checklist and go shopping. This part of preparing for a puppy is so much fun that it takes a lot of willpower to keep you from buying the entire store! While it can be tempting to buy lots of new things for your new dog, make sure that you buy the essentials first
- Two bowls – one for food and one for water. These can be ceramic or stainless steel, provided they can be cleaned properly.
- Lead and collar made of nylon or leather. In order to train your dog to walk on a leash and not pull, you should use a gentle guide collar. These make training easier and prevent larger puppies from pulling you off your feet!
- Care devices
- Some safe, fun, and stimulating toys
- A bed. There are a wide variety of beds to choose from, so find one that suits your dog’s size and temperament – some are more destructible than others! Whichever type you choose, put it in a warm and quiet place where there are no drafts.
- A metal kennel or box made of metal mesh. Puppies in particular often like the security of a crate to turn them into their own safe den. When you drape a blanket over it and put your bed in it, it becomes their safe place to hide and rest when they need some rest. Crates also help speed up the house training process, as puppies don’t want to mess up their special place.
- Eat. Check what type of food your puppy has received from the breeder or rescue center and continue the same diet for at least a week. You can gradually swap the food out over a longer period of time if you want or if there are health reasons to do so.
You may be a little stressed out with all of the puppy preparation checklists and all the various supplies you will need before the puppy comes home.
Dogs may be hard work, especially in the early weeks – but all it’s worth is. Dogs enrich our lives and give us so much joy and unconditional love from the moment we bring them home. Puppy age is actually one of the most magical times to spend with your dog. You’re forging a connection that will last a lifetime and that really is as simple and as fun, as everyone suggests.
See how new puppy parents at Purina survived their puppy’s acclimatization phase.
When you know what to expect and are well prepared for your puppy, you will both be successful and make your first few weeks together with a joyful journey of discovery as you get to know and trust each other.