Tips for New Puppy Care in Mishawaka, IN
When most people think about getting a new puppy in Mishawaka, IN, visions of sweet kisses and fun adventures fill their heads. The idea of having a sweet little ball of fluff greeting them when they come home from work makes their heart sing.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fantasy of bringing home a puppy while simultaneously ignoring that it’s actually a lot of work. Don’t worry, with a little research, preparation, and patience you will be able to develop your new puppy into a lifelong companion.
Take Your New Puppy to the Vet in Mishawaka, IN
No matter where you got the puppy from (i.e. the shelter, a breeder, or a store), the first thing you need to do when you bring him home is take them to the vet. This should happen within a couple of days of picking your bundle of joy up.
Take any medical records that you were provided so that the vet knows where your pup is at in their de-worming and vaccinations. At this time, you can discuss portion sizes for feeding, a vaccination schedule, parasite control, and anything else that comes to your mind. Your vet is a great resource not only for health issues, but for training and socialization tips as well.
Be Prepared for New Puppy Care
When you bring your puppy home, it’s important to have everything ready for them. You don’t want to have to run to the store for 15 things and leave them alone if you can help it.
One of the first things you need to decide is if they’re going to be using a crate or not. Crating your puppy is not a bad thing at all. Puppies consider it a safe haven from the rest of the house when they’re trained correctly.
It can also be beneficial to keep them from roaming around and getting into trouble at night or when you’re running an errand. If you do decide to crate train, make sure to get one that’s big enough for them to stand up and turn around comfortably in.
Add a comfy bed and a couple of toys and you’re ready to go! Leave the door open so that they can go in there when they needs a break. If you aren’t going to crate train, you still need to create a safe spot for them. This could be a bathroom or closet that they can go to as needed. You should set it up just like the crate so that they’re comfortable and associates positive feelings with it.
Some other items you’ll need include:
- Collar with tag
- Toys for chewing and to keep them occupied
- A high-quality puppy food (you may want to call your vet for recommendations)
- Puppy treats
- Metal bowls for food and water
- A brush or comb
- Puppy shampoo
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Pet safe home cleaner for accidents
- Poop bags
Pet stores have countless items for sale and it can be overwhelming deciding what you’re going to need. Start with these necessities and you can add more as she grows.
Puppy-Proof Your Home in Mishawaka, IN
Another step before bringing your new friend home is to puppy proof your home. Puppies love to explore and it can often lead into them getting into trouble. Cover up your electrical cords and tie up any window cords or curtains.
Make sure your cleaning supplies are out of reach or locked up. Buy a nice, heavy trash can with a lid so that they can’t get into it and eat the garbage.
Make sure you build the habit of not letting anything lie around. A puppy will always eat the sock that you didn’t throw in a hamper.
New Puppy Care: Routines Are Your Friend
When you bring home your puppy, it’s important to establish a routine immediately. This will help with potty training and for them to learn good behaviors. If you don’t want a full-grown dog sleeping in your bed, do not let your puppy get into the habit.
If possible, it would be helpful to take a few days off of work or to work from home to help start the potty training and avoid as many accidents as possible.
Obviously, accidents are going to happen, but if you can get them on a routine, you’ll be better off in the long run. You should get into the habit of taking them out when you wake up, after they nap, after they eat, after they play, and right before bed. Consistency is key!
You also should make sure you’re rewarding good behavior and simply ignoring when they do something wrong. A stern “No” is ok, but you never want to yell or hit your puppy. It can make them scared and lead to additional bad behaviors down the road.
A Proper Feeding Schedule is Key
In addition to creating a schedule for bathroom breaks, you’ll also need to get your puppy on a proper feeding schedule. Your vet can help you decide the best portion sizes for each meal as it will depend on your puppy’s size and breed.
As a general rule, from 8-12 weeks your puppy will need to be fed 4 times a day. From 3-6 months, it changes to 3 times a day. And from 6-12 months, you will feed twice a day.
If you have a small toy breed, you will likely start feeding them adult food around 9-12 months. If you have a large breed, you will typically feed puppy food until they’re around 2 years of age.
Stay On Top of New Puppy Care in Mishawaka, IN
While all of this can seem complicated and overwhelming, it’s important to remember that this is a fun time for you and your new friend. Use the first few months to build good habits and creating a lasting bond. The more you do now, the better things will be down the road.
When in doubt, consult your local veterinarian in Mishawaka, IN for any new puppy care and advice! Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic is here to help make sure your new puppy is ready for a happy and healthy life.