About to be a first time puppy owner? If so, this is a very exciting time for you and you may not exactly know what to expect. Get ready for the responsibility and the fun of pet ownership by reading these new puppy owner tips.
1) Educate Yourself
First and foremost, you need to educate yourself about your breed and puppies in general.
As far as breeds go, every one is different. They all have different temperaments, diet requirements and health concerns. A French Bulldog puppy, for example, will be more prone to skin problems and will likely require a special grooming routine. Great Danes can have problems with bloat and need to rest before and after eating. Educate yourself on your breed so that you know what to expect.
You should also educate yourself on puppies in general. Know what is involved in teething, how to spot problems like worms and what vaccinations are required. Dog ownership is a big responsibility and your puppy is counting on you.
2) Find A Good Veterinarian
There are a lot of good veterinarians out there but there are some bad ones as well. Before you bring your puppy home, take the time to do your research. Ideally you want to find a single doctor practice. This is just like you having a regular doctor instead of a rotating staff. A single vet can get to know your pet and will be better able to care for them.
Look at reviews online and consult local dog clubs to find a good vet. Once you find a few that you like, call and ask about prices. Prices can be all over the map, so you need to find a vet that you not only like but can also afford.
3) Start Training Immediately
Dog training begins the first day that you bring your puppy home. Nothing serious at first of course, but you should start simple things like potty training. If they are old enough to be weened, they are old enough to start potty training.
You should also only use positive reinforcement. A good idea is to start a clicker system. Get a clicker from a pet store and every time the dog does something good, you click and give them a treat. The idea is that the clicker is always the same sound, so they understand that it is positive very quickly. Our voices are not so consistent.
4) Learn Patience
If you are not a patient person, you need to learn how to become one. Patience will prevent you from unnecessarily scolding your new puppy and can help you maintain some sort of sanity as they learn the ropes.
If you are quick to react negatively, make yourself count to ten when the puppy does something wrong. That will likely give you enough time to calm down. Remember, this is essentially a toddler, so you can not expect your puppy to be perfect.
5) Look Into Pet Insurance
Pet insurance may or may not be a good idea, depending on your situation. If you have a breed that is prone to health problems like a Cocker Spaniel, it might be a very good idea.
Keep in mind that a major pet health problem could lead to a veterinary bill well into the thousands. If you were faced with a 2000 dollar vet bill, could you pay it? If not, you might want to consider pet insurance.
6) Keep Your Puppy Home
When you get a new puppy, you will likely get the urge to show them off. You will want to take them to see all of your friends and maybe even the pet store. Don’t. Until your puppy is vaccinated completely and those vaccinations have kicked in, you need to keep your puppy home and safe. Parvo is a nasty thing and you do not want your puppy to catch it. The mortality rate is very high.