When you think of having a new puppy in the house, you may be occupied with the cuteness and overlook the work involved. Puppies are fun, loving, and great to have around for the whole family. But they also require a lot of time and patience to be trained and well-behaved. First-time puppy parents may not realize the responsibility that goes into raising and training a puppy. It’s similar to having a toddler in your home since they need almost constant supervision. But it’s worth the effort and time you put into training your puppy. A well-trained puppy grows into a happy and well-behaved dog which will bring happiness to your family for years. If you’re considering bringing a puppy into your home for the first time, be prepared with the following tips on caring for your new furry family member.
Puppy-proof your house
It’s helpful to have your house puppy-proofed before you bring your new pet home. Have a safe space for your puppy to hang out, especially when they’re home alone. Many dogs do well with crate training and it can even help make the potty training process easier. Think of things that would be enticing to a toddler and remove them from your puppy’s reach. Just like young children, puppies are curious and they may chew or pull on electrical cords and other dangerous objects. They will also pick up anything on the floor and try to swallow it so be vigilant when keeping your floors clear of small objects that could cause your puppy to choke or get stuck in their digestive tract.
Decide where your puppy will sleep
It’s important to start out your puppy’s life in their new home with good habits. If you don’t ever want your grown dog sleeping on your bed, don’t allow your puppy to do it. Many people think it’s cute to have a small puppy to snuggle up with but find it uncomfortable when the dog gets big and wants to take up half the bed. Your dog won’t understand why they’ve suddenly been kicked out of their favorite sleeping spot. At the same time, if you don’t mind the dog on your bed, they’re great for keeping your spot warm. Some dogs, especially those with long hair, prefer the coolness of the floor. Our German Shepherds can often be found sleeping on the air vent when the AC is on. We keep dog beds in most rooms of the house so our dogs have plenty of places to nap.
How to deal with chewing
Puppies have insanely sharp teeth and chewing is a natural and healthy behavior. They need an outlet for chewing and you don’t want it to be on your hand or arm. They are a lot of puppy toys that are specifically designed for pain relief related to teething. Choose age and size appropriate toys for safety. It’s also important not to encourage your puppy to chew on anything but the toys and treats you give them. A small puppy may not do much damage to your furniture or shoes, but they can quickly learn to destroy things around your house if you don’t redirect their behavior every time. Most puppies also love to chew your ankles as you walk. The easiest way to discourage them is to have a favorite toy in your pocket for a quick distraction.
Puppies bring laughter and joy to your home. But first-time puppy parents have the responsibility of instilling good habits from the beginning. Be sure your home is safe and ready for your puppy before their arrival. Be prepared with ideas on how to train your puppy and the good habits you want to encourage. As long as you are consistent with redirecting undesirable behaviors, your puppy will quickly learn how to behave. Well-trained puppies are happy puppies. With plenty of love, a comfortable place to sleep, and lots of playtime, your puppy will grow and thrive within your family.