Congratulations on your new puppy! Life with a puppy can be a lot of fun, but it is best to be as prepared as possible.
Hello and welcome to At Ease Pet Care by Kristin Miller: Puppy Edition. As you know, I have spent a considerable amount of my life taking care of animals and I thought it was only fair that I share some of what I have learned with you. One of the reasons I started these newsletters in the first place to get a sense about what my clients would like to know. That is why I have tailored each of these emails to each of you specifically. I welcome any feedback. Now, let’s get started.
First lesson: Housebreaking
One thing you need to ask yourself before you begin training your puppy is how you will handle disappointments and inevitable accidents. I have housebroken a lot of dogs in my time and I can tell you one thing for absolute certainty: praising a dog will go a lot farther than scolding it. All dogs—even stubborn ones—want to please their masters and will twist themselves inside out in order to do so. It is up to you to show them that even when they have an accident, they are still loved. Give them affection, even when they mess up, and keep your voice calm and encouraging. Remember, they should only get treats when they do the right thing. That doesn’t mean they can’t get a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears when they mess up.
Puppies are like babies. Unlike babies, they will not use a diaper (For the humans that ignore this rule, I suggest you start saving up now for future therapy your poor dog will have to endure). They will need to go out on average about every 2-3 hours until two things happen: 1) their bladders fully develop 2) they understand that they are supposed to go outside. At first, it might seem like a game. Try not to get frustrated if they don’t understand right away, because they won’t.
Consistency is key! Keep your puppy on a schedule. If you have the time to take it for a walk in the morning and right before bedtime, you will find that your puppy has a lot less accidents. Make outside time a fun time.
Note: You can prevent accidents if you limit the amount of water your puppy in the hour(s) before bedtime. Keep your little pup hydrated, but be aware of that tiny puppy bladder. I would say take the water bowl away about two hours before bed.
Until next time…