Adopting a puppy is very exciting - but it can certainly be overwhelming if you haven't had much experience. Check out this list of 7 things you need to know about becoming a first time puppy parent.
1. It's important to be well-prepared.
This is a whole new playing field for you. Make sure to take the time to do the research! Puppy-proofing your house , planning your work schedule, choosing the right vet, and ensuring your finances can support a furry friend are all extremely important factors to consider when bringing a pup into the mix.
2. Consistency and routine are imperative in training your pup.
Be sure to commit to puppy training, and keep it as consistent and routine as possible. Take the puppy out at the same times each day to quicken the training process by establishing his potty schedule from the getgo. Similarly, putting aside 30 minutes a day for training at the same time every day will allow the pup to come to understand his daily schedule.
3. Patience and flexibility are key.
Though you're aiming for consistency, it's inevitable that the first few months with your puppy won't always go as planned. Be ready for the chaos - maybe even embrace it! There will be accidents, there will be chewed shoes, and there will be early mornings. Keeping your cool and sticking to the schedule will minimize these incidents and shorten the journey to having a house trained and well-behaved pup.
4. Start training your puppy as soon as possible!
Training for your pup should start the minute s/he wants through the door. This should be solely focused on positive reinforcement - puppies are too young to fully understand what is right or wrong. Negative reinforcement is not only an ineffective method of training, but it can be a scarring experience for your new pup. Be sure to reward good behavior with plenty of healthy treats, or a lot of love!
5. Dogs are like humans in many ways.
Just like us, dogs need their own space to go to when they need alone time, and they enjoy having a predictable daily routine. Do everything you can to cater to these needs! Above all, they need love, especially during this uncertain time in their lives.
6. Take time to learn dog talk.
Every dog has a unique way of communicating with its owner. It's important to learn and read these visual cues. An example of this would be the uncomfortable circling they may do when they need to use the bathroom, or the restless panicky signs they may give off when they're experiencing stomach pains. Keep an eye on your puppy, and you'll be able to establish this shared language in no time.
7. It's not all about you anymore.
Your world is about to be turned upside down, in the best way! You will soon have an animal that depends on you for endless love and care. This means that your free time may not be able to be spent on sleeping in or group yoga classes. You will soon have to utilize this free time to tend to the needs of your puppy, whether that is exercise, bathroom breaks, dinner, or just a daily dose of cuddles. Your schedule will undoubted get fuller, especially if you are balancing puppy care with a full-time career. However, you'll soon understand that the sacrafices you may have to make will be well worth the love, joy, and happiness your new puppy will bring you for years to come.
To learn more about options you have for your pup's daily care, check out our blog: 5 Options for Daily Puppy Care for the Working Professional.