If you are planning on bringing a puppy into your home, I hope that you have thought of the future. Your little fuzzball isn’t going to be a small puppy for long. In no time at all, your little pup will be an adult dog! You must consider how big the dog will become, how much exercise he will need, and how much he will cost. All these things are very important. Choosing a dog is a big decision, so it’s worth the time you spend studying about the different dog breeds and dog behavior. You need to calculate the costs of a dog. Dog food and vet appointments add up.
When you take a new puppy into your home, you make a commitment to him. You are promising to take care of your new dog forever. That is why you need to think hard about the breed you are getting. Your dog could live to be 10 years old or maybe even older. I hope that you will love your new dog to the end of his life. If you love your dog, he will love you right back. Your dog will look up to you and think you’re the most incredible person in the whole world. You are his pack leader, his master, his very best friend. Your dog will love you to the very last beat of his heart, so you should love him to the very end too.
When you pick out your new puppy, take your time. This is a very important decision which will take some thinking. You want to choose a puppy that comes to you, lets you pet him, isn’t scared or mean, and seems to like you. Don’t choose the cute little puppy that hides behind his mother or shakes when you pet him. That puppy might not be ready to leave his mother or will end up being a frightened adult dog that shakes every time someone strokes him on the back. Also, don’t choose a mean dog. A puppy who bites you, snarls at you, or even gives you a low growl will most likely end up as a problem dog in the future. So play it safe and don’t risk it! You don’t want to be driving to the shelter a year from the day you pick up your puppy saying you couldn’t handle the biting. Choose the puppy who is friendly, doesn’t mind you picking him up, likes it when you give him attention, and doesn’t growl or hide from you.
Before you go and pick up your bundle of joy from the shelter or breeder, you need to do some shopping! Your new dog will be needing:
- A collar and ID tag
- Two bowls (one for food and one for water)
- A leash
- A brush
- A dog bed
- Some puppy food
That’s just the basics of what your puppy will need. You can pick up some dog training books, dog treats (your new pup will love you for that!), or anything else that you may want you little pooch to have. Also, another thing you will want to consider buying for your dog is a dog crate. These are really nice because your dog can sleep in them at night and also be safely in his cage while you’re not at home. Just make sure to buy a crate that’s big enough to fit your puppy in when he’s grown up.
The Name Game
It’s so much fun to name your dog. Have your whole family involved with naming your puppy. This will be you dog’s very own name and everyone should like it. You can always name your puppy what he looks or acts like. If your puppy is very bouncy, you could call him Bounce. If your puppy has lots of spots on his back, you could call him Freckles or Dot. Be creative and have fun naming your dog!
Once you have decided on a name for your puppy, you will need to use it as often as you can. Avoid calling your puppy multiple names (although, I confess, I am also called Baby and Posh Puppy while my real name is Sissy, but, in my own defense, you should hear all the funny names my humans call the cat!), because he could become confused and not know what his real name is.
You will need to get your puppy some things to chew on. Your pup is teething now and he feels as if he just has to get his teeth into something! As his new teeth grow in, the puppy will want to chew everything that comes in his path. If you provide your new pup with many toys to chew, he will not end up chewing the leg of the table or those important papers you just laid on the chair. Be extra cautious of bones! Your puppy could choke on little pieces of bone and could actually die from it. Always buy very large and puppy-safe bones and supervise your dog while he chews.
Make a list of rules for your new puppy to go by, and stick to them. If someone alters those rules, your puppy will become confused and not know right from wrong. If you don’t want the pup on the bed, write that down on a paper along with your other rules and stick them on the fridge. Rules on the list could include: The puppy is not allowed to play roughly with anyone or the puppy cannot eat scraps from the table. These are both very good rules that you will want to consider putting on your list. Remember, don’t bend the rules! You must keep strict rules about the puppy biting anyone, even at play. This is strictly forbidden. If your little fuzzball gets away with biting now, he will think it’s OK to bite someone when all his adult teeth comes in. Now that’s going to smart! Don’t let even a playful nip go unpunished. This isn’t cruel; it’s for the puppy’s own good. No one wants to live with a dog who bites you every day! When your puppy bites you, don’t start screaming, “No! No! Bad dog!” at him. He doesn’t know that biting is bad, and he’s just a baby. Now, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to let him get away with biting. No sir! When your puppy bites you, say, “Ouch!” loudly and walk away from your puppy. Totally ignore him for a while. This will teach your puppy that when he bites you, it really does hurt you and he doesn’t get to have fun when he bites someone. When you say ouch, it will give your puppy a shock. And when you walk away, the pup will learn that if he bites, he doesn’t get to have fun with you.
Before you bring your puppy home, you will need to prepare. Look around your house and think as if you were a little puppy who was curious about everything and had just come into the world a while ago. Puppies will want to chew on wires, shoes, books, and anything else in their reach. Put everything off the floor and out of reach. Don’t give your puppy a chance to be bad. And remember, he’s just a baby. He doesn’t know that chewing on shoes is wrong or that he shouldn’t gnaw on wires for his own safety. Your puppy hasn’t been taught that yet. But don’t worry, he will soon learn. You just need to prepare your house fully before you bring home your new puppy. That way, he will be able to be a good dog and begin to enjoy family life with you. Give your puppy many chances to be good, and reward him for doing the right thing. That way, he will want to do what’s right.
You may want to use barriers to keep your dog out of certain places. This is a very good thing for a puppy as he will be less overwhelmed over his new home and will get into less trouble. Baby gates work great to keep your little puppy out of your bedroom, the children’s rooms or play areas, and other places where your puppy could easily chew and destroy things.
Bringing Your Puppy Home in the Car
You have just picked up your new puppy and are getting ready to drive off. You check to see if the puppy is securely seated in someone’s lap or in a cage and drive off…it sounds all too easy! But, realistically, it’s not that easy all the time. Puppies can become carsick and throw up in the car. That’s no fun for anyone! This is why you need to prepare for these accidents. If the puppy is to sit on someone’s lap during the ride home, cover the person’s lap with an old towel. You might also need to put a towel or blanket on the puppy to keep him warm. Consider putting on some soothing music in your car as you drive home with your new puppy. This will help him to stay calm. Don’t pass the puppy from lap to lap in the car. I know that everyone in the family will be wanting to have the puppy on their lap, but that’s just too much for the little pup. Remember that he’s new to your family and has probably never ridden in a car before. He needs to feel secure, and being jostled from hand to hand in the car is not security. Safety tips: Never leave your puppy alone in the car because he could burn or freeze to death if the weather is even a little hot or cold. Also, don’t ever let your puppy (or adult dog) hang his head out of the window. Trash and dirt could get into his eyes and hurt him. Do not ever put your puppy or dog in the back of the truck. He could jump out and run away or get seriously hurt. Again, trash could get into his eyes and hurt him.
Puppy’s First Day Home
When you first bring your puppy home, don’t tote the pup around. This can be very tempting as puppies are so cute and you want to hold them up to your face and cuddle them. Your puppy is not a toy; he’s a dog and should be treated like one. Leave your puppy on the floor and let him sniff around. This is to be his new home and he needs a chance to find out about his surroundings. So don’t pick up your puppy unless it is absolutely necessary. Take your puppy outside to go to the bathroom once you come home. After that car ride, he will probably need to go. Also, you don’t want any “accidents” happening in the house. Don’t take your puppy anywhere on his first day at your home. I know you want to socialize your new puppy, but that doesn’t mean on his first day. Wait until he has had all his shots to protect him from illnesses, and then you can introduce your puppy to other friendly dogs and bring him out to the park and have loads of fun on these outings. Also, don’t begin training your puppy for a while. Your puppy just needs some time to settle down and get to know his humans.
Food, Water, and Where to go Potty
Give your puppy some water a little while after arriving at your house. He may not want to drink it because he is so excited, but don’t worry. Your puppy will drink when he feels thirsty. Choose a nice, clean corner where your puppy’s water bowl can be. You will need to keep the bowl in a spot where it won’t be easily spilled. Show your puppy where the bowl is, point to the bowl and say softly, “Look, (dog’s name), water!” Feed your puppy when he is settled. Always remember to bring your dog outside to go to the bathroom after he drinks or eats. Don’t punish your new puppy for going to the bathroom on the floor. Remember that he hasn’t been potty trained yet, and he’s just a baby. He doesn’t know any better. If your puppy goes to the bathroom on the floor, you may need to be taking him outside more often. Clean up your puppy’s messes quickly so he won’t try to go potty again on the same spot. You might also want to take an old newspaper and sop up some of your dog’s mess on it. Take the newspaper outside and place it where you want your dog to go potty. This way, your puppy will want to go potty outside where the newspaper is. This will be the first step when potty training your dog.
Your puppy may need something to cuddle with…a sort of “cuddle buddy”. Yes, his human is great to cuddle, but he doesn’t know you very well yet. And also, you won’t be able to cuddle nonstop with him. Some puppies like to cuddle with a big, fluffy stuffed animal. That sort of reminds them of their mommy and litter mates. It is a very good idea to get your dog his own “cuddle buddy” so he won’t have to use a child’s doll or teddy bear. Your puppy will enjoy roughhousing with the stuffed animal, sleeping with it, or climbing all over it.
Nap Time For Puppy
Your puppy will need a nice place to sleep after all that excitement. Choose a spot for your dog’s bed or crate and let your puppy rest there. I heartily recommend a crate as your dog’s little nappy-time bed (and also as a bed for when he goes “night, night”). These crates make perfect “dens” for puppies to crawl into and rest, away from all noise and activity. You need to choose a quite spot for your dog to rest, so he can sleep peacefully.When your puppy is sleeping, don’t ever disturb him. He needs his rest because he is just a baby.
When Will my Puppy be an Adult Dog?
When you’re a puppy parent, you’re going to have some of those days when you wonder when your puppy will ever grow up. Your puppy went to the bathroom on the floor, chewed up your favorite shoes, and knocked down your favorite glass vase. Your puppy won’t be an adult dog until he’s about 2 years old. Growing takes time.
I hope you have some tail-wagging fun with your new puppy! Do some cuddling, go to the park, and just have fun watching your little puppy learn new things every day.