Owning a puppy can be an extremely rewarding experience. Joyful, enthusiastic, energetic and unconditionally loving, a puppy offers great company for everyone. Exceptionally cute and adorable, it is often a challenge not to turn down a puppy during a trip to the local pet store.
However, it's not all fun and games. After all, puppies are known to be boisterous and energetic and since they are living beings, you are going to have to take great care of it if you get one.
This is no cause for alarm. There are certain challenges that you are going to face, which are listed below. If you educate yourself on what is going to happen when you get a puppy and what you are going to have to deal with, you will be able to face these challenges quite easily and allow yourself to enjoy having your puppy around as much as possible. Here are a few of the major issues you are going to face while raising a puppy.
When it comes to owning a puppy, one of the most significant aspects of the process of raising it is to train it. Not only is this fun and allows you to interact with your pet in a number of different ways, you are also going to get the chance to teach it to follow orders and establish yourself as the alpha. It is going to be quite difficult in the beginning because your puppy is simply not going to understand, but at the same time, if you start early enough, there is no reason why it won't work.
Puppies are often predisposed to weight gain, and this can be absolutely disastrous for their health. The problem is that even the most energetic puppies are going to be difficult when it comes to exercise. You need to get your dog into the habit of walking every single day. This is going to take a lot of time, but when you get a puppy, you need to be very particular about the sort of life you give to this animal as it will affect its health forever. Giving your puppy exercise will require you to sacrifice other things you might want to do, so you have to be prepared for that.
Finding the right kind of diet for your pup is the sort of thing that is going to take quite a bit of time and patience. You just need to keep in mind that for the first six months, you are not going to be able to give your pup the best diet possible. This is just the way things are; finding the right food to feed your pet is a very difficult task. You are going to have to mix things up and try to figure out which food items are the healthiest for your dog. Try consulting a vet whenever possible.
-> Choosing The Right Dog Diet
Your pup is going to have a tough time socializing at first. Antisocial dogs are quite common, especially if you got your pup as soon as it was born and did not allow it to interact with other dogs that it had been born with. If you want to make your dog socialize, an important thing to realize is that you need to take it slow. Forcing your dog to be social can give it a great deal of anxiety which would make you out to be the bad guy, and you don't want to alienate your puppy by making it do something it doesn't want to do.
This is one of the biggest expenses that you are going to have to deal with when you have your pup. If you want to ensure that your pup is as healthy as possible, you are going to have to take it to the vet. Dogs generally don't like going to the vet, so taking it in order to make sure it gets vaccinated and its health is perfect is going to be a real hassle, but it is absolutely necessary for the long run.
-> How to Tell If Your Dog Is Sick
You don't want your puppy pooping all over your house as this is going to end up causing a great deal of trouble. You would have to start house training your dog pretty quickly if you want it to learn where it has to poop and pee. This is going to be very challenging indeed because your puppy would not be able to follow this training simply because it would not know how to control its natural processes. You will have to be patient with your pup and allow it to learn slowly but surely, thereby allowing you to become the right kind of parent to your pet.
The process of teething is one that your pup is going to have a lot of problems with. This is because teething is the sort of thing that would cause your pup some annoying pain, and you are going to have to put a lot of effort into easing its discomfort. You should give your dog something to chew on. Also, bear in mind that diarrhea and the like are pretty common during this stage of your pup's life, so be patient with it.
8. Separation Anxiety
If you work, you are going to have to deal with your dog suffering from separation anxiety and whining every time you have to leave home. However, when it comes to separation anxiety, there really is nothing you can do. You are just going to have to be strong and go out or else your pup is never going to take you seriously. You need to go to work after all as it is a part of your life. Eventually, your pup will get used to the idea that you need to leave for a few hours every day and stop freaking out too much. However, your pup will still get all excited when you return and there's no changing that.
9. Getting Everyone Involved
If you want to ensure that your puppy gets the best training possible, it is very important that you involve your whole family. Tell them what you have planned for your pup's development, and let them know what they can and can't do. If there are certain things that your dog is not allowed to eat, make sure everyone knows or else your pup would end up going to someone else because it would know it'd get what it wants. Remember, keeping your dog disciplined is a team effort, so you can't do it without the help of everyone in your home.
10. Patience and Staying Firm
One of the most difficult things to do as a pet owner is staying firm with your dog. This is because you are generally going to be extremely loving to your pet, and you might just feel like letting things slide when it does something wrong. This is the absolute worst thing you can do because you are going to end up with a misbehaving dog that has no sense of what it can and can't do. Be patient but firm. Make sure you lay down the law whenever your dog does something it's not supposed to.
Allow Your Puppy to Sleep with You Initially
A lot of people tend to think that puppies are supposed to sleep on their own. This is actually not true at all. The truth of the matter is that you are going to have to let your puppy sleep with you in the initial days. This would help it get used to the idea of living with you and would establish you as a parental figure. Wean your pup off the habit of sleeping with you slowly; there is no reason why you won't be able to teach it how to sleep on its own later on.
-> Signs That Show Your Dog Might Be Feeling Cold
Baby Proof Your House
Puppies are a lot like babies, so if you keep your pup indoors, you are going to have to baby proof your home and ensure that it does not go somewhere it can get injured or cause any mischief. Puppies can cause a lot of destruction if they are left unchecked, so it is very important for you to give your pup the sort of protection it needs in order to prevent it from causing havoc and breaking things in your home. You will also have to ensure that your pup understands what the walls and boundaries mean.
Give Your Puppy Its Own Room or Space
If you want your puppy to realize where it can and can't go, giving it its own room is a great way to make that happen. By giving your puppy a room, you are going to give it a space where it can do whatever it wants. Put a little bed there as well as some toys that your puppy can play with. This would help you get your puppy comfortable in your home and teach it that there are certain places where it can relax and have a great time with you.
Be Careful What You Encourage
There are certain things like jumping on you that you might love your puppy to do because it would make you feel loved, but keep in mind that you are going to end up with a poorly behaved dog if you let behavior like this slide. No matter how cute your puppy is, certain behavior is simply wrong and should not be encouraged in any way. If you give your puppy the sort of training that would allow it to learn what it can't do early on, you will have a much better behaved dog in the long run as your friend and companion.
Use Carrots While Teething
If you want to ease your puppy's discomfort while it is teething, baby carrots are a great option to help make this as easy as possible. These carrots allow your puppy to chew on them and get rid of the pain it is feeling. You can also soak some cotton clothes in water and give them to your pup, as they would help ease your pup's discomfort without giving it extra food that might end up making it gain weight. These techniques are great to prevent your dog from whining and feeling pain while its teeth are coming out.
Opt for Rewards Rather Than Punishment
If you want to train your dog properly, one thing that you are going to have to do is reward it for good behavior rather than punish it for bad behavior. While bad behavior should certainly be dealt with, you shouldn't wait for it to happen. Instead, start teaching your dog early on what it is going to need to do in order to be a good boy or girl. This is going to help you avoid doing things like scolding your dog, which is obviously what no pet owner would want to do.
Now that you have educated yourself on the sort of challenges you are going to face as the owner of a puppy, you will end up getting a lot better at keeping your puppy safe and sound and training it to be as confident and well behaved as possible. With the tips mentioned above, you will be armed with all of the tools necessary to tackle this rather difficult task head on.
One final tip that you should consider is that adopting is always better than buying. Everyone wants a purebred dog, but the ones that are in homes are just as lovely as any dog you would buy. After all, you are getting yourself a friend and a companion, so buying one is just not morally right. Adopting can help make the world a much better place!
The last point - Choosing rewards over punishment goes a looooong way in raising a well-behaved dog. I've seen so many puppy parents resort to mean ways to correct their pups. While they might temporarily solve the problem, it ends up ruining the relationship between the dog and human. Your post is apt and to the point.