The Perfect Puppy Guide

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Congratulations! You’ve now joined the ranks of furbaby parents everywhere. It’s going to be quite an eventful journey, so hang on tight! So, you have a new furbaby. Now what? While there will be many moments of kisses and cuddles, there will also be moments where you have NO idea what to do. Here are some great tips to get you through.

A new addition to the family brightens the Christmas spirit!

A new addition to the family brightens the Christmas spirit!

    Whether you’re traveling a short or longer distance to your puppy’s new home, it’s important to make him as comfortable as possible. One of the best tips out there is to make a crate home for your new pup, so he has a space of his own, and travel time is the perfect opportunity to start getting your puppy used to it. Stock his new home with plenty of treats, and, if possible, bring something soft that bears the scent of his mother and littermates (like a T-shirt). That will go a long way toward making your young pupper comfortable in his new surroundings.
    After arriving home, give your pup plenty of time to use the restroom and explore the new surroundings outdoors on a leash, and make sure to reward good behavior, like using the restroom outside. Remember, excitement can make your new pup need to use the restroom because of his small bladder. Take your puppy out to potty after 15 to 20 minutes of play, as well as after every meal. And always start and end your day with a potty run. When bringing your pup inside, keep him on the leash and start loving on your new pup. This will help your pup understand that it is okay for you to touch his paws, look inside or sniff his ears, rub his belly, touch his tail, and groom him with a soft brush.
    Let your puppy spend a short amount of time in his crate. This is a big day for him, and he needs some time to himself so he can process his new situation. It’s okay to have the crate in the living room or some other area in the home where people are coming and going, but don’t bug him while he’s in there. Unless he needs to go potty, walk away calmly if he starts to whine or bark. Don’t let him out until he’s being quiet. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to take your pup to the veterinarian within 48 hours of bringing him home. That’s important to make sure he’s in good health.

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    Depending on where you got him, your puppy is anywhere from 7 to 12 weeks old — right during his critical learning period. For the next couple weeks and months, he will be soaking up all kinds of information about the world and good and bad behaviors. The goal is for him to have lots of positive experiences with friendly people, dogs and cats.
    Here are six things your puppy should be learning (Vetstreet):

  • No teeth on people — ever!
  • No jumping on people.
  • Always potty outside (don’t give him any chances to make a mistake).
  • Meeting people is great!
  • Going to the vet is fun!

     According to Vetstreet, “During his critical learning period, your puppy should meet at least 100 different people, not just the same 10 people over and over again. To get the numbers up, introduce him to the people delivering mail and packages and the gardeners in your neighborhood. Take him for short car rides and on errands, where you can take him into local businesses, such as the dry cleaners, a private postal service, or an open-air shopping mall (be sure he potties outside immediately before you take him onto the premises so he’s always welcome back). If it’s a place where other dogs might go, carry him in a puppy sling or backpack or put him in a cart and don't expose him to other dogs until your veterinarian tells you he's had enough vaccinations. Take treats for strangers to give him.”     

    Socializing your pup will teach him valuable coping skills needed for the many types of people he will meet, so make sure you diversify socialization for him: elderly people, young children, men, women, etc.

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    That diverse socialization is good for your puppy’s adventurous soul. Moderate amounts of stress during the socialization period can prepare a puppy to be ready to take on the world. Give him a change of elevation by putting him on top of a picnic table or clothes dryer, or surprise him with a toy while playing peekaboo. These simple tips can make a true difference in his behavior as he matures.
    Most importantly, do not forget that owning a puppy requires planning in advanced. While most naturally turn to a breeder to fulfill their puppy dreams, the shelter is also a great place to find a pup that is great for your family's lifestyle. It is best to research a little on your puppy's breed to see how well it will fit into your family's routine. Make sure that the puppy will fit your current lifestyle and will continue to be a great match for your family once he starts to grow and mature. Once you find your dream puppy it is vital to get it spayed/neutered.This will overall benefit your dog's health, attitude and happiness. In addition to this, it can also cause less chaos when trying to train your new puppy because they will have a better mental focus on the subject at hand.
    Check out our guide for great gifts your pup will love!

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*Tips provided by VetSTREET and Care.com