Many households have welcomed the new addition of a puppy or a dog over the festive period. A breath of fresh air and a new buddy to welcome into the family. However, with a new puppy or dog, comes great responsibility and it is key to nail down some key factors to make having a pet fun and enjoyable for both parties.
First things first, make sure the house is pet-proofed! Be sure to move ornaments (don't forget the expensive ones) and furniture out of the way. It's also best to make sure cables are out of paws’ reach so there’s no unnecessary chewing or pulling! Puppies can be inquisitive and like to lick, try and chew things. be sure to keep harmful products such as cleaning products and toiletries shut away to prevent your puppy becoming poorly or a trip to the vet.
Food will be at the forefront of your pet’s daily routine. Put any human food that is out away and out climbing reach to stop any upset tummies, choking and mess. You will have an abundance of pet food and treats around, so make sure that their food is stored securely away to prevent feasting on the contraband they find.
Dogs love to explore, so don’t be surprised if they don’t run around and have a good sniff of their new home. If there are any rooms you don’t want then to go in, try to keep doors closed or even consider stair gates whilst you are training so that your pooch knows that these are no go areas. Bear in mind that if you don’t want your pet to go in certain rooms or parts of the home, this boundary and rule should be set from day one, to prevent your dog from being confused as to what they can and can’t do.Gardens and house plants are things that puppies love to explore.
Be mindful of any plants or flowers that you have in your garden and in your home. Many can be poisonous to dogs should they have a chew or a drink, so to be safe, keep them out of paws reach! It may be worth fencing areas of your garden off so that your puppy doesn't get poorly or ruin your shrubbery. This also relates to wild gardens and ponds. It’s wonderful for your dog to have a garden to explore in, but a garden brings various dangers and hazards. Make sure your garden is fully secure so your pooch can’t escape; fixing fence panels, filling in holes, securing hot tubs and ponds as well as checking on poisonous plants and other garden hazards such as hose pipes, seating areas, tools, and electrical gardening equipment.
Many people are excited to take their puppy or dog on their first walk. Before you decide to do this, make sure that all their vaccinations are up to date. Every dog acts differently to situations, so it is worth finding quiet areas to walk your dog or parks to go, so they get used to their surroundings and are not intimidated or scared by other dogs, vehicles, or people. One other tip… always carry extra poo bags! Whether it’s excitement or nerves, sometimes your dog just has to go more than once!
Puppies and adult dogs vary in the amount of daily exercise they need. Your dogs breed also affects this – dogs such as working dogs require far more exercise than others, and it will take longer to wear them out. As with humans, take any exercise easy at first, get a feel for what your dog enjoys and doesn’t and increase activity as you both become more accustomed to exercising together. Remember, exercise doesn’t just come in the form of ‘walkies’, playing games, training activities and puzzle such as treat feeders are a great way to motivate your pet.
Remember, some things take time. The whole experience can be overwhelming for both puppy and pawrent. If things don’t go to plan straight away, don’t beat yourself up. You may find that puppy training or dog obedience classes will help you to understand your dog’s needs and help you both learn about it each other.