Dogs and puppies are so darn cute and irresistible. Add your own mini person to the mix begging for a dog or puppy and, depending on your answer, you either become the world’s best parent or the most evil parent on the planet.
Promises of “I will clean up after him,” “We will walk her every day,” or “She can sleep in my room!” combined with the whiny and unrelenting questions of, “PULEEEZE can we get one?” make even the most practical parent give in.
Congratulations! You have a new dog or puppy.
Tips for the Parent Who Gives in to a New Dog or Puppy
The first tip to abide by as a new dog owner is to recognize that the promises made by your unrelenting child will not last. But the responsible parent knows that. You will become the primary care owner, trainer, poop picker-upper, walker, and master of all canine needs.
New dogs and puppies are fun at first, but their needs do not often meet the timelines of a child who truly meant what he or she said when you got the pooch but didn’t realize it would interfere with sleep, fun with friends, or laziness.
Tip two: dogs and puppies live a long time. Responsible pet owners choose to have these animals as part of their family through their entire lifetime; so plan accordingly. Some smaller breeds can live well into their late teenage years.
Third tip to consider: dogs and puppies are expensive. They need to go to the vet, some might need grooming or teeth cleaning, others require medication, and all need healthy, nutritious food and treats! Don’t forget the toys, bedding, collars, leashes, microchipping, and crate!
Fourth tip: dogs and puppies all need exercise to stay fit and trim! Come rain, shine, snow, and wind, dogs need to roam, walk, run, play! Keep this in mind when choosing your dog or puppy. Some dogs and puppies have higher exercise needs than others, but playtime with your pooch is an absolute must.
Tip five: Dogs have many of the same emotional needs as people. Dogs are pack animals. If they do not have another canine friend in the family, or even if they do, they depend on their human friends to be part of their pack. Dogs and puppies count on you to be part of their family and need companionship. Nothing makes them happier than to spend much of their waking moments with you.
Tip six: Dogs need training! Much like a child, a dog turns to you, their Alpha pack leader, to correct their behaviors in a loving, patient manner. They will have accidents, chew, destroy if left unattended, and may cause utter mayhem.
Be prepared for this and take measures to train your dog. Look for advice from your neighborhood trainer, get referrals from friends and neighbors, look online, or read books. No two dogs are alike, so have an open mind to your dog or puppy’s needs.
Seventh tip: Your dog or puppy needs a time out. It sure is fun to play with your new puppy or dog, but they truly do need their own downtime. Allowing them to feel safe and secure without having to be with you 24/7 creates a secure dog who will not have anxiety when you are gone.
Eighth tip: Dogs and puppies are den animals and like crates. Contrary to the thought that crating a dog for a short period of time while you are gone or crating him at night is mean, dogs adapt well to a crate when introduced slowly over time.
Train the dog early to go in the crate; put toys or treats in the crate; leave the door open for her to go in as she pleases. All of these exercises will make having friends over more enjoyable, will keep the dog out of trouble, and will make for a happy pooch.
Tip nine: Dogs needs’ change as they age. Be prepared for a lifetime of adjustment. Changes in diet, activity level, and temperment are common. Dogs can’t show distress or pain, so watch behaviors carefully no matter the age.
Tenth tip: Dogs are the most loyal pets, and if given a lifetime of love and patience, training and care, they will reward you ten-fold. Constant companions who never judge or show disappointment in you, dogs and puppies will always be happy to see you.
They provide you with an excuse to get out of the house, meet new friends (often with dogs), and opportunities to explore. You just might find that dog or puppy your kids begged you to get will comfort you when those kids turn into adults and start their own lives.
Be prepared for your new dog or puppy to soften your heart and experience an unconditional love you never knew existed!
Good luck with your new dog or puppy!