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Getting Started with Your New Puppy

December 22, 2016

It's that time of year when many people get a new puppy. Maybe as a parent you decided to let Santa make your child's wish come true. On the other hand, maybe you decided to give yourself a special gift. Either way, now is the time for your dog's socialization to begin. What you do or fail to do over the next few months will determine how your pet will behave when he or she is fully-grown. Similar to raising children, it is crucial that your puppy learns and adapts to a broad array of social settings while experiencing everyday situations common to their environment. To do this correctly will take time and patience.

First, it is important to accept the fact that there is going to be challenges. These are best met by creating a plan and sticking to it. Your playful and curious pet will need to know where the food and water will be and what time of day they get fed. In addition, where will the newest family member sleep and what things are they allowed to play with as well as what's off limits. Naturally, house training should be at the top of your list and requires that he or she learn where they can go to the bathroom. If you're a new pet owner, this is going to require some dedicated effort on your part to establish a daily routine of getting up in the morning and heading outside.

Generally speaking, you can add 1 to a puppy's age in months to determine how often (in hours) they will need a bathroom break. So, a two-month old puppy should be taken outside every three hours during the day. If you work or are unable to stay on that schedule, it is important to enlist the help of others or make other arrangements like an outside pen. It is not healthy for a puppy to have to hold it past the time for their bathroom break. This can lead to health issues such as urinary tract infections. It is also important for a puppy to interact with people as often during the day as possible.

You need to help your puppy get use to the world in which they live. This can be as simple as providing comfort if they are startled by new sounds like a lawnmower or garbage truck. You also need to have people of all ages interact with your puppy as well as allow your pet to interact with other animals. When you do this, it is important to monitor inside activity and not allow your pet to become over active. Just as children have to learn to be more reserved inside the house, so will your pet. If things get out of hand, then take the opportunity to go outside for a break or get the brush out for a little grooming.  

How well you do at introducing your pet to their surroundings will have a lot to do with how your adult dog will behave. Many people find that the local dog park is an excellent place for a pet to interact with other dogs as well as other pet owners. However, before you go, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to make sure your puppy has the right vaccinations to participate in a public setting.

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