Tips for surviving puppyhood

By Shirin Mehdi

Puppies bring love to your household, but they can be quite a handful as they learn the ways of the world. Your first pup can be an overwhelming experience if you are not prepared. Don't you fret, we've got your back!

puppy training

1. Fix a routine

(Eat – Sleep – Play – Poop) As you and your new pet learn to fit into each other’s lives, a routine will make it easier for each of you to understand the other better.  Your pup will feel secure and cared for if you set meal times.  Pooping first thing in the morning and before you lock your doors at night will put things in perspective for the young canine.

2. Patient with peeing

This is the most annoying problem that puppy parents face.  Until the pup learns, there is ample scope for accidents.  There will be times when you take him/her out to pee and they won’t do it until you step back inside the house.  Be patient, remember human babies wear diapers until they are toddlers, but puppies learn much faster.  Have small confined spaces for your pup initially, so it is easier to clean up.

3. Dealing with a burst of energy

Pups have a whole lot of energy to expend.  Sometimes it might be hard to keep up.  Having set play times and including activities that will allow your pup to run and tire themselves out is the best way to deal with so much energy.  Dogs are smart, so engaging them mentally is also a great idea.  Tired dogs are happy and well behaved.

4. Potty training 101

This is another major challenge most dog parents face.  Once you get the hang of it, it is not hard at all. Just like peeing, there will be a few accidents, but hang in there.  Remember to reward your pup every time he/she poops outside.  A housebreaking spray is also a good idea.  Once your little champ gets used to it, they will poop only on the sprayed area.

5. Dealing with teething issues

This is a particularly challenging time for your pup.  You need to be forbearing at this stage.  Your dog will want to tug and chew on everything they can get their hands on.  Buy a whole lot of chewable treats and toys to support your pup at this time, that will save the impending destruction at home.

Dogs are the most loyal and loving pets you can have, but you know that already.  They need you as much as you need them and if you can get past babying them, you will have a best friend for life.

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