Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming. Whether they are the first four-legged addition to your family or the 7th, knowing what to do to ensure your puppy has the best start to life with you is vitally important. Here are some tips from our veterinarians to help you get started!
#1: Find a Routine
When you get your puppy home, one of the first things you will want to do is establish a routine. Routines help with a variety of things like potty training, feeding and overall trainability of your dog. By creating this routine early on in your relationship, you can set expectations and goals for the future.
#2: Get Established with a Veterinarian
One extremely important piece of ensuring the overall wellbeing of your puppy throughout their life is developing a relationship with a local veterinarian. Puppies require 3 sets of vaccinations as well as deworming to boost their immunity and give them the best start to life. Afterward, it is generally recommended that you schedule a wellness visit at least once a year where your vet can examine your dog thoroughly and make sure they stay up to date on any medical care or vaccines they need. By establishing this relationship with your veterinarian, you can stay current on preventative care and catch any looming issues that might present later.
#3: Training Help
Whether you choose to attend classes or try your hand at home by following books and videos, training your new puppy is a difficult task that requires consistency and commitment. Most cities offer puppy training classes either through individuals or small businesses which can be preferable since they also provide important socialization opportunities. Training classes go beyond the classic “sit” and “stay” commands by providing a platform for bonding between you and your puppy. Of course, these lessons extend beyond the classroom and consistency is key for the training to stick.
Often overlooked, nutrition plays a vital role in your puppy’s health, personality and longevity. When you become established with a veterinarian, they will be able to help you decide on the best diet for your new friend to ensure their long-term wellness. Many breeds and types have different nutritional needs and getting expert advice from your vet is a great place to start.
#5: Fun & Games
Don’t forget, the whole reason you got a puppy was to have a little fun, right? Right. Games like fetch and tug-o-war are great ways to bond with your dog, as well as fantastic ways to continue their training. Dog parks are also a fun way for your dog to let off a little steam and gain important socialization that will help them throughout their lives. Regular walks or hikes are wonderful ways to burn playful energy and provide a platform to test your training skills!
Above all, bringing a new puppy into your home is a joyous occasion. Planning accordingly can ensure the success of your new addition, solidify your bond and guarantee the long-term happiness of both you and your dog.