Making the decision and committing to getting your very first furry companion is one of the most wholesome experiences you’ll have in your life. If you’re getting a puppy for the first time, read on for the full guide and everything you need to know as a first time pet owner, exclusively from Webbox.
- Give it time
You’ve thought it through for months in advance, you knew what breed you wanted, you’ve picked up your first ever furry friend to be a part of your life and now you’re starting a new chapter in your little family. However, while you might have had plenty of time to prepare for the arrival of your new pet, dogs sometimes need a little bit of time on their own to get used to their new home and open up to their owners – it’s nothing personal!
- Watch their diet
Make sure that your puppy is getting the right amount of food it needs to grow; some puppies need feeding up to four times a day! Make sure to do your research on your specific breed to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need in their life to drive you barking mad…in a sweet kind of way!
- Buy some puppy mats
Let’s discuss it now, we all know toilet training a puppy can be a bit of a battle at times. However, if you start the process early doors and entice your pet to go to their mat when they need the loo (whether it’s with treats or just a bit of encouragement!), the more ingrained it’ll become in their minds ‘that’s where I need to go!’.
- Let them have fun
One of the best things about having a puppy is being able to watch them play around your home, care-free with their happiness and making your family happy too! Try not to be too strict on them at a very young age, they’re going to make mistakes here and there but they will learn over time with guidance – just enjoy the fun moments!
- Time for a walk?
It can be exciting to finally be able to get the lead out and watch your puppy go crazy for even the slightest chance of walkies! But for some dogs (smaller breeds especially), it can take a couple months until they’re ready to be out in the world for a full walk. Usually, this shouldn’t be until at least two weeks after they’ve had their final puppy vaccination, then they’re free to go on an adventure!
- You will lose sleep
Trying to get a puppy to sleep in a regular pattern can be really tough, especially during the first few weeks, so be prepared to set your alarms for stupid o’clock to make sure they’re well looked after!
- Your little explorer
Puppies are naturally curious and will want to search and explore every little place they can, both in and out of your house. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t get into places they shouldn’t.
- They love your attention
You might think it’s the other way round, but to them you are their world. Your furry friend will want to play with you, cuddle with you and sleep next to you if they get the opportunity, so make sure to share the love and enjoy the special moments.
- You’ll need plenty of toys
To keep your puppy’s barking mad tendencies to a minimum, they’ll need plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Dogs will naturally be more attached to certain toys than others, so be prepared for plenty of trial and error finding out what suits them best – you might lose a plush toy or two along the way!
- Where will they sleep?
For puppies that are desperate to be by your side at all times, to sleep in their own bed can be a challenge. For the first few weeks, it is completely normal for them to get upset when you leave the room, and this can be really hard to hear – but it does get easier over time. Stick to your best judgement and reward your puppy for following the rules at bedtime and it will pay off in the long term, trust us!
- Don’t be afraid to be strict when it’s needed
We all know what kids are like, they have a tendency to push the boundaries and this mantra is no different for puppies. Apply a bit of common sense to the scenario, if you know your furry friend has crossed the line – don’t be afraid to be definitive in telling them that’s not the behaviour you expect. Make sure you don’t raise your voice, but be comfortable in being assertive – stern but fair.
- Think about what room they’re staying in
Puppies can give you all kinds of joy and happiness you didn’t know you could experience before you got one. On the flip side, sometimes when they’re a bit too happy, or just not quite listening to the rules, ‘accidents’ can happen. If you have any unnecessary rugs or carpets in the room, it might be best to move these out of the way for a while until your new little roommate is fully toilet trained.
- Watch out with toddlers
The dream scenario is having your own child become best friends with your furry little roommate. However, some pets can be a little bit too active for their own good and this may pose a danger to very young children in the short term. Wait until you know your puppy has had plenty of exposure to people, and only let children first play and be around your dog under strict supervision.
- Teaching discipline and restraint
Look into how you want to feed your furry friend; they deserve the right treatment and guidance from the get-go. Teaching them to sit and wait before going to munch on their favourite meals is a great way to teach your pooch how to exercise restraint, encourage them to refrain from barking when they want your attention and consider a puppy training school if you’re struggling. We’re pretty sure your dog will be dishing out high fives and shaking hands in no time!
- Be an open-minded paw-rent!
Remember, although there is brilliant advice out there, every puppy is different, fur-real! What might work for one puppy, might not be best for another, so make sure you seek advice from your vet, competent professionals, and pet store professionals that will give you sound advice based specifically for your little roommate.
- Picture perfect
As we all know, they’re only puppies once – so make sure you get all the photos and videos you can while they’re young. You’ll only regret it when they’re older if you don’t, trust us!
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