Congratulations on the new baby! Raising a dog can be an adventure as well as one of the most rewarding, fun experiences in life. But, just like with human babies, there’s a lot to learn and do when it comes to ensuring your puppy grows up to be a great friend and healthy, happy companion.
A new dog, especially a puppy, requires a lot of attention, and adding a new family member can be disruptive to your daily routine. So, when you first bring your puppy home, consider these suggestions to help this new member of your family quickly fit in.
Get a crate. It makes house training and bed time incredibly easy.
Let your puppy sleep in your bedroom for the first few nights. This whole experience is new and can be scary for a pup who just left her litter or a shelter, so don’t make her sleep in another room. Put the crate next to your bed so you can assure her that she’s not alone. It will also help you comfort her if she becomes frightened in the middle of the night.
Baby gates are your friend. For the same reason you’d use one with a toddler, use a gate to keep the puppy out of places you don’t want him to have access to.
Supervise, supervise, supervise. If you can’t watch your puppy like a hawk, he needs to be in his crate or a puppy-proofed room. Use a smaller area like the bathroom or laundry room and block it off with a baby gate. Place a bed in one corner and a potty pad in the other. Be sure to move anything you don’t want destroyed up and out of the way.
Establish a daily routine. And, just as importantly, make sure everyone’s on the same page. Discuss the rules with your whole family and determine who’s responsible for what (walking, feeding, poop pickup, etc.) Bonus: Potty training is much more easily accomplished when your puppy knows what to expect every day.
Reward good behavior. Give the puppy a treat when you see him doing something you like, such as using the bathroom in a dedicated spot. Don’t wait until he’s misbehaving to give him attention, as this practice normally backfires and is difficult to break.
Get your puppy vaccinated and microchipped. Be sure to have all of her shots taken care of so she stays healthy and have a microchip implanted in case you lose her.
Start potty training right away. Puppies don’t have good bladder or sphincter control yet, and excitement can make them need to pee or poop. Take your puppy out to potty after 15 to 20 minutes of play, as well as after every meal. A potty run should be the first thing you do with him in the morning and the last thing you do with him at night.
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time. Taking these simple steps will help get the relationship off to a great start and enable you to enjoy your new family member for years to come.
If you’ve recently brought home a new pup, Marlow Ball DVM, your Little Rock and North Little Rock Housecall Vet, is here to help!
Housecall veterinarians try very hard to make a visit for your puppy as easy and fear-free as possible. All pets are treated with loving care in every check-up and procedure. And making them as comfortable as possible by doing this in their new home is the goal. If you’re in Little Rock or North Little Rock and you’d like to schedule a physical and vaccinations with the housecall vets at No Place Like Home, give us a call at 501-516-6813.