This is a post that I have been meaning to write for sometime now. Don’t get me wrong, obviously I love puppies. Who doesn’t love puppies?! They are funny and cute and don’t get me started on their skunky little kisses. But they are work. Lots and lots of work. I think it is something that a lot of people don’t realize or they forget. The first few months are busy, busy. You need to have a lot of patience. Here are a few things that will make this time a little easier.
- Get a crate. I know a lot of people don’t like the idea of a crate and think that it’s cruel. If you love your puppy, you will provide him with a safe space. And that is what it is. It isn’t a puppy jail (well…sometimes it is! Lol!) it is a space that is all their own. Puppies need to be watched constantly and if you can’t keep an eye on them, then the crate is a place that they can hang out safely in. There will also be times that they get too squirrely and need a little time out. This is perfect for a safe time-out space. Now, I don’t believe in crating your puppy for long periods of time. But with training, they can really come to love their little dens.
- Be prepared with age appropriate toys for play and stimulation. Puppies are busy and curious so make sure that you have things to keep them busy. They are also teething and will turn into baby sharks chewing your hands and little beavers chewing your furniture. Be ready to stop the behavior with a strong “no” and redirect their attention to a toy that they are allowed to chew. And remember to always praise good behavior. It is also important to have the whole family on board with this and that includes the kids.
- Get rid of the rugs. I always recommend to families that, if possible, to roll up their rugs and tuck them away until they are confident that their puppy is potty-trained. It will save you a lot of grief.
- If possible, don’t rely on pee pads. The more effort you put in with your puppy, the faster they will pick it up. I recommend taking your puppy out every half hour for the first little bit. I know this sounds daunting but it will pay off in the long run. Covering your floors with pee pads can be confusing to puppies.
Most importantly, remember to have patience. This blog was not written to put anyone off getting a puppy. I think being prepared is key. Remember, this stage is so short. Before you know it, they are fully grown and you’ll find yourself missing their skunky breath and puppy kisses. Trust me!