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Puppy Challenges: 101 Guide for First-Time Pet Parents  

Puppy Challenges: 101 Guide for First-Time Pet Parents  

After the initial cuddling, raising a puppy can appear to be an uphill challenge, especially if it’s a first-time venture. Even in what might seem like the worst possible moments, a puppy will still melt your heart. Hold onto that sensation and follow our tried-and-true tips to guide you through puppyhood toward canine maturity for the newest member of your family.

No One Said It Would Be Easy!

Remember that puppies are very similar to human toddlers, in that they should not be left unattended. Certain dog breeds, like Pitbulls, are filled with energy when awake but will need multiple naps within 24 hours.

Your patience will be at a premium as you attempt to keep them out of trouble and begin to teach appropriate behaviour. When you pick your pup up, make sure you are free to spend time with him or her to aid them in acclimating to the new environment.

Puppy Challenges: 101 Guide for First-Time Pet Parents  

Chew, Chew, Chew!

Apart from sleeping quite a bit, their principal activity will be chewing, particularly as adult teeth replace puppy teeth. They will chew whatever wherever, so keep slippers, shoes, and even purses out of reach.  Puppy teething rings are ideal to aid your puppy while protecting your furniture and possessions from constant gnawing.

The great thing about puppyhood is that it doesn’t last forever, so concentrate on the adorable aspects and remember that the unpleasant ones will have a beginning and an end. When they reach their first birthday, many puppy problems will resolve themselves naturally.

Choose the Right Puppy Food

“You are what you eat” couldn’t be truer, as puppy food is the basis for your dog’s overall health. Take some time to read about canine nutrition. If you have selected a specific breed, you may want food designed for the breed, and definitely for the size of your pup

Puppy Challenges: 101 Guide for First-Time Pet Parents  
Photo by Helena Lopes

Puppy Supplies

Better to get your puppy supplies ahead of time so that when the pup arrives, you won’t have to leave him to run and get the basics. It will be worth your while to stock up on many of these, so you aren’t constantly running to the store. Necessary supplies include:

  • Food and water bowls for canines
  • Automatic dog feeder depending on your schedule
  • Quality puppy food
  • Puppy treats
  • Collar with an ID tag
  • Leash
  • Harness for leash training
  • Dog bed
  • Brush or comb
  • Shampoo for puppies
  • Poop bags and training pads
  • Nail trimmers (unless you go to a groomer)
  • Canine toothbrush with canine toothpaste
  • Puppy toys
  • Dog crate or carrier (optional)
  • A home cleaning product that is puppy-safe

Your Home Needs Puppy Proofing

You will not be able to stare at your puppy the entire time he or she is awake, so puppy-proofing your home can be of great benefit when you are unable to supervise directly. Remove toxic houseplants, or any plants for that matter by placing them in a room where the pup doesn’t have access or by placing them out of reach. Electrical cords need to be secured to avoid the pup chewing on them, and chemical substances like cleaning products should be closed securely in a cupboard.

You can take a walk around your home on all fours to get an idea of what may attract your puppy’s attention and remove things that may invite chewing. Also, make certain that vents and pet doors are closed securely so your pup doesn’t wander off or get stuck somewhere. 

Choose a puppy-safe area where you can confine your pup if necessary. You may choose a dog crate for training purposes, or a corner space in a laundry room, basement, kitchen, or bathroom where your pup can relax without being disturbed by other pets or people. Put down newspaper or training pads for elimination and add in a puppy bed, water, and feeding dishes, as well as a toy or two. This will serve as a retreat for your pup if he or she is feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Choose a Great Veterinarian

Every dog needs a good veterinarian. Your vet will monitor your pup’s health and will act as a great guide through any difficulties or doubts that may arise. They will be your go-to person for just about any situation. 

Training Will Make Both Your Lives Easier

Training should be considered essential. It is an important tool for ensuring your dog’s safety. It will provide clear boundaries and can be a vehicle for you to bond more closely with your pup. Be consistent, making time for training sessions daily and they should never last more than ten minutes as your puppy’s attention span will not last much longer.

If you have the possibility, consider working with a professional trainer for basic commands and socialization exercises. A trainer will also help you prepare to deal with behavioural problems like aggression, separation anxiety, chewing, or excessive barking.

Be a Great Pet Parent!

Many if not most canine problems can be traced back to owners. Take care of your dog’s health and hygiene, and respect municipal rules when out for a walk or a visit to a dog park. Raising your puppy will be an adventure, so stock up on patience, supplies, and lots of affection. You’ll be rewarded a thousand-fold with lifelong loyalty and companionship, and possibly give you the confidence to rescue more pups in the future.