Puppy laying on the couch.

3 Rules for Bringing Home a New Puppy

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How to Prepare for Becoming a Puppy Parent

Getting a new puppy can be one of the most enjoyable and exciting experiences. And although our instincts tell us to do everything we can to make that cute, furry little animal feel welcome, letting them know who’s boss and what’s appropriate, especially in those first few weeks, will ensure that enjoyment doesn’t turn to exhaustion. Take a second to follow these rules for new puppy owners. We promise they’re something to bark about.

1. Establish Boundaries Quickly

The door opens, your puppy meets their new home, and before you know, it’s canine-craziness. Every room in your house is up for grabs—at least in their cute little doggy minds. For this reason, it’s important to set limits. Want to avoid a paw to the face at one in the morning? Get them a doggie bed and make it clear your bed is not theirs.

Winning by a yard
If you don’t want them roaming the neighborhood, make sure they know where their yard begins and ends. Scold them when they leave their yard and reward them when they stay in it. The quicker you establish these boundaries, the happier you’ll be. The alternative is pretty “ruff.”

2. Set a Puppy Routine

Remember the routine. These are magic words. Your puppy is in a new environment with lots of rules. Everything is new and scarier than forgetting where they buried that bone. Put them at ease by establishing a routine—when they eat, bathe, go out, play and sleep. While the first month may be anything but routine, establishing some consistency will eventually make life easier—for them and you.

4 Tips for Establishing Your Routine:

  • Pick a bathroom spot outside and keep it consistent
  • Put your pup on a regular feeding schedule and stick with one brand of food
  • Brush your pup each night with a pin bristle brush to help them relax before bed
  • Schedule routine exercise breaks

3. Handle with Care

Now’s a good time to rub your pup’s belly and scratch their floppy ears (go ahead, you know you want to). Your pup will need to get used to handling from day one and touching their tail, ears, belly, paws, and nose from the start will put you in a good place for playtime, bath time, vet appointments and general grooming. Consider reward-based exercises and make sure not to startle your puppy. The earlier you start, the easier it will be.

7 Steps to Puppy Bathing Success:

  • Pick your bathing spot and stick with it for consistency
  • Play with your pup for a few minutes in their bathing spot to make them feel safe and relaxed
  • Use lukewarm water and introduce your pup to it slowly so they know it won’t harm them
  • Fill the tub or sink with just a little water and place a washcloth at the bottom so they won’t slip
  • Use a shampoo that is specially formulated for puppies
  • Rinse properly and dry using a warm towel
  • Praise and reward them…they deserve it!

Puppy parenting can be fun, especially when you establish a few ground rules and trust. Have some puppy parenting advice to share? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter and let us know.

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