So you have decided to adopt a new member into your family? This is a very exciting time, and can also be terrifying! Maybe this is your first rodeo with raising a puppy, or you may be a veteran dog parent, but it's been a while since you raised a little pup. Either way, the task of bringing up a pup is both important and rewarding! You have the opportunity to raise this dog with the behaviors, and manners that you want. It can be trying at times, but the reward in the end is well worth the effort. Below are 5 basic tips to keep in mind when taking home your puppy!
1. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Your puppy will become your best friend, you will be inseparable, but when you first take them home, everything is new! New faces, new smells, new family, new pets. . . It can be overwhelming! That is why we find it important at Blue Ridge Doodles to raise all of our puppy in loving homes, where each puppy is around kids, other dogs, and have plenty of human interaction. Even so, this is a huge change for your puppy. Being consistent with their schedule, discipline, and feedings will give them security and help them adjust to their forever home.
2. Dinner Time!
Just like humans, this puppy LOVES to eat! I always try to watch what I put into my body in order to make sure that I get the nutrients I need and not all the preservatives and fillers we find in our grab and go lifestyle. Just the same, we need to be careful what we feed our dogs. At Blue Ridge Doodles we HIGHLY recommend Victor Classic - Hi-Pro Plus Dry Puppy Food. This food will not be found at the "Big Box" pet stores, but can often be found in smaller pet stores or feed stores. We have found that the cheapest way to get Victor is from Amazon If you are an Amazon Prime member. Which, if are not a Prime member yet, why aren't you? You can save a ton of money, get free shipping, listen to great music, and watch great TV shows all for one low yearly price. It's definitely worth it, so stop reading this and sign up now! Plus it is FREE for the first 30 days! If you prefer getting a food that is available at the big box stores, we HIGHLY RECCOMEND sticking with a 5-Star rated dog food. The main one which you will find at most big box stores is: Blue Buffalo Puppy Food.
If you are switching your dog over to a new food when you take them home, do it slowly. We will provide you with some Victor dog food in your puppy starter pack. Start out with mixing half of their new dog food in with the Victor we provide. Then slowly, over several days, wean them off of the Victor onto the new dog food.
3. Operation: Home Preparation
If you have ever had children you know the pain-staking work that went into making your house "Child Proof." The same needs to be done for your puppy. Those pill bottles sitting around? They need to be put where your puppy can't get to them. Your MacBook cord sitting on the living room floor? Probably best not to tempt your puppy with a fun looking "toy." You might decide you want to keep your dog in a certain area of the house. If so you will probably need to purchase some gates. The pet stores sell gates, but charge an exorbitant amount of money for the same gate you could get at Walmart in the baby section! We personally use these gates in our home: Summer Infant Anywhere Decorative Walk-Thru Gate. It looks super nice, and does a great job of keeping Fido where he/she needs to be! Also, it is probably best to not let your new puppy roam around the house when you are not there. They are likely to get into trouble. We crate train all of our dogs, so your puppy is ready to go. All you need is a crate! Amazon Basics has some very affordable crates that work great for your new puppy, and don't break the bank! Check them out here!
4. Bring on The Entertainment!
We are great at telling our dog what not to do, and taking things away they can't chew on, but one thing we often forget is that these puppies need something to occupy their time. While I know all of us would love to spend every waking second with our new family members it just isn't feasible .Somebody has to clean the house, go to work, and cook dinner. When our new family member is left alone we need to make sure they have plenty to occupy their time with. Toys, bones, and teethers. This will give them things they know they can play with, and they will be a lot less likely to chew on those new dining room chairs you have. You can even pick up some awesome starter baskets like these:
- Dog Puppy Gift Box Basket Set Treat Crew Toys Package
- Just Chill'In Pets Dog Gift Basket with Durable Dog Toys
Another way to make sure your puppy is well adjusted is to make sure they get plenty of exercise (But not too much!). It would not be advantageous for you to take your new pup on a 10 mile run or bike ride with you. Their bodies just aren't ready for that yet! A fun tug-o-war match in the back yard, 20 min of fetch time, or just a nice stroll around the block will be plenty of exercise for your little puppy. Once they are older you will be able to do more with them, and they very well may be your new running partner. Just give them some time.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but will get you well on your way to being prepared to bring home your new furry family member! As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact us, and we will do our best to point you in the right direction.