You took the leap.
Suddenly there’s a young, energetic and unpredictable puppy in your home and – truth be told – he or she has already melted your heart. For a new dog owner, a puppy is mostly a blessing, but he or she can also provide you with a big learning experience. Here are five tips you’ll want to jump on right away.
Dog-proof your home
Puppies love to get into anything and everything. The best way to prevent your new dog from causing havoc to your home and wallet is by dog-proofing your home, specifically:
• Shoes: Put them somewhere a puppy can’t get.
• Wires: Keep them out of the open.
• Plants: Certain types of plants you might have in your home can make dogs sick.
• Curtains and cords: Curtains can be expensive to replace, so keep them out of reach while your dog is young.
Start training ASAP
Before your puppy ever goes to training class, he or she should already be trained on three commands: Sit, come and stay. Start early and your dog will already be well-behaved by the time he or she gets to puppy school.
From the moment your new dog comes home, be sure to start teaching him or her boundaries. If your puppy isn’t supposed to go into a certain room or part of the house, put up a moveable fence barrier. Don’t want him or her on the sofa? Teach your dog from the beginning and don’t let up on the rules – no matter how devastatingly adorable that little puppy face is.
Get the right nutrients
This article from The Kennel Club has a lot of great advice when it comes to your puppy’s diet. That said, your life is busy enough as it is, so don’t feel like you have to cook your dog something different for dinner every night. Moreover, trust brand-named dog food you recognize. If it costs more, it’s probably because it truly has better ingredients.
Let your dog be a dog
When it comes down to it, every new dog owner needs to remember that their dog is a dog. Dogs like to play outside, sniff and run around. All of this is healthy, and your new puppy will be better off.
Are you a new puppy owner? How was your experience with your first puppy? Any additional tips?
This post was written by Bryden McGrath, a freelance journalist and photographer, blogger, and recent college graduate from Seattle.