Is there anything that can match the cuteness of a puppy? Ok, cat people, let’s include kittens! Once you own a puppy, life will change, but in a good way! Because of the amount of puppy care needed, it could even be said that your new puppy will own you. If you’ve never had a puppy before, here are some care tips to get the two of you off to a great start.
Puppy Proof Your Home
Puppies like to chew, so stow away any chewable items that your puppy could swallow. Cover your electrical wires and cables or make sure they’re safely behind furniture. Provide your puppy with plenty of chew toys.
Don’t feed your puppy adult dog food. Read the label to determine how much to feed. Divide the daily ration into four portions spaced out during the day. At three months of age, reduce meals to three per day. At six months, twice-daily feeding is best.
Crate Train Your Puppy
A crate is your puppy’s den. Make the crate cozy with a bed and blanket and hide some goodies inside. Once the puppy happily goes inside, close the door. Praise the puppy for remaining calm and open the door. Slowly extend how long the door remains shut (maximum is four hours). If you let your puppy out because he cries, you will be rewarding him for crying.
Click here for advice on what to do if you have to be at work all day.
Toilet Train Your Puppy
Puppy care means that your pet must learn where to go to the toilet. If you see your puppy beginning to raise a leg or squat, whisk the pet straight outside. Puppies need to pee a lot, so offer your puppy frequent toilet breaks. When your puppy does his business on the toilet spot, say the cue word toilet and give a treat.
Train Your Puppy to Stop Barking
Don’t shout at your barking puppy to be quiet; he will just learn that barking gets your attention. Instead, when your puppy tries a few exploratory barks, ignore them. Once a puppy figures out that barking isn’t rewarded, it will seem less attractive.
Teach Your Puppy Basic Commands
Puppy care involves a lot of training. A puppy needs to learn basic commands such as Sit and Stay.
- Sit – Raise a treat in an arc above your puppy’s head. As the eyes follow the treat, the butt will lower to the ground. As this happens, say sit and give a treat.
- Stay – When your puppy sits, wait a few seconds before giving the reward. Gradually increase the waiting time using the word stay. By degrees, increase the time and the distance between you and your pet.
Train Your Puppy to Leash Walk
Walk forward only if the leash stays slack. As soon as you feel a pull on the leash, change direction, and say come. Your puppy will learn that it’s quicker to get to the park by walking to heel.
Sign Up With a Vet
Your vet will advise you of what’s needed for the best puppy care – vaccinations, deworming, parasite control, desexing. And, if you reside in the area of Columbia, SC, CVETS should be your go-to clinic for any puppy emergency.