You got a dog! Congratulations! You just made a fantastic decision to adopt a new family member. If you are a first-time dog owner, you may be unaware of several things that may happen as soon as your new friend enters your household. We break down the first 24 hours with your new puppy.
From 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. -Puppies and Sleep at Night
The temptation to allow your friend to sleep in your bed is inescapable, but it is far better for your puppy to learn crate training at first. Your best bet is to let your puppy sleep near you to reassure them that they are not alone in a new environment. As a puppy becomes accustomed to its new surroundings, it will no longer fear any part of your home. Puppies will need to go out multiple times a night, so you should be prepared to wake up to crying for a couple of months.
You can even play soothing music for your puppy to help calm them at night. According to a study done on shelter dogs at the University of Queensland, music encouraged dogs to relieve stress and constant boredom. Through a Dog’s Ears, by Lisa Spector, is a clinically proven album of soothing piano music for your pet.
The first 4 Hours and Beyond: Be Aware of Small Bladders
Puppies continue to grow and change, and because of this, they are often not in control of their bladders. Most puppies at 14 weeks can only control their bladders for an hour. It is why you should create a schedule for when your puppy is able to go outside. When potty training your dog, it is best to let them go out frequently, so they can understand what spots in your yard are acceptable.
9 a.m. to Afternoon: Your Puppy is In It for Attention
Most people understand how much work a new pup is, but it should be said again: puppies are not just cute and adorable, they need constant care. A puppy can be left alone in a crate for a few hours if you need to run out to the store, but puppies are like babies. Puppies may sleep for over 16 hours each day but when they are awake, most furry friends will be attempting to cause mischief by biting household objects or stealing food. For the first few weeks, a puppy needs to be constantly corrected on what they can and cannot do. Therefore, it is your responsibility to contemplate how a puppy will fit into your schedule.
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. -Be Aware that Puppies can’t Walk for Long
Yes, all dogs require some form of a daily walk, but puppies are special because they are still growing into majestic adults. As puppies develop, their bones are still growing. It is important to make sure your pup is not running up and down stairs. Depending on how large your dog will be, their bones may grow faster or slower.
Since puppies are so delicate, there are strict requirements on how long they should exercise. The rule of thumb taken from medical professionals is to exercise your dog “five minutes per month of age.” So, take it easy on your little buddy and wait until he is older to engage in anything extreme.
1 p.m. to 12 a.m. -And Most Importantly, Teach Your Puppy about Boundaries
Puppies are cute and wonderful, but you need to remember puppies are just like children. If you are a parent, you understand the importance of setting rules. Dogs remember certain things and record them in their brains. If you let your dog jump on the couch once, it will be difficult to teach him to not do it anymore. When you have an energetic pup, you can show them what is acceptable and what is not. Look for a great puppy socialization class near you when your friend reaches 7 weeks. After that, you can sign up your friend for a proper training class at 6 months old.
But please remember, look for a trainer that uses positive reinforcements instead of punishments like prong or shock collars. Scientific data following the teachings of psychological behaviorism proves that harsh punishments can only cause your dog further anxiety instead of improving their behavior. So, make boundaries but do it in a loving way. You are never allowed to take out your anger or irritation on your cute pup.
From 24 Hours to Forever: Just Hang in There
As they always say, “the best things in life are worth waiting for.” Your pup may not be perfect and make a mess sometimes, but you still love them anyway. Getting a puppy is exciting and a lot of responsibility. If you persevere and remember our puppy rules, you’ll continue to grow a great relationship with your little fella.