Friday, February 13, 2015

Puppies 101 By Jenna Stregowski, RVT.

Bringing a new puppy into your home will change your life forever. Puppies are definitely a lot of work, but the also bring plenty of joy to your world. Whether you are getting your first puppy or just need a refresher course, this is what you'll need to know. From welcoming your new puppy home, to training and health information, these tips will help you get your puppy on the right track to adulthood.

Choosing the Right Puppy

If the time is right for you to add a new puppy to your family, that is wonderful news! Sometimes, your future companion finds you. He comes into your life by chance, and in an instant you feel that connection. You know he is the one. However, it does not always happen like that. Often, you must take on the important task of going out and finding the right kind of puppy for you. First, you need to examine your lifestyle and consider what you are looking for in a puppy. Purebred or mix? Big or small? Other factors include grooming and exercise needs, temperament and potential health issues. Then you need to decide where to look for your new puppy. Research and patience are essential throughout the process. When you have found the right puppy, you will know you have a friend for life.

Getting Your Home Ready for Puppy

Before you bring home your cute little furball, you need to puppy-proof your home. This process is similar to toddler-proofing a home, but there are differences. Get an idea of the puppy-eye-view of your home. Electrical cords, potential toxins, and breakable items should be placed completely out of reach. Remember that your puppy can jump, climb, chew and scratch, so place what you can very high up or in a locked cabinet. "Child-safe" latches do not tend to work on curious and determined puppies. It's best to secure cabinets and drawers with locks or metal hardware. Basically, it should be chew-proof and require opposable thumbs to operate. Proper puppy-proofing not only keeps your puppy safe, it also gives you peace of mind. More »
Boston Terrier Puppy - Picture of Boston Terrier Puppy Madison - Photo © Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo © Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Naming Your Puppy

As your puppy joins the family, the all-important job of naming this new addition is a priority. Obviously, you will be using your dog's name constantly throughout his life, so your choice should be a wise one. Pick something that has a nice ring to it and is not too long. It should be easy to say and simple for your puppy to understand. You may want to name your puppy something that describes his personality or appearance. Or, you may want something very unique. Check out some name suggestions to help your decision. Once you have chosen a name, use it plenty. Before long, your puppy will learn his name and respond to it.

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