Being a new ‘pawrent’ can be undoubtedly exciting, but you can be confused at the same time. What are the essentials should you get? What is the best puppy food? How to make your home an ideal place for your puppy? How to train your furry darling? If these are the questions you ponder, this fun read is specially curated just for you! We have read, sifted, and consolidated all the must-knows and must-dos in just 5 simple sections to simplify your journey as a new pet parent, at least for a start. We are here to help your journey to be smooth-sailing, or even better, a rewarding one!
START WITH YOUR HOME
Like children, puppies can be so curious that they keep exploring things, or instead, they can be quiet or phlegmatic due to shock or stress, when it comes to entering new spaces. Puppy-proof your home by minimising distractions while creating a haven for them to roam safely. Keep away electrical items, cables, garbage, breakable items, valuables, chemicals, medications or supplements, pesticides and cleaning products, and plants that are toxic to dogs.
Clear up the space for more play for you and your little furry kid. Your puppy must stay active and get familiarised with you and your home.
SHOP FOR THE ESSENTIAL ITEMS
We talked about getting rid of many things. Now we make more room for shopping! Although it is for your puppy, the excitement still rages in us! Before we splurge on many items that we are unsure of, how about we get down to the basic essentials first?
- Crate or playpen: Each of them has its own benefits, both are handy in keeping your puppy from making a huge mess at home especially beyond your sight. Puppies are known for their impatience and high energy, which a playpen will serve this purpose better. However, a crate comes in handy when it comes to potty training, which we will cover later in this article, and it helps infuse safety to your puppy emotionally, knowing that it has a private spot to fall back to.
- Collar, ID tag, and leash: There are many creative and attractive designs of collars and leashes, but comfort remains the ultimate key to ensure safety. Before you purchase a collar, take a measurement of your puppy’s neck with a shoelace, phone charging cord, or a cloth measuring tape, so you will not hurt its neck.
- Food bowls: It is wise to pay attention to your puppy’s size, the shape of its mouth, the length of its ears and its temperament. Wide and shallow bowls make it easier for puppies to reach their food. If your puppy has long floppy ears, it would be best to get a deep and narrow bowl to avoid its ears from reaching its food. If your puppy tends to gobble ravenously, get a slow-feeding dog bowl to control its eating speed, which helps in digestion and prevents health problems.
- Toys: Encourage more play with your furry kid with attractive toys! Squeaky, no-stuff, or chewable toys are highly recommended, including flavoured bones. Nonetheless, do expect they will not last long. These toys are meant for chews and aggressive bites, thus serving as the perfect play tool instead of your expensive shoes and furniture. Do keep an eye on the loose or small toys or items that may be a choking hazard for your puppy.
PREPARE FOR YOUR PUPPY’S DIET
As much as we want to give the best nutrition to our young four-legged friend, we may not know what nutrition is the best for it. If you have newly adopted your puppy from a shelter, do pack a small amount of the food your puppy has been eating. Bear in mind that a sudden change of diet affects its appetite and digestive system. You may start off by mixing a bigger portion of its existing food with a smaller portion of the puppy food of your choice. Gradually, decrease the amount of its existing food and increase your choice of puppy food until your puppy is fully used to the latter. For a convenient start, try Complete & Balanced Puppy Food. It consists of single-source animal protein to ensure a high amount of protein is included in your puppy’s diet, as well as antioxidant complex, prebiotics, vitamin E and selenium that boost your puppy’s immune system. Alternatively, wet food is recommended to ease puppies’ consumption and digestion too. ProBalance’s wet food series is high in various nutrition to ensure your puppy gets a complete and balanced set of nutrition to help its growth and strength.
GOOD TRAINING MEANS MORE PLAY
Good behaviour begins young, starting it right at home is even better. Basic commands like sit, stay, come, impulse control, and go are important in keeping them controlled and safe. Get ready with lots of treats as every puppy learns with rewards. Praise your furry kid and reward it with treats every time it follows your command.
For potty training, puppies urinate more often than older dogs. Hence, it is best to allow your puppy to release once every two hours as holding the pee for long hours may cause UTI, bladder infections, and other possible health problems. You can sense that your puppy is about to release when it goes around in circles or sniffing around anxiously. If your puppy is in the crate, you will know in the instance it scratches the bars and loses its calm because every pet does not ruin its private spot of comfort. Wait no more, lead your puppy to an area that you have dedicated for its business such as a grass patch in your bathroom or a pee pad in the yard.
ENCOURAGE SOCIALISATION, EVEN DURING THE PANDEMIC
You may want to spend 24/7 with your new furry kid, but it is extremely vital to allow your puppy to get used to a variety of people, sounds, objects, and surroundings for different experiences. So, it is capable of dealing with diverse situations as it grows up. Ideally, a leisure walk at the park suffices for exposure. However, due to the pandemic, we spend most of our time at home. As an alternative, you may bring your puppy for a quick drive in the neighbourhood especially for vet visits. Introduce your puppy to your friends and family over video calls – this new family member deserves recognition after all.