March 23 is National Puppy Day, and this is one internet-inspired holiday we are all about. We’re not going to sugar coat it: puppies are genuinely hard work, but they yield a dog that is tailored to your lifestyle and habits, making your bond even stronger. If you’re considering bringing a sweet, wrinkly, curious little PAL into your family, we wanted to share a few tips we’ve acquired in our experience to help you raise a wonderful dog.
- Crate training. Unless you’re working 16 hour days, crate training can be one of the best decisions you make for both you and your puppy. Not only does it alleviate the anxiety of wondering what your youngster is ruining while you’re away, it gives puppy the opportunity to relax in a space that’s all his own. Never use the crate as punishment. You want your puppy to welcome going into their space without feeling rejected or disregarded, as that can break their spirit and yield a timid, withdrawn dog.
As an added bonus, crate training can help set the foundation for potty training because most dogs will refrain from soiling their place. As soon as you get home, let puppy out of the crate and take him outside; once he does his business, give him ample praise so he knows he did good. Keep doing this and, eventually, your dog will develop the routine that once his owner is home, it’s time to go potty. Badabing! Your dog’s well on his way to being potty trained.
- Nutrition. Just like babies, providing young dogs with the proper nutritional foundation plays a big part in their development and health. Most companies make diets that are specially formulated for puppies, but don’t take it at face value; it never hurts to research optimal nutrition for pups and always read the label for ingredients.
- Bonding. As far as your puppy’s concerned, you are their whole world. Don’t just feed them twice a day and let them out, be there for your animal. Be enthusiastic when you see them, pet them, play with them, praise them, correct bad behaviors, and don’t hesitate to get involved if something is scaring your little pal. A few years of this and you’ll both have the companion of a lifetime.
If you welcomed a puppy into your family recently, show us! Our Facebook community loves welcoming new furry friends!