Raising a puppy: our complete guide
Nowadays, most people dream about getting a dog and bringing a furry friend into their home. But once they do, they can find the new commitment a bit daunting and nerve-wracking.
If you're a new dog owner, we can empathize with you if you feel the pressure. After all, we were all dog owners once, and raising a puppy is a completely new challenge.
We say challenge, but the truth is there are multiple hurdles to overcome. But you won't regret any of them because they're often extremely rewarding and cause you to build a better bond with your dog.
To help eliminate your worries, today, we will teach you all the essentials of puppy care 101.
Everything you need to know about raising a puppy
Before you get a puppy, you ideally should make a list of the pros and cons of having one in your life. If you already have a puppy, you should skip this part. When it comes to the list, you should consider:
- Do you have time?
Raising a puppy is a big commitment, which involves you frequently showing it love, affection, and training it effectively. Think to yourself, can you be home often?
You also have to be home to let it “go to the bathroom”, feed it, and exercise regularly. When raising a puppy, you must dedicate your free time to it.
Finally, dogs can live for around 10 years, which means you have to do this for at least a decade. Can you manage your time?
2. Is it a good financial decision?
Raising a puppy is not cheap; you have to pay for your puppy and its medical bills, food, toys, bedding, travel, and more. Because of this, you need to be able to support yourself and your dog.
3. Can you be accountable?
Owning a puppy or dog, for that matter, is not the best if you have a lazy personality. You will regularly need to pick up its poop, brush its fur and teeth, pick up after its hair and walk it frequently. You have to be very active and responsible for your puppy.
Raising a puppy : our tips
Now that you've been through this checklist, it's essential you do the following to raise a puppy:
- Make your home safe for a puppy
Before you bring your puppy home, you'll want to ideally “puppy proof” it. This means removing any sharp objects or wires which your puppy could potentially chew—similarly closing access to certain rooms where they could potentially pee or poop and cause damage.
Alongside this, you will want to gather some supplies, ready for your puppy to come home. Such supplies you will need are a dog bed, bowls, toys, treats, cleaning supplies, food, a collar/harness, a leash, a brush, and a comb.
- Register your puppy with a vet
Once you have your puppy, you must register it with a local vet. He will make sure your puppy receives all the relevant shots and boosters, as well as checking its weight and general health.
In the beginning, your puppy must have the vaccinations according to its schedule, so it's not at the risk of getting worms or rabies, and you can take it outside safely. Similarly, it's good to do this while young as you will have proof of vaccinations if you need to travel.
- Develop a schedule
When raising a puppy, you should stick to a routine. A routine builds good behavior and patterns, as dogs don't like to face uncertainty. It's essential to include their feeding time, sleep time, playtime, and grooming in your routine.
- Feed your puppy
As mentioned in the routine, you need to make sure you feed your puppy the right food. Usually, they will be able to eat a combination of wet or dry food. It's a good idea to split your puppy's meals out 3-4 times a day. After they've hit 3 months, only feed them 3 times. Then after 6 months, only feed it twice a day.
- Potty train your puppy
If you have a puppy, you should start potty training it from 12 weeks. You must do this so they know where to pee. To do this, you can buy a crate or use puppy pads. A crate allows your dog to become familiar with the indoors and usually pee outdoors as dogs do not like to soil their sleeping areas.
Over time, they will be able to hold their bowel and bladder movements for longer. If you're successful in getting your puppy to go to the bathroom outside, then make sure you encourage their behavior with a treat.
- Undergo obedience training and socialization
Just like potty training, you must teach your puppy some basic commands. Such basic manners you may want to teach it to heel, sit, and more.
If you can grasp the basic commands, you will have control over your puppy when it grows into an adult. Another important method of training is to socialize your dog with other dogs and humans.
This means introducing it to new people and animals from an early age. The more you do this, the more normal it becomes, and the less likely they'll become hostile or aggressive when they're older.
Final thoughts on raising a puppy
Overall, raising a puppy can be a daunting task. Nowadays, with the internet, there are so many resources such as videos, tutorials, and blogs to help you do this. Remember, though; you must identify your need for a puppy before buying one.
Then, once you've got a puppy, you need to make your home puppy proof, buy the supplies, establish a routine and train it properly. Training a puppy may seem hard at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Trust us; you'll be thanking yourself when you have a well-trained and good behaved dog when it is older.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.