In the excitement of getting a puppy, it can be hard to keep track of everything you’re supposed to be doing – keeping the new arrival safe, encouraging good habits, and ensuring it grows up to be healthy and strong. Here's some tips on everything from puppy proofing, toys and training to how to give your puppy the best start to life.
When it comes to cute, it’s hard to top a puppy. These little animals are curious, fun-loving, snuggly and, what’s more, they become loyal companions. It’s no wonder that so many households have one.
But the benefits of welcoming a puppy into your home go far beyond the cute factor – companion dogs are proven to boost health, reduce stress and increase overall fitness (thanks to those daily dog walks).
Some of the groundwork needs to be done before you even start looking for a puppy to take home.
It’s important you understand the characteristics of the dog that you want, not just what it looks like. If you’re looking at a particular breed, you need to do as much research as possible into their health, behaviour and requirements, even things like, if you get a cute, fluffy dog, it needs a lot of grooming. If you’re not patient or competent with clippers, then you’ll be paying for regular grooming to prevent the dog from becoming matted and experiencing pain.
A good way to find this information is through speaking and visiting registered breeders and their dogs in their home environment – but always keep in mind that people who love the breed are likely to be biased. You could also book an appointment with a vet to discuss what variety of dog would best suit your lifestyle.
It’s good practice for all prospective puppy owners to puppy-proof their homes before bringing home the new arrival. Look out for hazards within puppy range, including electrical wiring, poisons, small objects that may cause choking, and anything delicate that’s likely to be toppled over, collided with or chewed on.
It may be easiest to restrict access to certain parts of the house until the pup is properly settled, using baby gates, or simply by keeping doors closed. Other members of the household, especially children, should be briefed prior to the puppy’s arrival. Teach children to handle the pup gently and discourage behaviours that could be seen as threatening or challenging, such as fast movements or sustained eye contact.
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