Update: Just posted a complementary article Bringing Home a New Puppy – 6 Important Don’ts
Whether this is the first puppy or the 20th puppy that you have ever brought home, it is important to take a few minutes to go back and review the basics. There is no shortage of books, magazines, and Internet articles that discuss what to do when getting a new puppy. I want to just remind you of the basics – the simple little tips that many of us forget, even when we spend so much time reading and learning about dogs, dog training, health, nutrition etc.
Bringing Home a New Puppy – Do’s
1. Do shower your new puppy with lots of love and attention, especially when he is doing something “right”. Many new puppy owners wait until the dog has done something wrong before initiating some type of communication. Before you know it, the poor puppy only knows that you are nice sometimes but then yell at him for no reason at other times. By communicating with him properly, he will be able to decipher your actions and become more amiable at being trained.
2. Do provide your puppy with plenty of chew toys.You can make something from home or better yet, just take a stroll through your local pet store for some neat looking items that your puppy can chew on instead of your shoes!
3. Do arrange a comfortable, warm bed for your new puppy. If he will be sleeping outside then either build one yourself, or have built a solid weatherproof doghouse. Be sure that there is plenty of room inside and that the climate stays cozy for the pup.
4. Do watch over your puppy whenever he is around small children in the house. It hurts to say it, but hundreds of puppies are injured or even killed every year because of kids roughhousing when an adult is not around. Children do not have the understanding of how frail and vulnerable a new puppy is.
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5. Do provide a regular feeding schedule from the very first day your puppy arrives. For puppies that are under six months of age, 3 – 4 solid meals of balanced nutritional food will be perfect. Simply give him all of the food he can eat in 30 minutes. When that time limit is up, scoop up the leftovers and only leave out water until his next meal.
6. Do provide a regular bathroom schedule as well. Just like his feeding times are scheduled, you should be taking your puppy out to his bathroom spot during the same times each day. This is typically done right after each meal and then every two to three hours in between. And don’t forget a late-night trip to the bathroom area. Your puppy will be sleeping for more than seven hours afterwards and if he wakes up with the urge to urinate in the house, he probably will.
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