It is so easy to feel like your new puppy is taking over your life. In some ways this is true and unavoidable due to the fact that you now have a new little one that you have to take care of and keep safe.
However, there are ways to make this experience more enjoyable and less stressful for you and your new pup if you just plan ahead a bit and put some time into some long term strategies.
- Use a crate. This should not even be up for discussion anymore. It is amazing how many times I will talk to prospective clients that don’t like the idea of using a crate but then ask me how to prevent their dog from chewing on furniture, jumping on their kids and prevent housetraining accidents on their nice rug. Use a crate.
- Use a long term confinement area. This is different than a crate. This is a larger area that has a puppy pad and water for your little one so he can go potty when you are going to be unavailable for a period of time longer than he can hold his bladder. This could be an exercise pen or a bathroom.
- Find a boarding facility or neighbor to take your puppy. Even if you do not have a trip planned for a while, you should plan ahead and interview boarding facilities. If you wait until the last minute (or if there is a family emergency and you need to travel) this will be very stressful for you and your dog. Your new puppy should learn how to be away from you when he is young so it is just a normal part of his routine. Even if you do not have a trip planned, drop him off at a kennel or neighbor’s house for an evening and have a fun night out with your spouse!
- Find a dog walker. Even if you do not plan on using a dog walker regularly, it is important to interview dog walkers and check references ahead of time. Many dog walkers require a minimum number of walks per week, but others will take appointments on an as-needed basis. This is helpful if you want to go out to dinner after work and want to give your puppy a bathroom break before you get home.
- Socialize your puppy. The better socialized your puppy is, the less problems you will have as he gets older. A well socialized puppy can be in all the situations you need him to be in and not be stressed out and possibly barking or aggressive. Plan ahead and socialize your puppy to everything that he will be exposed to so he grows up to be a confident, well-adjusted family member.