I have been pretty MIA in regards to posts for the past 2 weeks. You can thank this little guy for that! Tom and I welcomed home an 8 week old Labrador Retriever named Ollie and he has become quite a handful. For the past week and a half I have been scouring the Internet for tips and advice on how to raise a puppy. I found it to be difficult to find exactly what I was looking for all on one page, I would end up reading several different articles/posts off of several different websites. It was then that I knew what my next post would be about: What To Know for Your Puppy’s First Week Home
The first thing I would recommend is to BE PREPARED. Tom and I contacted our breeder back in September so we had several months to prepare. By that I mean, we started stocking up on supplies like a crate, dog food, toys, leash, bed, food/water bowls, basically the essentials. The last thing you want is to have the puppy home but you’re forced to run back to the store to buy things because you weren’t as prepared as you should’ve been. Amazon was our best friend when ordering Ollie’s things. My favorite purchase so far has been his puppy playpen. This has been a lifesaver! We use it as a playpen and also has a gate to block off certain parts of our apartment so he doesn’t get into things. I highly recommend everyone to get one!
The next thing, schedule your puppy’s first veterinary appointment for their first week home! It’s essential that you get your puppy seen so that you can begin their vaccinations to prevent any disease.
Routine – I can’t express how important a routine is, for you AND the pup. Everything I read online emphasized on the fact that puppies thrive on routine. You need to create a feeding schedule, potty schedule, sleep schedule, etc. It will make your life & the puppy’s life so much easier.
When you get a puppy, and honestly before you get the pup, you have to accept the fact that the first few months you have them are going to be long and tough. You won’t have the same freedom you’ve been so used to, and you definitely won’t be getting a ton of sleep either. Luckily for me, Tom is here to help so we take turns bringing Ollie outside to pee in the middle of the night.
Another thing to consider, expose your puppy to lots of people and even dogs. Some people will tell you that you need to keep your pup inside and away from other dogs until they’re FULLY vaccinated, which can be months from when you get them. However, several vets will tell you socialization for a puppy at a young age is critical. I read somewhere that a new puppy should meet 100 new people per week! It’s important for the puppy to know how to react around all types of people and other dogs.
Puppies are not cheap. You will be spending LOTS of money on things like food, toys, vet appointments, dog daycare, puppy training/kindergarten, etc. Things will begin to add up fairly quickly, so just make sure you have the income to support having a young pup.
Last but definitely not least, patience. You absolutely need to have patience in order to raise and train a puppy (this is something I struggle with). Puppies are little babies, you can’t expect their brains to work like an adult. They need constant practice, repetition, praise, etc. in order for them to learn anything. Times will get tough and very frustrating, especially during the potty training & teething phase. However, as long as you’re patient, it will all be worth it in the long run.
There is obviously SO much more that goes into raising a puppy, but this should be a good starting point for surviving the first week with your new puppy. Tom and I have fallen head over in heels in love with our new fur child and we’re already seeing so much progress in his training. We plan on signing him up for a 5 week puppy training course where he’ll be able to learn several tricks and basic obedience! I am still learning with each day that passes but I know in time, Ollie is going to evolve into such a loving and intelligent dog.
Thanks for reading!0