5 Things to Expect from Your New Puppy
You've gotten that adorable ball of fluff with the oh-so-soulful eyes, but you're not sure what to expect from him the first several days and nights. Here are five things you should expect when you buy or adopt a puppy.
Purebred or Mixed Breed?
Are you looking to get or gotten a purebred or a mixed breed?
Urinating and Defecating on the Floor
Puppies don't come housetrained (housebroken) and even if they appear to learn housetraining quickly, they're usually not completely housetrained until a year, assuming consistent training. Some learn quickly, only to "forget" entirely. So, have plenty of enzymatic cleaner available and put your puppy on a schedule to ensure minimal accidents. That means taking him outside first thing in the morning; after meals, playtime and naps; when you get home; and before you go to bed. Don't expect a puppy younger than 3 months to "hold it" longer than three hours.
Chewing and Destructive Behavior
Your puppy has no idea what is good behavior and bad behavior. He only knows that he likes to explore, and like a toddler, he likes to touch things. His way of exploring is with his mouth, which means it gets chewed up and swallowed. You can minimize this by giving him suitable toys to play with and chew and keeping him in a crate when you can't watch him.
Whining and Crying at Night
Expect sleepless nights while your puppy whines and cries. He misses his mom and his littermates and is bored and anxious. Playing with your puppy before bedtime to tire him out will help with the energy level, but the anxiety needs to be addressed. Try a puzzle toy filled with treats and maybe a stuffed toy with a hot water bottle to keep him happy.
Changes to Your Lifestyle
If you've never owned a pet, you'll find that a puppy will suddenly have to factor into all your plans. Most people who haven't owned dogs tell me that they never expected so much work and so much inconvenience. You can't simply take off for the weekend without planning for how you're going to care for your dog. Have to go home in the evening because you have a puppy or dog you must care for. Some people find this new lifestyle restrictive and don't enjoy having to walk, feed and care for a pet.
Expenses You Didn't Think About
Puppies can be pricey for those who didn't factor in the costs. Veterinary care the first year is higher with a puppy because of vaccinations, wormings and health checks. You have to train your puppy, which usually requires training with professional dog trainers. Puppies can get diseases and can eat or chew the wrong things. Then, there's the cost of dog food, toys and miscellaneous items. It all adds up.
Many pet owners find these inconveniences worth the companionship and protection a dog has to offer. Even so, if this is your first puppy or dog, it's good to know what to expect when you first fall in love with that bundle of fluff.
© 2014 Maggie Bonham