Raising a New Puppy to Be Part of the Family

Bailey’s 2 Biscuits…

    I definitely feel like I’m part of the family! Doggies want to be loved and know that you love them. Praise definitely works better than yelling. If someone yells at me, it just makes me sad and I can’t concentrate on anything. Don’t you feel sad if someone yells at you?

Raising a New Puppy to Be Part of the Family

Adding a dog to your family is an important decision. It’s not quite the same as adding a fish, a hamster, or even a cat to your household. It requires much dedication every day, and a long-term commitment. If you’re at a place in your life where you do not have time to devote to a furry friend who doesn’t listen, chews everything, pees in the house, and pretty much needs to be watched like a toddler, you might want to think twice about bringing home a puppy. If this is you and your heart is still set on adding a dog to your family, you may be better off with an older, house-trained dog. No matter which you choose, everyone in your family should be in agreement, and everyone should share in the responsibility for this new furry life.

Whether you choose a puppy or an older dog, you should choose to adopt from a Humane Society, your local shelter, or one of the numerous rescue organizations in existence. There are way too many homeless animals in the world, and many pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills, where dogs spend their entire lives in deplorable conditions. If your puppy is not spayed or neutered when you bring her home, you should make a point of having it done to help prevent unwanted litters, and to reduce their cancer risk. If you adopt from a Humane Society, they will probably spay your puppy before she goes home with you. Other places that provide spaying and neutering (usually at low-cost) are county animal control, and local animal shelters.

Before you bring your new puppy home, you should make sure you have everything she needs. To start, you’ll need a crate (wire with a door works well); a comfy pad for her to lie on; some toys for teething; a food and water bowl; puppy food; and potty training pads. If your puppy has an accident indoors, immediately bring her outside so she can learn that that’s what she’s supposed to do. Give the act of ‘going outside’ a name, like “Out.” When your puppy does her business outside, praise her every time. You should also immediately teach your puppy her name — remember that repetition is key! Begin teaching one-word commands, such as sit, stay, down, come, paw…and then other one-word identifiers such as “no bite,” and “up.”

Your family should all practice the same commands and praising, so your puppy does not get confused. Let your young children help take care of your new puppy — they can help pour food in their bowl, give them water, help gather all of the puppy’s toys at the end of a play session, and most of all, they can play with them! Take your new puppy for walks often as a family, and be sure she sees the vet regularly. Keep this up and you’ll soon have a new friend who is sure to bring lots of love to your family.


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