Raising a puppy is a challenge for both new and experienced dog owners, but it can also be an exciting, life-changing experience.
To help your pup develop into a happy, healthy, well-adjusted adult dog, here are six tips for puppy rearing from the American Kennel Club.
Engage in training
The cute puppy misbehavior will become a lot less cute when the puppy is older. Make sure you teach your pup good manners when it is young. Teaching the basic commands as a puppy will go a long way throughout your dog’s adult years. Training classes can be extremely helpful and lots of fun for you and your new pup.
Don’t play too rough
Puppies love playtime, but it is important that they learn the appropriate level of rough play at a young age. Your puppy needs to learn its manners when it comes to playing with other people, as well as other animals. If you let your puppy play too rough now, it could become a bad habit in your puppy’s adult years.
As much as those puppy-dog eyes make it hard to say no, you should limit the amount of treats you give to your new pup. Treats can alter your growing puppy’s appetite for the better-balanced, more nutritious meals. You also don’t want to spoil your pup. Puppies learn quickly that by begging, crying and acting out, they can get their way, so it’s best to control this behavior at a young age.
Socialization is vital
It is crucial to make sure your dog is comfortable in all situations. Socializing your puppy is extremely important and should start early on, as it sets the stage for your dog to feel happy and confident throughout its life. Once your puppy is properly vaccinated, it is important to start exposing your furry friend to new people, places and situations as soon as you can.
Decide which furniture or parts of the house are off-limits, and be consistent with enforcement. Don’t reprimand your dog for being on the couch one day and then let it up there the next. Make sure to praise your pup when it follows the rules.
Eliminate household dangers
Make sure there aren’t places in your home where your puppy can easily fall or become trapped. Also, don’t keep substances that can cause sickness, like the garbage, household cleaners, medications, pesticides and so on, within your dog’s reach.
October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month
According to the ASPCA, 6.3 million companion animals enter shelters every year. Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month by contacting your local animal shelter. Check out furry friends who need a home, and learn how the adoption process works. If you’re not planning to adopt just yet, ask how you can help with supplies or donations.