Puppyhood is a time of exploration and learning. It's a time for your new furry friend to start getting used to the world around them and for you to learn all about taking care of a pup. There will be plenty of challenges along the way, but it's also a lot of fun! This guide is here to help you make the most of your puppy's first few months. Enjoy!
Stages of puppyhood
Puppies are so cute and cuddly, it's hard to believe that they grow up so fast! The developmental process is usually divided into weeks, with pups experiencing a growth spurt every 2 to 4 weeks followed by a cognitive leap. As they begin to develop and learn more complex activities, the gap between these leaps grows.
Most dog experts split puppy growth stages up into the following categories: birth to two weeks, three to eight weeks, nine to sixteen weeks, and six months to one year. It's amazing to watch puppies learn and change during each stage - from taking their first wobbly steps to playing fetch with their favorite toy. Keep in mind that each puppy is unique and will develop at their own pace, but it's always fun (and adorable) to see them grow.
New puppy essentials
You've decided to welcome a new puppy into your home, and it’s time to start preparing for the essentials! Your new pup is sure to bring plenty of joy (and maybe a little bit of mischief) into your life. But before you bring your furry friend home, there are a few things you'll need to do to puppy-proof your house and get all the essential supplies.
First, start by creating a safe space for your puppy to explore and play. This means blocking off any areas using a pet exercise pen that might be dangerous, like staircases or rooms with fragile items. You should also pick up any small items that could be choking hazards, and make sure all cords are out of reach.
Once your home is puppy-proofed, it's time to gather supplies. The essentials include food and water bowls, dog kennel, comfortable bed, leash and collar, snuggle toy, chew toy, training treats, and food. If you need help take our dog food quiz to find out which dog food brand meets your unique needs and interests.
And finally, don't forget the doggy bag filled with poop bags! With these essentials in hand, you'll be ready to welcome your new best friend home.
Puppy biting and nipping
Photo credit: petmate.com
Puppy bites, anyone who has ever had a puppy knows that they love to bite or nip on everything, and that includes their owner as well! This is because they are teething and it feels good for them. Puppies are so cute that sometimes it's easy to forget that they have sharp teeth. Those teeth can do a lot of damage if they're not used properly. That's why some puppy owners allow their puppies to nip and bite them, so that they can give feedback to the puppies. The puppies can then learn how to use their mouth gently.
It may not be pleasant at times, but it's important for the puppies to learn how to control their bite. Otherwise, they could end up hurting themselves or someone else when they're older. It is important to understand that puppies need to bite and that we should not try to stop them from doing so. We know it hurts when those sharp teeth are biting, you can also redirect their biting and nipping to appropriate chew toys and bones.
The next time your puppy nips at you, remember that they're just trying to learn how to use their teeth safely. Be patient and provide them with the guidance they need, and they'll soon be able to enjoy all the fun of gentle play without any worry.
Breaking potty habits
The moment you bring your new puppy home, their potty training begins. It may seem daunting, but with a little patience and consistency, you'll have them going in the right spot in no time. The key is to be proactive from the start. Designate a specific area for your pup to do their business, and take them there frequently, especially after meals, naps and plays.
It’s vital to set up and maintain a consistent schedule because puppies love daily routines. A schedule not only helps to teach puppies that there are specific times for different activities (eat, play, sleep), but it also helps owners better gauge when they need to go for a potty.
Most puppies can control their bladder for one hour per month of age, so it's important to take them out frequently. If they have to hold it for too long, they're likely to have an accident in the house. If you catch them in the act, say no in a stern voice so they know it's not an appropriate behavior. And most importantly, praise them lavishly when they do their business in the right spot. With some time and effort, your puppy will be potty trained in no time!
How long until your puppy can sleep through the night
Potty training your puppy can be a bit of an adventure, especially when it comes to nighttime. Puppies under the age of 4 months may need one or more bathroom breaks during the night, while puppies over 4 months are more likely to be able to sleep through the night.
However, even older puppies may need a potty break occasionally. So, during the first several weeks or months, be prepared to wake up at least once in the middle of the night for a bathroom break. Of course, you may always gamble and hope that your puppy makes it through the night without having an accident. But if you'd rather play it safe, you might want to set an alarm and be prepared for a middle-of-the-night potty break.
Some puppies learn to sleep through the night sooner than others, so if your puppy is sleeping for eight hours straight a night, it's time to go out and celebrate! However, most pups take at least a few weeks to master this skill. So don't get too frustrated if your puppy isn't quite there yet - it takes time (and patience) to learn this important skill.
Photo credit: rawpixel
One of the most exciting things in life is bringing home a new puppy. Suddenly your home is filled with wagging tails, soft fur, and lots of energy. It's an amazing time, but it can also be exhausting. If you're not prepared, puppyhood can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you survive puppyhood without losing your mind:
1. Research and prepare in advance
Before you bring your new puppy home, take some time to research what to expect. Talk to the local shelter, breeder, read books or online articles, and ask friends who have already been through puppyhood for advice. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to handle anything that comes up.
2. Take time off when getting a new puppy
If possible, take a few days/weeks off work or arrange for someone else to watch the kids so you can focus on your new pup. Those first few days are crucial for bonding and getting everyone settled into a new routine.
3. Prepare for mistakes
No matter how well you prepare, there will be accidents - both from your puppy and from you! Have cleaning supplies on hand and be prepared to do some damage control. Most importantly, don't get too frustrated. Everyone makes mistakes, including puppies.
4. Get help if you need it
If you're finding puppyhood to be more difficult than you anticipated, don't hesitate to ask for help. We strongly suggest puppy classes and there's nothing wrong hiring a private dog trainer and getting a little assistance.
5. Have patience and enjoy the ride
Puppies are only puppies for a short time, so savor every moment - even the messy ones! With a little preparation and a lot of patience, you'll make it through puppyhood unscathed. And you'll be left with a lifetime of memories (and tail wags) to cherish.
Puppyhood is a challenging, but wonderful time. It’s definitely worth every minute of your time training and playing with them. We hope that you find this article helpful and that it will help you make it through without too much stress.
Trust us, you'll have a lifetime of memories (and tail wags) to cherish!
The 3 most commonly asked questions by new puppy owners:
1. How often should I bathe my puppy?
You should bathe your puppy at least once a month - but this can depend on your individual puppy. If they have sensitive skin, you may want to wait a bit longer between baths to avoid any irritation.
2. When can a puppy go outside?
Based on the current advice, puppies can go outside in a safe environment before they are fully vaccinated. The key is to choose your puppy's outings carefully, and to take steps to reduce their exposure to potential sources of infection. For example, you might want to stick to quiet back alleys and avoid areas where there are likely to be lots of other dogs.
3. Where should puppy sleep?
Puppies should be introduced and trained to sleep in their own crate as early as possible. For the first few weeks after bringing the puppy home, you can put the crate next to your bed so the puppy can see you and feel safe at night. Crate training isn't great for every dog. If it's cause too much grief for you and the pup it's not the only way to train them. And that's okay too.