When it comes to taking care of a puppy the most important thing to remember is that the environment in which he lives feels safe and stress-free to him.
Beyond that, you'll need to structure his daily routine as much as possible so that he can grow up to be a happy and well balanced dog.
However, when caring for puppies you'll also need to understand that he is still a baby. Therefore, getting angry or frustrated at your new puppy would be similar to getting angry or frustrated at a human baby. Most of what will likely get under your skin should simply be chalked up to curiosity. Remember that at this critical stage you need to build trust and respect with your new puppy and not scare or confuse it out of anger at something that it's done accidentally.
That said, you'll need to keep five basic needs in mind when caring for a puppy. They are eating, drinking, sleeping, going to the bathroom and playing. We'll cover each of these in detail so you can be sure you're doing all you can when it comes to caring for your puppy.
Five Simple Rules of Proper Puppy Care
Rule #1 - Eating (The Importance of a Regular Feeding Schedule)
One of the most important tips for caring for a new puppy that you can take away from this article is that your pup will be its happiest once it's on a predictable routine. This is definitely the case when it comes to feeding.
Unlike older dogs, puppies have extremely high metabolism and will likely be hungry several times throughout the day. Therefore, it makes sense to accommodate him because if you don't you may come home to find half of your house eaten!
As an aside, if you're caring for a new puppy while working full time then you may want to consider purchasing a feeder which can dispense food at regular intervals throughout the day. As your puppy matures, which usually happens at around the six month mark, he will naturally only want to eat about once a day. This is more typical of the kind of feeding you would do when caring for a dog as they age.
Rule #2 - Drinking (Keep That Water Dish Full)
Your new puppy will expend a great deal of energy every day during his first six months of growing. Consequently, he's going to be thirsty quite a bit.
Therefore, it's a good idea to establish a fixed drinking location where your puppy can access his water as needed. However, do your best to monitor his intake since a puppy's bladder muscles develop slowly which means he'll need to go potty quite often.
To avoid accidents as much as a possible try and limit his water intake to meals, after sleeping and after playing. Experts also recommend that you should restrict your puppy's water consumption in the evening or you'll be getting up in the middle of the night for a potty break!
Rule #3 - Sleeping (Help Him Get the Shuteye He Needs)
In many ways, a tired puppy behaves very much like a tired child. Much like a small infant an overly tired puppy can throw a temper tantrum. But, instead of crying your puppy is likely to become aggressive or snap at you.
Rather than punish him for this behavior recognize it for what it is - exhaustion. To remedy this make sure that you create a nice quiet area for your puppy to get regular naps. You'll want to make sure that you set up an enclosed area where your puppy can feel safe and secure while sleeping.
As much as you may want to spend every second you can with your puppy be sure and give them as much chance as you can to sleep. You'll be happier in the long run and so will your puppy.
Rule #4 - Going to the Bathroom (Don't Lose Your Cool...)
At this early stage of a puppy's life it's extremely difficult for them to control their bladder or bowels. Therefore, you're going to have to have considerable patience while going through the potty training stages.
Housebreaking a puppy goes beyond the scope of this short article but almost all books that teach about caring for a puppy will touch on this topic to one degree or another.
So remember that no matter what kind of puppy potty training strategy you decide on be sure and give your puppy time to learn the ropes. Just make your routine, stick to it and have patience.
Rule # 5 - Playtime (The Reason You Got Your Puppy in the First Place!)
Just like children, playing comes naturally to a puppy. Not to mention the fact that almost nothing feels as great as playtime with your new friend. It really is one of the true joys of caring for a puppy and puppy ownership in general.
However, you should take the opportunity to play in a structured, nonconfrontational way as much as possible. Being overly rough with your puppy when playing can lead to some aggressive behaviors later on so you'll need to be mindful of that fact during playtime.
Alternatively, tossing a ball with your puppy will help to develop the kind of cooperative relationship you want out of your dog later in life so take advantage of this time now.
By keeping these five key factors of puppy care in mind you can rest assured that you'll be getting your new buddy off on the right paw. After all, looking after a puppy should be a great experience for both of you.
Taking care of a puppy doesn't have to be hard you just need to remember to make a schedule, establish a routine and above all be consistent with them - your puppy's happiness depends on it!