Welcoming a puppy into your home is one of life’s most exciting experiences, for both you and your puppy. But the idea can be a little intimidating and the process a little bit challenging, especially if it is your first time. But don’t worry, we here at The Pup Life have got you covered. Here are some tips for first-time fur-parents to pick up!
TIP 1: Puppy Proof Your Home
Puppy proofing your home not only helps to ensure that your best friend doesn’t hurt itself, it protects your belongings as well. Preventing entry to rooms where puppy pee or poop can cause considerable damage, keeping chewable objects that can be swallowed out of reach, researching up on plants that are poisonous for dogs, and covering up electrical outlets are just a few of a long list of things for you to take note of.

Here’s an additional tip. Lowering yourself to floor level and viewing things from your puppy’s perspective to see what could be potentially enticing for them, is an effective way to make sure that you have not missed any hidden dangers. But do take note that as your puppy grows, you may need to go over this process again.

TIP 2: Ensure You Have the Essentials
Being a new puppy owner, there are many basic pet supplies that you require. However, figuring out what you need sometimes differs, due to factors such as your living situation. We’ve narrowed it down to a list of essentials that almost every dog would require. They are:

• Food that suits your puppy’s size and age
• Food and water bowls
• Toys to stimulate your puppy or to help counteract stress
• Cleaning supplies such as disinfectant, gloves or poop bags
• Crates to keep them safe when unsupervised, and to help facilitate housebreaking
• Dog bed or soft bedding
• Treats to reward good behaviour
• Collar and leash so that your puppy can get used to it early
• Grooming supplies

TIP 3: Get Down to Crate Training
Crate training has been credited by both professionals and veterinarians as one of the most efficient ways to help shape a puppy’s behaviour in terms of stress faced and time spent. And there are a whole host of other benefits to it, for both your puppy and you.

A crate first and foremost, embraces a dog’s instinct for the security of a den. Within it, your puppy has a space it can withdraw to when it is tired, unwell, stressed. A crate can also be utilised when you need a safe space to confine your puppy to, when it may be too over-stimulated by certain situations such as when you have many guests over.

A dog crate can help in the house training of your puppy. It not only removes the idea of going to the toilet as a purely outdoor activity, but prevents your puppy from peeing anywhere else in your home you don’t want them. Additionally, it allows your puppy to feel more included. With a dog crate, your puppy can stay indoors with the family even when it needs to be restricted from certain activities. And gives you a peace of mind when you’re out or asleep, with the knowledge that your puppy is safe from any potential accidents.

It is important to note that puppies should not be restricted to dog crates for too long periods, especially when it is of a certain age (under 15 weeks) and when it’s still in its first few weeks in your home.

TIP 4: Build Bark Resistance
If your puppy is barking excessively, one should be careful to not reward your puppy for doing so in order to placate it, as it would only encourage more barking incidents. It’s important to establish that barking is not rewarded, so that it becomes a much less enticing proposition for your puppy to do so. As dogs bark for a number of reasons, you should observe the situation and remove their reasons for doing so. For example, if they are barking at a passerby in the window, simply close the curtains or place your puppy in another room.

If you believe that it is barking for attention, do not shout at it to stop, touch or look at them. Simply ignore the barking until it stops. And when your puppy eventually becomes quiet, praise it and reward it with a treat. This will help create the association that not barking can lead to fruitful outcomes.

It is also important to take note that some breeds of dogs naturally bark more. So it is important to do research beforehand. For these breeds, the barking can be reduced through the distraction of a squeaky toy. Train your dog to respond to it by coming over to pick it up. This will greatly reduce the barking frequency.

Welcoming a puppy into your life is a huge change, and building a relationship with it takes time. We hope that our tips can help to make this process easier. But it’s ultimately important to note the key is simply, preparation and patience. Show your puppy your love, and it will return it in leaps and bounds. Welcome to the bark side!
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