Did you get an adorable new addition to your family?
How are things going so far? A bit hectic? Stressful? Peaceful? We have puppy classes happening every week at our facility and know how much life can change with 4 new paws in the house.
Check out the top 5 things we think you should do when you’ve got a new puppy.
Find a Veterinarian
Your new puppy will need all of her appropriate puppy shots, so you will need to find a Veterinarian to visit. The best way to find a good Veterinarian is to ask around. Ask your friends and family, ask someone you know who has a dog or works in the dog business. Try to ask within your home radius so that you find a Vet who is close to your home. It helps in the future if your vet is nearby and you have an emergency. If you don’t know anyone to ask, call a local dog trainer and ask who they would recommend. If these options don’t work for you, check out this page on the AKC website that might help.
Find a dog crate and good, nutritional dog food
A dog crate is essential in helping your dog learn good behaviors. Not only does it give your new puppy a safe place to rest while he is getting used to his new surroundings, it can keep him safe from harmful situations. Crate training your dog is so important that we have written about it before, here. Crate training, when done the right way is not harmful at all and is actually just the opposite, very helpful!
Finding the best food for your dog can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of types to choose from. Do you do dry, wet, raw, a mixture? If you go to the store, check the ingredients in the food you’re buying. Learn how to read the ingredient list. Try to stay as close to whole foods as you can. The main protein source should be one of the first 3 ingredients. Check out this Consumers Advocate article or this Whole Dog Journal article for more help.
Puppy proof your home and yard
Puppies are like toddlers, they are curious and can get into everything. Unfortunately, unlike toddlers, we leave our puppies home alone sometimes. Believe it or not, there are a lot of things in and outside of your home that can harm or be fatal if ingested by your dog. Household toxins include things you might never suspect such as Sago Palms, Cocao mulch, Oleanders, chocolate, raisins, grapes. Please check out this page for things that you need to do to keep your puppy safe.
Get a suitable collar, leash and ID tag
Yes, putting a collar, harness and leash on your dog at an early age will make life a lot easier as she grows up. It’s easy to train a puppy to wear a collar and harness and how to walk on a leash. But it is not so easy to train a full grown dog how to do this. (Yes, it can be done when the dog is older, but your best suited if you start them early!) We have a selection of some of the best collars, harnesses and leashes money can buy. Trying to figure out what is best for your dog? Come in and try them on. Ask questions. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good products for your pup. Find what works best for you, your pup and your lifestyle.
Socialize your pup
Puppies love to explore. They learn so much by smelling and seeing the world around them. So it is imperative that you get your dog out of the house and into the great outdoors once they have had all of their shots. We at AZ Dog Sports do not condone taking your puppy to a dog park, this is not a good place for them to roam at such a young age. What we do recommend is taking them on walks around your neighborhood, down to a local park (on-leash), or to a friends house for a playdate with other dogs. When we say you should “socialize” your dog, we do not mean to just let them loose to run amuck with other puppies all the time. Structured and organized socialization is what is best for them. Being on-leash, interacting with other dogs and other people is a great way to teach respect and good habits. One of the best ways to socialize your new puppy is through a puppy training class. Your pup will learn how to behave around other dogs the correct way at a young age. This will help you tremendously in the future. Trust us!
Have fun with your new puppy. If you start teaching good habits now, bad habits are much less likely to be a problem in the future!