It’s exciting to bring a puppy home. But remember, you are now responsible for another living creature. That can be overwhelming. Take the time to follow these puppy tips to add a new family member successfully.
Prepare your family
While puppy-proofing your house is essential, you also need to ensure your family is ready for this new responsibility.
Before you bring your puppy home, sit down with your family and discuss the changes that you will all need to make. You can use a new puppy checklist to prepare.
You need to make sure you agree on basic rules like not feeding the puppy from the table. If different family members give the puppy conflicting commands, it can confuse the puppy and delay training.
Stock up on cleaning supplies
Get the supplies you need to keep your home clean. Puppies can be messy. They chew, drool, and until they are potty-trained, they may have a few accidents.
Until your puppy is potty-trained, accidents can, and will, happen. So, you need cleaning supplies — stock up on paper towels and odor- and stain-removers.
Focus on potty training
Even if your puppy has had some potty training, your home will be new and confusing. In the beginning, plan to take your puppy out several times a day, so he learns to go potty outside.
Take your puppy out after meals and naps. You need to keep an eye on your puppy to learn his cues. Don’t let him sneak off to go potty. If you can’t watch him when he’s awake, use a crate or a puppy playpen to limit his access to your house.
If you need to leave your puppy for more than an hour or two, consider creating a natural indoor puppy potty area with puppy grass or putting down disposable potty pads or washable puppy pads.
Just know letting your puppy go potty in the house can be a hard habit to break.
Puppy-proof your house
Puppies chew a lot. That’s partially due to teething, but it’s also an instinct that many dogs continue to have well into their adulthood.
Failing to provide appropriate chew toys can damage furniture and destroy shoes.
You also can puppy-proof your house, removing items that could tempt puppies like kids’ toys, books, or electrical cords and putting them out of reach. You can also consider spraying deterrent spray on objects you cannot reposition, like furniture.
Don’t let your puppy have access to your whole house. Unless supervised, limit where your puppy can spend time. Use a crate, baby gates, or puppy playpens to confine your dog safely. Another option, use a small room like a bathroom to confine your puppy when you can’t watch him.
Schedule a vet visit
You need to get your puppy checked and vaccinated. Schedule a vet visit for the first week. Avoid setting it for the first or even second day. Schedule it for mid-week, so you have time to bond with your puppy, and he’ll feel more comfortable leaving the house with you.
Going to the vet can be scary for some dogs, so don’t be surprised if your puppy is clingy.
Establishing a relationship with your veterinarian is crucial. Your puppy will need several appointments during the first few months to complete his vaccinations.
Regular vet visits not only keep your puppy healthy but also will help you watch for any changes in your pet’s health as he ages.
Teach your puppy his name
Most puppies quickly learn their names, but older dogs can take more time, especially if they already know and respond to another name.
The best way to teach your puppy his name is through repetition. Say the name, and when your puppy responds, immediately give him a tasty treat.
It shouldn’t take long. Most puppies learn their names quickly.
Buy engaging toys
Puppies tend to chew a lot. They also are energetic and curious. You need to keep watch to ensure your puppy doesn’t get into trouble.
Giving your puppy both chew toys and interactive toys help channel that energy. The right toys also help stimulate your puppy’s brain development.
Final words on first-week puppy tips
Truthfully, this is just the start of what will be a long and happy relationship.
Puppies are delightful companions, but they’re also challenging. Know that training should be a lifelong habit.
And, it is your responsibility to ensure your home is safe for your puppy. Have a fenced-in backyard? Check for potential escape routes. Live in an apartment with big windows? Be sure your puppy can’t accidentally unlatch them.
Enjoy this first week with your new puppy and use it to help build a foundation to ensure you raise a puppy that’s happy, healthy, and well-behaved.
Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer passionate about writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics.