New Puppy, Now What?
I get asked a lot “how can I prepare for a new puppy”? Or “I have a new puppy, what should I do”? Here is my list of top suggestions to new puppy, or dog owners :
Crate train your new friend. A crate trained dog is a blessing. It makes it so much easier to travel with your dog or to leave your dog with a trusted caretaker. A crate should be treated with respect, as puppy’s safe zone. Don’t ever ‘punish’ your dog by locking her in the crate. My favorite crates are wire crates that fold up nicely and fit into my car. They have a lot of ventilation and day light can get in. Put a blanket that can stay in the crate at all times on the floor of the crate. You can cover the crate at night and uncover during the day. Have the crate available to new puppy as much as possible when you are home. Leave the door open, put puppy’s toys in there, toss some treats in there and make it so fun to go in the crate. When I leave my house with dogs in crates, I never leave anything in there except blankets preventing them from choking.
Get puppy on a feeding schedule. If you allow your dog to ‘free feed’, picky eating habits will establish. By feeding her breakfast, lunch and dinner, you are creating a routine, and dogs love routines. This way you can also determine when your dog last ate (or didn’t eat), and estimate when a potty break will be needed.
Socialize that thing, especially puppies, to ask much as you possibly can think of. When a dog is between of 8 – 16 weeks old, use this window of opportunity to introduce your partner to all kinds of noises, surfaces, people, buildings, vehicles, your veterinarian, etc. Socializing now will get you a healthier puppy and happier partnership.