Many of us want to have dogs and its always a wonderful feeling to have a new buddy in town, and it is very important to raise a healthy and happy puppy. You and your dog will probably spend many years together, so I will help you kick start a great beginning that will follow for many years. I own three dogs and I have been with dogs since I was a young child, so let me guide you through the process of raising a great dog!
(I will be referring your dog as a he/she. You will understand after spending many years with yours. (:)
First things first. Are you ready to:
- Be financially responsible for your dog? Checkups with veterinarians and shots may cost you some.
- Are you ready to be there for your dog, especially during their early puppyhood?
- Are you ready to train your dog ?
- Are you ready to be caring and loving to your dog?
- Are you ready to take care of the basic needs for your dog?
There are many different types of dogs but the level of maintenance is different for each dog, so research carefully so he/she fits your lifestyle accordingly.
1. Prepare supplies for your dog before you take them in, or as soon as you adopt/buy him/her.
I suggest these supplies:
- pee pads/newspaper for potty training (you may need a couple)
- small bowls for food/water
- an enclosure (playpen/cardboard box)
- maybe a small house for their own privacy
- small kibble designed for puppies
- small collar to fit your dog
- dog tag/license with your contact information and his/her name
- small dog treats for training
- a leash
- a bed
- toys (old stuff animals or rubbery/rope toys for them to teeth/chew on)
2. Check with a Veterinarian for the shots your puppy may need. Some shots are very important and may mean life or death for your young one.
Here are some major cases that require vaccinations but always check with your vet for specific vaccinations appropriate for your type of dog.
3. Depending on each dog, your puppy may react differently to the new environment:
a.) In the beginning, your new friend may be very nervous, and sometimes to the point that he/she will shiver and possibly pee themselves. This perfectly normal, so try to be their best friend and he/she will soon grow out of this stage, but it will take some time depending on each puppy.
b.) In the first few nights, your puppy may howl or bark multiple times, this may be annoying but it is a stage that most puppies go through. You can try comforting your little one by petting them, but they may still be nervous with the new environment.
c.) If your puppy is not willing to eat, it is probably due to their nervousness, but have them sample one piece and they will learn that it is safe to eat.
d.) If your puppy is having trouble peeing/pooping in the right place, try soaking some urine with their pee pad or urine, so they understand it is the right place to pee/poop. There are also certain pet products with sprays that do that too. They will soon treat this as the toilet. Change regularly.
4. Owning a puppy is probably one of the messiest things you will have to handle, but it is really simple:
a.) Constantly change pee pads/newspapers if they get too over-soiled.
b.) Always wash the feet of your puppy and other areas that may be dirty.
c.) Keep the bowls clean.
d.) Until your puppy gets their shots, do not set your puppy on the ground outside too long or in dirty areas. They may be prone to disease.
e.) Wash blankets if needed.
f.) Change the cardboard box if needed.
g.) Groom them.
5. Treat your puppy with as much love and care as possible. This is one of the most important stages of life for your dog. It will more than likely determine their personalities and general attitudes towards certain people. You can either become your puppy’s best friend or enemy.
a.) Try to be around your puppy as much as possible.
b.) Talk to them gently and playfully.
c.) Pet them softly and kindly.
d.) Hold them in your arms securely.
e.) Do not yell or scream at them with a loud voice.
f.) Do not hurt them.
g.) Massage them.
6. Train them while they’re young. From day one, show that you are the dominant one, so your dog does not become too aggressive against you. You may need leash and small dog treats as rewards.
a.) Teach them to come to you by clearly calling out their name.
b.) Potty train them on the pee pad.
c.) Teach them to sit by command by having them in a standing position. Lead your hand over their nose so they plop down on their butt while saying “sit” or a similarity.
d.) Teach them to lay down by command by starting at a sitting position and leading your hand down, or gently push them down while saying “down” or a similarity.
e.) Have them on a leash and open the door. Teach them to not run out on their own by pulling the leash back whenever they try to.
f.) When feeding your puppy, stand over their bowl for a few moments, and step away. This will prove to them your dominance and will prevent them from becoming over-protective with their food.
g.) Train them to only walk behind you whenever possible to display your pack leader status.
h.) There are many tricks out there, but make sure to reward them accordingly so they don’t get too spoiled.
i.) Also, remember to have them socialize with other dogs.
7. Your puppy has finally grown up and is now ready to tackle a new world. I will talk about some suggestions during this stage. Life After Puppyhood:
a.) After your puppy turns one years old, you have a choice of spaying or neutering your dogs. It is suggested to spay and neuter unless you are willing to handle an additional 3-5 little ones in your family.
b.) Switch the type of food for your dog designated for the appropriate age.
c.) Take your dog outside, play with them constantly, and always provide exercise.
d.) Take them to the vet early when problems arise.
e.) Bring them to get vaccinations when needed.
f.) If you are going to introduce a new friend to the family, make sure they get along well.
g.) Closely watch their needs.
h.) When they make oops, don’t be too critical and abusive.
i.) Give them baths regularly.
j.) Groom them.
k.) Always love them.
Q&A (Reply if you have any questions! We need to raise better dogs for better futures.)
- What are some things I should not feed my dog?: Chocolate (especially dark), raisins, pistachios, tomatoes, etc. please search the internet for more.
- Should my dog live outside or inside?: I always suggest a little bit of both, but it depends on your lifestyle. Your dog will be cleaner inside and dirtier outside, but always wash them regularly and it should be fine. Make sure to provide appropriate accommodation for your dog so its a clean and comfortable environment.
- What kind of food can I have my dog eat?: Try to go for the more well known brands like Eukaneuba, Beneful… but always look for veterinarian approved labels.
- Can I cook for my dog?: Yes, but please look for respectable recipes, because some meals may not be enough to satisfy a nutritious diet.
- How often can I give treats to my dog?: Not too often, only when they deserve it.
- Can my dog sleep on my bed?: Yes, it’s perfectly fine as long as they’re clean enough for you.
- How often should I bathe them?: According to my dog’s vet, you can never wash your dog too much as long as you do it safely.
- How often should I groom them?: Everyday if possible.
- My dog has ticks and flees, what do I do!?: Buy flee and tick medicine at your nearest pet store or convenience store.
- My dog smells bad: Shower them more or use natural dog sprays.
- My pee pad/newspaper smells horrible: Change it regularly and keep it in an open area so the smell does not concentrate.
- My dog keeps whining and barking: Scold them every time they bark at a stranger, but if it is becoming a habit, you should spend more time with your little one. He/she may need for attention.
- My dog is being aggressive and hostile! What do I do?: Contact a professional dog trainer before it becomes too dangerous.
- My puppy is chewing on everything!?: Give your puppy a toy to chew on. This is a normal stage in puppyhood when their teeth start growing, so they want to chew on everything.
- My dog is really shy, what can I do?: Take them to a dog park or socialize with other dogs.
- I am not home during the day, what can I do?: You can buy a specialized timed food/water dispenser, and have extra pee pads around.