Puppies are cute aren’t they? It’s hard to resist their cute, cuddly little faces. So, when temptation proves to take the best of you and you bring that new puppy home, it will be both fun and frustrating. We recently brought a new puppy home. It had been 3 years since we had a puppy in the house. We forgot the things that frustrated us the most and only remembered all the fun, cute and cuddly times. Once we got the new puppy home, we quickly remembered the needle teeth, the potty training, the middle of the night potty and play sessions. WHAT DID WE GET OURSELVES INTO?
We even have two other dogs in the house that needed to get used to the new addition. That can be trying and stressful for the other dogs in the household as well.
Where do you start? Here are some suggestions on how to prepare yourself BEFORE your new bundle of joy comes home. (Check out Part 2 when we talk about what to do once you have him home.)
Arm yourself with plenty of artillery:
Lots of chew toys – Your new puppy will most likely still have their “milk teeth”. They will need things they are allowed to chew on to satisfy their need and instinct to chew. Being prepared will help save your furniture, shoes and other precious items from being destroyed. Toys that can be frozen and ice cubes will help reduce the pain that comes along with teething.
Puppy Proof – I thought I did a good job puppy proofing my home…until the little devil came home 🙂 Ziggy helped me realize what puppy proofing really means. Be conscience of what your puppy will put in their mouths: Electrical cords, plants, hanging towels, shoes, string, remotes, books, rocks in the backyard, etc. Realize that you need to remove those items and put them in places where your puppy won’t be able to reach them.
If it’s not possible to remove the items, just be prepared to have a watchful eye on them at all times…well, at least when they are awake 🙂
Potty Training – Make sure you have plenty of rags and carpet cleaner for cleaning up potty messes. I like to use Spot Shot. It seems to be the only cleaner that doesn’t change the color of my carpet. Also be prepared to do A LOT of laundry.
Get a crate that will be big enough for your puppy to grow into. For those non believers, don’t worry, we’ll cover crate training in more depth in Part 2. Most, if not all, crates come with dividers so you can have a small space to start with and gradually have more and more space as he needs it. The crate will help with potty training, keep your puppy from chewing on everything they aren’t supposed to while you are gone, and allow you to take a break and get some work done 🙂 It is difficult, nearly impossible for me to get any work done while Ziggy is awake. He is constantly getting into things and wanting to play. The crate also gives your other dogs a much needed break from puppy teeth and puppy energy.
Puppies love to explore their surroundings. I suggest not allowing your puppy total freedom of the house. Get some baby gates to block off areas of the house you don’t want him to be wondering in. It’s even more difficult to keep a watchful eye on your puppy when they have total free reign of the house. Don’t worry, as he gets older and proves he can be trusted, you can give him more access to the entire house. Baby gates and crates aren’t forever 🙂
Find a GREAT Vet – Research vets in your area and find a vet that you can connect with. Get to know a couple vets in the practice so if you have an emergency you stand better chances of one of your trusted vets will be there to take care of you and your pet.
The ASPCA has some great tips as well.
Did you know that if you socialize your puppy at a young age they will grow up to be a more well rounded dog? How do you go about socializing your new puppy? What about an older dog that needs socialization? Can an old dog learn new tricks?
As a pet sitting company in Mesa, AZ (also servicing Gilbert and Gold Canyon) we see unsocial dogs all the time. Some of the behaviors we notice when we meet our new unsocial clients are:
Aggression toward new people
Hiding behind mom or dad
Slow to get to know a new person
Some of these pets are great on a leash but leery of new people in their home. Some are great with new people in their home, but act aggressive while on a walk.
How do you make sure your new puppy is socialized properly so you don’t have to worry about these issues as they get older? How do you help your older dog be more social?
The following video offers great tips on how to ensure your pet becomes a well rounded, social dog.
So what do you do when you are busy and don’t have the time to properly socialize your dog? Here are a few recommendations:
There are several doggy day cares to choose from. If you enroll your puppy into doggy day care it allows them to be in a different environment and meet new dogs every day!
Taking your puppy for walks around the neighborhood and allowing them to meet new people, smell new things and explore is a great way to get them used to new things.
Seeking out social activities or pet friendly events that your dog is welcome to.
Do you have other ideas on how to socialize a dog? Leave your comment below…
Have a young dog? A dog with tons of energy? Work long hours? We’ve got your solution for finding the perfect dog walker.
People look for a dog walker for many reasons…
1. Young professionals that need help with their young dog
2. Families that have dogs with a ton of energy
3. Families work long hours and are busy with the kid’s activities
4. The walker in the family has had surgery or an injury and is unable to walk the dog
5. The walker in the family is going on a long vacation and the spouse works long hours.
No matter what the reason is, it can be difficult to find the perfect dog walker. Here are some questions you may want to ask your potential dog walker…some you may not have even thought of:
1. Can I pay per walk? Or do I have to purchase a block of walks?
2. Do the walks have to be the same days every week? Or are you flexible?
3. Do you walk one family at a time? Or do you do outings with lots of other dogs?
4. Do you offer a discount if we schedule dog walks 5 days per week?
5. Do you have experience handling wildlife encounters? (Snakes, coyotes, mountain lions, etc)
6. How do you keep my dog safe from possible disease and unleashed dog encounters?
7. How long are your walks?
All of these questions can be answered during a phone consultation. Once you’ve found the company that fits what your family needs you need to have them come to your house and meet them. Have them go on a short test walk with you to make sure they can handle your dog appropriately. Believe it or not, there are some pet sitters that are better with other types of pets than dogs but still offer the dog walking service. Hiring the wrong person to walk your dog could result in injuries that could be prevented or unwanted leash behaviors.