How to Prepare for Bringing Home a Puppy
Of course you want a puppy! They’re adorable, fun, cuddly companions. But adding another member to the family is a big decision. So it’s a good idea to know exactly what you’re getting into. It’s a lot of work, and we’re here to help prepare you. But don’t worry, it’s so worth it. So here are 8 things to know before getting a puppy.
Puppies need 24/7 supervision
Puppies are babies, and babies need constant surveillance and care. If you take your eyes off your pup for one second he could get into something dangerous or eat something poisonous. Take him outside every 45-60 minutes to prevent accidents, and plan ahead before leaving the house so he doesn’t have to be crated for more than a couple of hours.
Puppies chew on everything
You’ll want to puppy proof your house, as everything below waist level is in danger of being chewed. This includes coffee table legs, slippers, curtains, pens, anything they can find—including you. And be warned, they’re tiny baby teeth are sharp! To help stop his incessant gnawing, redirect his mouth to chew toys. The Humane Society also offers several great tips on how to prevent puppies from chewing.
Watch out for puppy zoomies!
Zoomies, or frenetic random activity periods (FRAPs), is when your dog frantically runs in circles at full speed. They’re usually caused by extra energy that’s released all at once. Or by stressful situations, like a vet visit or a bath. To help reduce or prevent zoomies, find ways to exercise your pup in order to burn energy. And make sure he’s getting plenty of quality sleep. Read this article in Reader’s Digest for more information on how to stop this erratic behavior in puppies.
A puppy might keep you up at night
Some puppies sleep great at night, only needing one or two potty breaks. Others… not so much. Be prepared for some sleepless nights as your pup adjusts to a new environment. He may cry and whine, or want to play and wander. If he wants to play, make sure to exercise him more during the day. If your pup is fussing, offer a chew toy for teething.
Training a puppy takes time and dedication
This comes as no surprise, but puppies need a lot of training: house-training, crate training, leash training, basic commands and more. You want a friendly, happy, obedient dog, so take the time and effort to train well. This could require finding a local, certified dog trainer for help.
Socializing your puppy is a must
When preparing to bring home your first puppy, you’ll want to set-up some play dates with other dogs, adults and children. He’ll need to explore, taking in various sites, sounds and scents. This will teach your puppy how to react to the world around him in a healthy way, without unnecessary fear or aggression. Here are more tips on how to socialize your puppy.
Prepare for the financial expense of a puppy
Puppies are expensive. The adoption fee is one thing. But don’t forget the food, training treats, chew toys, enrichment toys, feeding and grooming supplies, training classes, vet bills, dental care supplies and more—raising a puppy is an investment. One that most definitely is worth it!
Leaving the house takes extra time when you have a puppy
If you have a puppy and want to leave the house, you’ll have to prep first. Take the pup outside to potty, make sure he’s been fed, and ensure he is snug and secure in his crate. It’ll add another 10+ minutes to your “get out of the house” routine.
When it’s all said and done, getting a puppy is worth all the time, cost, patience and effort. In the end, you’ll have an adorable, loving, loyal forever friend.