Tips for Becoming a Puppy Parent

1

Earlier this year, my husband and I adopted an eight week old puppy.  She’s a Jack Russell/Pointer mix and we named her Bindy – after Bindi Irwin. We absolutely adore her and now that we’ve had her for as long as we have, it’s hard to imagine how little she was when we first got her!  Now that she’s trained, I thought I would share some of the best puppy tips we learned from our own experience.

1. Teething – One of the biggest challenges with having a puppy is getting them through the teething period!  For the first few months, she seemed to be biting and chewing on everything she could get her teeth on.  The best thing to remember during this time is that it is temporary.  We learned to keep all shoes and other items she had easy access to, off the floor and out of reach.  When she tried to bite our hands, we found the best solution was to distract her with one of her toys or a bone.  After a few months, her big teeth came in and now she rarely chews on anything that isn’t her toy or a bone.

2. Potty Training – One of the best tips we learned about potty training came from someone at the Humane Society where we got Bindy.  They said puppies can usually hold it for one hour for every month of their age.  So when Bindy was eight weeks old, she could hold it for about two hours.  At the beginning we took her outside for potty breaks about every hour to two hours just to be on the safe side.  After a few months of repetition, she learned to scratch the door when she needs to go out and only has the occasional accident every now and then.

3. Interacting with Other Dogs – One of the best things we did with Bindy was bring her around other dogs from the time we first got her.  A lot of our family members and friends have dogs and letting her play with them from an early age has made her very easygoing towards new situations.  She feels comfortable around both small dogs and larger ones and we really believe she’s partly that way because she’s had so many experiences with other animals.

4. Energy – Lastly, we’ve noticed Bindy is much more calm when she’s had time to get her energy out.  Whether that’s from running around outside, going for a walk, or playing with other pups, she tends to be much more well behaved when she’s gotten some exercise.  Whenever she’s acting a little crazy we know it’s because she hasn’t had time to get rid of her extra energy.

I hope these tips help both new puppy parents and new dog parents!  Having a pet is so rewarding and once you get through the initial transition period, they are much easier to take care of.  I will post any other tips we learn along the way, in a future post!

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