Taking care of a new dog is both exciting and challenging. There are many things to think about like their food, home, and keeping them disciplined. Despite the cuteness, you’ll need to enforce training and rules to ensure they are in their best behavior, and this will require huge amounts of patience that will be all worth it.
Here are some challenges that new dog owners face:
Teething and general destruction
When you bring a new dog home, they usually create havoc everywhere in their new environment – digging, scratching, or shredding things. Their curiosity is fueled by their boundless energy to attempt testing the edibility and durability of anything around them. One of the common frustrations of new owners is destroyed furniture, clothing, and other household items.
One way to avoid the majority of the destruction is by giving your dog exercises and a consistent environment for training. For example, place some chew toys around to distract them and keep them busy. When they pick a toy to chew on and not a shoe, praise them and provide a treat.
You can also opt to enroll your pet at a dog board and train program where they can receive transformative training. It will help them learn socialization and obedience, or any other skill you want your pet to have.
Separation anxiety or developmental fear periods
Some dogs may have behavioral issues like separation anxiety. This is when your dog shows extreme stress whenever you leave them alone until you return. Common symptoms include acting terrified of being alone in the house, prolonged barking and howling, attempting to escape, and chewing things around the house. Proper dog training, socialization, and teaching them how to be alone can help them be well-behaved dogs.
For instance, try giving them a special treat when you leave, then take it away when you get home. This will help them to be at ease everytime you leave. When you get home, don’t greet them right away. Wait for a few minutes so they can get used to the routine and not get stressed of looking forward to you every single day.
To prevent stress while you’re away, you can leave some worn clothes that smell like you, or you can give them some over-the-counter natural pet calming supplements.
Developmental fear periods are also common in a puppy’s life. It usually occurs around 8 to 11 weeks, then again at around 6 to 14 months. These are periods where they become more sensitive and aware of their surroundings.
They can be concerned about new objects, but you can help them by allowing them to get close to what they’re scared of, but without too much pressure. Praise them with treats if they show curiosity toward the object. Keep the training short and fun and always end with lots of praises and treats.
Vaccinations and boosters
At around 6 to 8 weeks of age, puppies require booster shots until they’re around 16 weeks old. Basic immunizations cover diseases like parvovirus, rabies, and distemper. Be prepared to give them time for trips to the vet during their first months of life. It’s also a good idea to get them insurance so you don’t have to deal with huge vet bills if ever an accident happens to your dog.
- Crate training
Crate training helps provide a secure and relaxing place for your dog to be. It will help keep them out of trouble and ease their separation anxiety. Be patient in crate training your dog as this can benefit you both for the long term. Some tips include choosing the right crate for your dog and making sure it’s comfortable and durable.
They’ll enjoy hanging out in the crate if they associate it with the proper mindset. Start by bringing them in when they’re calm so they look at it as a place of rest. Provide treats every time they come in and keep this up for at least 6 months.
- Choosing the right kind of diet
Figuring out the best kind of diet for your dog will take time and patience. Consult a vet on which food is best for them, and keep in mind to always incorporate a healthy mix of food in their diet.
Make sure there’s sources of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, grains, vegetables, etc. The amount of food you should give depends on their size and how active they are, and ensure you give them something that’s easy to digest.
Owning a dog is a very rewarding experience. However, there are always challenges that come with it, and it’s best to learn all the things you’re going to deal with in raising one. Follow these tips for you to have a healthy and well-behaved fur baby.