Yay! You are bringing home a new puppy! Queue endless puppy pics and all the FEELS! Yet adding a new addition to the family is hard - even if it doesn’t come in human form. During this time of new beginnings, a lot of puppies are getting adopted, and that’s great, but let’s nor forget they’re complex creatures who need love and care. No need to stress! We have singled out the top tips that every new pawrent needs to make sure their sweet and furry bundle of love receives the welcome home it deserves.
Mission to-do list: Zero!
Bringing a puppy to your home is a life-changing decision. They’re babies in the shape of dogs and they will need all the attention they can get. Apart from their needy characters, their cuteness will overule any willpower you have to continue with normal life. If you have pending items left on your to-do list, check them off ASAP- and thank us later.
Stock up on poo-bags
Don’t let their cute looks fool you. One look into their puppy dog eyes and you will fall under their spell of cuteness. But, the reality is these bundles of joy eat and poop on repeat 24/7. Make sure you are always prepared and arm yourself with rolls upon rolls of poo-bags. You will be needing them.
Your Vet will become your BFF
Coffee date with your girl friends? Forget it, your new speed dial is your vet. From milestone check-ups to vaccines and boosters you may feel like you spend your life in the veterinary clinic. Yet, if it is any comfort to you, it is just a phase. Once your puppy reaches 4-6 months they are less likely to need check ups but it is still worth having your vet in speed dial. After all, they do tend to go all Dora the Explorer when out on their walks. Insurance is highly recommended too.
Now, “Who is a good boy”...
Dog training is an optional but highly recommended part of being a puppy. Not only will they learn the basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, “down” and “come here”, but it is also a great way to socialize your dog. Start from a young age and enjoy the benefits forever.
Puppy proof the puppy proofed
Think you have puppy proofed your home? Think again? Not even your sofa is safe from the razor sharp teeth of your bundle of love. Hide away any valuable items, store shoes in a cupboard and keep any cables off the floor. Moreover, get some baby gates and make sure everything is safe for the puppy. Imagine that you have a child arriving at home and kit out your home accordingly.
Make your car canine proof
Puppy proofing extends further than your four walls. To your dog, everything is a playground, even the car. Don’t let your car’s pristine upholstery fall victim to your puppy’s knife-like fangs. Protect your seats from being bitten or being vomited on by placing a waterproof rug onto the seats. If your dog is small enough, a car crate is a great way to make your dog feel safe on their travels. Get your dog used to care travel from an early age so that you can enjoy canine cruising together in the future.
Make a pre-puppy shopping list
When non-pawrents think about dogs, they think about food bowls and leashes, but they don’t know how many things they actually need. So, here is a list of all the things you should add to your shopping cart next time you go to a pet store: a crate, adjustable collar, leash, water bowl, food bowl, dog food, poop bags, dog bed, dog treats, dog toys, toothpaste, toothbrush, dog shampoo, cleaning supplies and baby gates. This list is pretty self-explanatory, but there are some notes. First, yes, dogs do need their teeth brushed. Then, when getting any products, make sure they don’t have any harmful chemicals, like parabens in the shampoo… This rule applies to some flea control chemicals, household cleaners and lawn fertilizers as well. We can’t stress this enough, stock up on cleaning supplies - natural is best, because we sure know you’ll need them. Basically ensure you’ve got everything your pup will need, and that it is safe for them.
The adjustment period is a very real thing your new puppy will go through, but it’s natural, so don’t worry. Let’s start talking about crying at night, yes, it’s very sad, but it happens. Put yourself in their paws: they just arrived at a completely new place, they don’t know anything in this new environment AND they’re babies, it would be more strange if they didn’t cry, don’t you think? So in order to make them feel welcome in their new home, create a space that is just for them, somewhere they can retreat when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Now, there are ways we can prevent overwhelming our pups. For starters a no-guest-policy for the first couple of weeks while they're adapting. There is no need to add more new people to an already overwhelming situation. The first few weeks will be the hardest, after that it will only get easier and things will start becoming normal, you’ll soon develop a new routine as a family.
Above all, savor the moment
The puppy phase is over and gone in a flash so make the most of every moment. Take those 12345656789 photos. Buy that extra cloud storage to host them all. And, cancel your plans to stay with your puppy. There is no textbook way to raise a puppy - the most important thing is to shower it with love, make it feel safe and enjoy every second. These moments are rare - savor them. And, in the tough times, remember that nothing lasts for ever, this too shall pass.