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Getting a brand new puppy?
Wow - you really do need to keep reading!
Everyone initially thinks puppies are so very cute and smell like precious fur babies that just sit around and spread puppy kisses and love all over you.
Yes, they are adorable creatures, but you need to settle down and think through what the real needs of this sweet little addition to the family are.
Besides a human baby, puppies might just be the next in line for the high level of attention and patience they require.
Let’s look at some basic things you’re gonna need BEFORE puppy comes home.
Things to buy:
1. A Crate
Crates are a beautiful thing for a new puppy in your home. It provides a “home base” and a “safe zone” where your puppy learns to hide away and feel protected and safe. It also serves as a training ground for potty training your new baby.
Normally, a dog will not do their business in the same area where they sleep so keeping your pup in a crate at night and while you’re away will help train them naturally.
Now with that being said, don’t leave your puppy in their crate for too long or they may not be able to hold their pee. A puppy needs the opportunity to potty every 2 - 3 hours, if possible. As they mature, you will be able to increase the time between potty breaks.
The best crate would be one with a movable divider. This will allow you to buy a larger crate but temporarily size it down to fit your puppy. As your puppy grows, you simply move the divider to create a larger space.
Note: If you put your puppy in a crate that is too large for them, they will just go to the back of it to do their business. It would be better to buy multiple crates as your puppy grows instead of one huge one that you cannot divide.
We love this Crate by Frisco!
Click Crate above to purchase from Chewy now!
It has everything you need to raise your pup right and expand as your new baby grows up.
2. Quality Puppy Food - You will want to make sure to feed your pup quality puppy food (not adult dog food). Your puppy requires different nutrients than mature dogs in order to develop normal and get a healthy start in life. Please don't skimp on your pup's food. Cheaper foods have fillers, preservatives, and by-products which do absolutely nothing for growing a healthy pup. Choose higher-quality ingredients which, yes, will be more expensive.
You didn't think your puppy was going to be cheap to raise, did you? ;-)
Check out our TOP 10 of the highest ranked puppy foods on the planet:
1. Blue Buffalo - Life Protection Formula for Puppies
2. American Journey - Lamb and Sweet Potatoe for Puppies
3. Natural Balance - Original Ultra Whole Body for Puppies To Adults
4. Wellness Core - Grain Free Puppy
5. Purina Pro Plan - Focus Puppy Large Breed
6. Purina Pro - Puppy Classic Chicken & Rice
7. Hill's Science Diet - Puppy Chicken and Barley
8. Royal Canin - Puppy Canned Dog Food
9. Nutro Ultra - Puppy Chunks in Gravy
10. Blue Buffalo - Homestyle Recipe Puppy Chicken Dinner
3. Puppy Toys - lots and lots -Do you realize that every single thing in your house is going to look like a plaything to your puppy? That’s right - you have now been forewarned that your whole house may be eaten alive!
But hold on - the very best way to save your home and its contents is to overwhelm (meaning more than a couple) your pup with lots of toys.
Buy your puppy different types and colors of toys too for stimulation. Tug, cuddle, squeaky, and curiosity toys should help keep them occupied.
Some of our favs for your curious pup:
4. Puppy Pads - These are great if you are away from your puppy for long periods of time. They won’t be able to wait 10 hours to go potty. If you are away for extended periods of time, you can put a puppy pad down for them to use. These puppy pads have a powerful attractant that will encourage your puppy to "go" on them.
5. Food/Water Bowls - Buy a couple of stainless steel bowls. These clean up the best and attach to the side of their crate. No more spills!! Did you know it only takes 1 day for bacteria to start growing in food and water bowls?
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6. Flea/Heartworm Controls - Even if your puppy is going to be indoors, they will need a quality flea and heartworm solution. Going outside for a quick minute to potty can still mean flea woes. One flea can turn into bunches of fleas in no time too. Pet Hangout has a great assortment of safe and natural solutions to combat those pesky little creatures.
7. A Comfy Puppy Bed - Your puppy will initially miss their siblings and mother. One source of comfort will be a warm and cozy bed to call their own. I am proud to say that we here at Pet Hangout only carry the highest of quality dog bedding. A lot of the cheaper beds will absorb doggie smell and become really rank over time. Even the hottest cycle through the washing machine can't touch the smell.
Our bedding is created with wonderful technology like water-repellent liners, removable and washable shells, and even orthopedic support. I think it's safe to say your puppy will love our dog beds! And if you discover our dog bed solutions through this post, you also get a handsome discount of 25% when checking out - simply use code "MyNewPuppy".
8. Puppy Clicker (optional) - Puppy clickers are awesome for giving positive reinforcement to your puppy. Every time he responds correctly to a command, you click and reward. Eventually, he learns to associate the click with the command…and he knows a yummy treat is on the way.
Click the "Clicker" above to buy from Chewy Now!
9. Puppy Pen (optional) - A puppy pen is a great way to give your new puppy some freedom in a defined area. It’s way better than keeping them in a crate all the time but still lets you decide which areas of your home he can roam.
Click the pen above to buy from Chewy now!
It pretty much works like keeping a baby in a playpen. They still get to play but you’re not worried sick about what they may be getting into.
Check out our collection of sturdy and heavy duty playpens that will last a lifetime. And don't forget to use code,
"MyNewPuppy" at checkout for 25% off!
Now that you have the basics in place, let talk about your next steps after your puppy is home.
It's very important to plan your introductions to the family. If you can, let someone else manage the other family pet(s) (one at a time). Have them keep the family pet stationary while you bring the puppy up to them. Let both sniff and get acquainted while you monitor how everyone is doing.
You can do this one by one for each family member. But remember, bring the puppy to them (and not the other way around). This is less intimidating for the puppy and helps them feel a little more in control.
You will need to do several “visits” like this for each family member before letting them greet each other freely.
Some puppies are easier than others to potty train. You will want to pull your patience card out for this one!
Leave your pup in a crate during times when you cannot monitor them. As soon as they come out of the crate, ALWAYS take them out to potty. Pick a phrase like, “go potty” and repeat this as they walk around the yard. As soon as they potty, reward with a small treat along with verbal praises like, “good boy” or “good girl”.
If (or more like when) they accidentally potty inside, take them to the spot, let them smell it, then point to their nose, and say “no, no, no”. Then, pick them up and take them directly outside (very important to do it immediately), put them down and say, “go potty”.
Most dogs will not go in their crate, so if you use this approach, you have the best chance of conquering this task in less time.
The harder way to potty train is using pee pads. What you don’t want is a doggie that becomes accustomed to these and always wants to potty on them so be careful about relying on this method too much in my opinion.
The key is consistency! The more you say and do the same thing, the quicker your pup is going to “get it”.
Note: Please don’t hit your pup or yell when they mess up. You are just going to create a timid little pooch that is scared of you. Gently saying no when tapping the nose, then directing them outside to potty is a much better approach.
Praise, praise, praise, will get you there much quicker and create a more emotionally healthy dog.
Your pup's secure environment is no more. He is scared and misses his family. You need to create a new secure area for him which should be his new safe place. A quiet corner, a comfy, warm bed, and a nice stuffed animal (about the size of him) is a great starting place. He will learn to love his new spot very quickly. Just do your part in making it the best that it can be!
All your puppy wants to do is play, eat, and sleep (oh and poop - ha ha). So make sure you are giving him supervised and safe play at least 2 - 3 times a day. They must have this to get out pent up energy and for proper muscle development. They will also enjoy spending special time with you to bond and become your very best friend.
And remember, the more toys you give them, the less likely they will use your furniture as entertainment ;-)
Your puppy’s nutritional value is different from a grown dog. Feed them quality puppy food. You will want to be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommended daily feeding schedule and amounts (based on your puppy’s weight).
Here's a typical daily schedule for your pup:
Chart Credit: petmd.com
NOTE: After 14 - 18 weeks old, you should move him to twice daily feedings. For further information on your puppy's schedule, check out Petmd's article, "How to Create a Puppy Feeding Schedule".
You should try to tuck your pup in around the same time each night. Make sure their sleeping spot is in their secure location. Also, you might try:
Click blanket above to buy from Chewy Now!
For the first couple of nights, I recommend you stay with your pup until they fall asleep. Gentle massaging or rubbing should help calm them. Try to be very quiet and sneak out of the area once they are asleep.
Note: They may just wake up and whine for you and that’s okay. If you have provided a secure environment, they are perfectly fine and will fall back asleep. Remember, the way you handle your puppy the first couple of nights is going to dictate the rest of your life with this pet.
You need to decide how you want things to be. If it’s sleeping in the bed with you, then start that routine. If it’s them sleeping in their dedicated spot, then start that routine the very first night.
There are some wonderful puppy training classes that you could enroll your pup into. They range from basic training to more advanced. These are great ways to start getting your puppy socialized, build a stronger bond with them, and gain insight from the professionals.
I highly recommend going this route. Check out the classes offered at your local Petsmart store.
Routines, Routines, Routines
Your new pet can learn a solid routine (meaning one that is consistently enforced) in 4 - 7 days. Be thoughtful about which routines you want to teach your pup and get your game on.
You will be amazed at how quickly your puppy "catches on" and expects the routine in no time at all.
You and your puppy can have a successful beginning if you establish some guidelines and routines. Remember to buy the essentials like food/water bowls, toys, bedding, etc. before your puppy comes home.
You will want to create a secure sleeping spot with new comforts like a comfy bed, nightlight, a security blanket, and a sleep buddy.
Plan the introductions to keep stress levels to a minimum, including yours and the pups. Be intentional about your plan of attack in housebreaking, sleeping schedules, and training your pup.
Give your pup a safe place for lots of playtimes and be faithful on sticking with routines to help your puppy learn quickly.
Be a pro with these puppy hacks and you will have a well behaved and happy pup on your hands.
The beginning of a beautiful relationship...
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For more informative dog reads, check out How to Know if My Dog has Painful Hip Dysplasia, 9 Ways to Speak Your Dog's Love Language, and How to know When to Euthanize Your Sick Dog.
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