Puppy Tips & Tricks
When the pitter patter of tiny paws grace our beloved home, many of us frantically dash to the nearest pet store to grab the essentials. For the next month our houses become a calamitous cooking pot of doggy accidents, runaway paws, consistent chewing and the attempts of ingraining recall into a new-born brain. When it comes to having a new puppy, our patience is definitely tested.
Well, here at Natural Cornish Pet Shop we understand what life is like when those tiny paws enter our homes. From late night and early morning toilet training to dealing with the heartbreaking cries and whimpers from their new found beds, having a puppy can be a testing time, but as always we are here to help. As experts in doggy care, here’s our tips and tricks for introducing a new puppy into your home...
Provide a comfortable space
The first few hours of your puppy walking into your home is the most challenging time in their lives. Leaving their place of comfort and being absent from their siblings and parents can be a traumatic time in a puppy’s life. Because of this, it is imperative to make a safe and comforting spot for them. If you own other pets, it is ideal for you to place your puppy in their own separate location so they don’t feel intimidated by additional animals in the house.
If you house your puppy in a cage during the first few weeks, ensure the cage is packed with comforting materials such as a soft and cosy bed or duvet (we recommend Danish Designs) to give your new pup a safe and snuggly environment to rest in. Pack their cage with a new favourite plush such as Wild Knots Bear or Hugglehounds to give them all the comfort they need in their brand new home.
In terms of location, keep their cage away from utilities that could cause distress such as a tumble dryer, dish washer or radiator that may have abrupt sounds during the night. Try and play soft and subtle music for pups who struggle to settle as the noise should work in starting their slumber.
Prepare with Puppy Pads
Accidents are going to happen. Whether you like it or not, your puppy will have the odd accident or two or ten as they grasp the concept of toilet training. Be prepared for late nights and early mornings as your pooch understands the concept of doing their business outside. Place puppy pads both inside their cage, around the perimeter and in locations around your home where your puppy wishes to roam. When the squatting position occurs, dash your puppy outside and reward with a treat (Lily’s Kitchen is pawfect) when they do their business. But be prepared – this is going to be the trickiest part.
Praise your puppy heavily for weeing and pooing outside on every occasion. The constant and consistent praise will reinforce the behaviour, eventually making your brand new furry friend ask to go outside for the bathroom. Be patient. Unlike a toddler, puppies cannot tell you when they are needing to go – so understand accidents will happen and when they do puppy pads are to the rescue.
Create a Routine
There is nothing more important in a dog’s life than routine. Whether it’s time for dinner or walkies, our dogs have a deep understanding of when it is time for certain activities. This will be tricky at first. Establishing a bathroom routine will require observation of when your dog needs to go after their food and water.
Set strict times at first for their meals and work from there. During observations keep an eye on how long after eating your dog goes to the bathroom – this will be a useful tool in setting clear routines for taking your new puppy outside to poop. In terms of new adventures, we will never advise taking your puppy outside until they have had their final boosters from the vets.
Vets recommend waiting until 10-14 days after your puppy's last vaccination booster – usually at around 14–16 weeks of age – before introducing them to the wonders of local parks, beaches and walking trails. During this time, your puppy will only need short bursts of exercise unlike other dogs you may own. A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is fully grown, i.e. 15 minutes (up to twice a day) when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer.
When the time comes to embrace those amazing adventures ensure your puppy has the correct harness, collar and leash for their size and their collar specifies any contact details in case of emergency. However, don’t rush this process – embrace this cuddly and significant time in your dog’s life because before you know it they will grow up in a blink of an eye.