Getting a new puppy or rescue dog will mean significant changes to your lifestyle. In this blog, our Canine PR Team shares seven tips for new puppy owners to get to know your new puppy or dog.
Stick To The Diet
Whether your new arrival is a young puppy or older dog, keeping them on the same diet until they have settled into their new home can help calm nervous or anxious tummies. Your new fur baby may get a mild upset stomach on arrival with all the excitement or stress. But by keeping them on the same diet in those early weeks, you aren’t adding to tummy troubles. If your young puppy or dog has extreme diarrhoea or sickness, never delay. Especially with puppies who can go downhill very quickly.
Take Your Time
As a new puppy owner it is easy to get carried away with the excitement of your new dog and want to share your excitement with friends and family. A new home and family can be an overwhelming experience for your dog. New puppy owners may want to take their dog everywhere with them. But allow your dog to settle into his new home and routine before exposing him or her to new, strange or potentially frightening environments and experiences.
Getting To Know You
In those early days, weeks and months, make sure you spend time with your dog. Getting to know them and investing time in positive training is crucial. Whether you own an eight-week-old puppy or an eight-year old rescue dog, investing time in getting to know your dog and training him or her will build a strong bond between you both. A dog with positive training is a happy, confident dog and a well-mannered member of your family.
Ask For Advice
Social media isn’t always the best place to ask advice on your new puppy or dog, especially as a first time new puppy owner. Facebook groups are brilliant for tips on the best park walks in your area and ideas for indestructible toys. However, for more tailored advice on nutrition or behavioural issues, speak to a professional. As experts they will have the relevant credentials and experience to advise on such matters.
In those early days, your dog might not be the most attentive pupil when it comes to listening or learning. Discovering what captures your dog’s interest (treats, toys or balls) can be a great training tool and reward for good behaviour. Be prepared for toileting mistakes, even established toilet trained older dogs can get caught short and soil indoors. Some dogs don’t ask to go outdoors or don’t like going out in bad weather (we have several in the office like this!). Keeping an eye on them and putting them outside at regular intervals and giving a verbal cue can help establish good toileting habits.
Make Play Time
Playing games with your dog is excellent team-building but make sure you draw the line at biting, jumping or nipping. If the excitement becomes too much and your dog becomes too boisterous, give a firm ‘no’, remove the toy or ball and ignore your dog. This will soon teach your dog that his behaviour was unacceptable. Be firm and calm when dealing with any biting, aggression and dominant behaviour. The best way to tackle problems is to seek help from a professional dog behaviourist to assess and deal with any issues you are unable to resolve.
Exercise Rain Or Shine
Most dogs love a walk regardless of the weather! Owning a dog will mean walking your dog in all weathers and in winter. New puppy owners will need to invest in a good waterproof jacket and wellington boots. Fortunately, you can buy warm/waterproof clothing for all breeds of dog. This ensures that if you do venture out and encounter the worst of the weather, you’ll both be covered! Never leave your dog unattended in clothing and be careful of open fires or candles.
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