Puppy Time: Tips for a Smooth Transition
One of the fun parts about raising a family is adding pets to the mix. Puppies, for example, are great companions for small children. There’s lots of fun with playtime and plenty of affection to go around. They also teach responsibility and love. Puppies do need plenty of attention, and they can present challenges in the training department. Don’t be surprised if you come into the kitchen and find your furry little friend in the midst of a heap of garbage on the floor, thumping his waggling tail against the tipped over trashcan. Keeping your little canine in line takes a lot of patience, but it’s well worth the effort. Here are a few tricks and tips to use the right discount pet supplies to make integrating your family’s new companion a little easier.
Food and Water
One of a dog’s favorite parts of the day is mealtime. Make it easy for your pets to fall in love with their dishes by designating a special area for them that’s all their own. It should be low in foot traffic and easy to reach. A corner of the kitchen is often a good location. Use a floor mat underneath food and water dishes to catch the splashes and spills that will inevitably happen when your furry little bundle of joy gets overzealous at mealtime. Putting your pup on a regular eating schedule should prevent begging in between meals. Consult your veterinarian on how much and how often your pet should be fed. You may need to remind your children that your dog is possessive about his food and water, so it’s important not to play in the food dish or pet him while he’s eating.
Snacks and Treats
One of the great tools of training a dog is the use of treats for learning new skills. Find some treats with a strong scent that he likes and doesn’t spit out. They may need to be broken into pieces for small dogs and puppies. Use treats and snacks when teaching basic commands like sit, stay and lie down.
Be prepared for the day you find your shoes in the closet with chew marks on the toe. Chewing is just one of the adventures that puppy owners will discover. It’s important to remember that they don’t know any better until you teach them otherwise, so it’s important not to get visibly mad. When your shoes become the object of a chew fest, tell your dog “no,” giving him a firm but gentle reprimand. Immediately give him something that’s all right to chew on, such as squeaky toys or munchy sticks, followed by praise when he puts them in his mouth. Dog toys accessories can be picked up inexpensively at the discount store.
You’ll need to decide early on how much access your pet will have to furniture and bedrooms. He’ll probably want to be where you and your children are. After all, you’re his pack now. A comfy pillow bed in a place where your family gathers is a good idea. If you’re crate training your puppy, be sure to put something soft inside the crate for him to lie on and snuggle.
Like kids, pets need plenty of exercise. While playtime is a great way for everyone to burn off some energy, walks are an important part of getting them in shape too. Try to go for walks at the same times every day – even on weekends – to avoid accidents on the carpet and any aggressive behavior.
Getting a pet is an exciting experience for kids, and a rite of passage too. It can be a lot of fun and the source of many wonderful memories for your family, especially if you make it as smooth a transition as possible.
Nikki is an independent writer for Deals.DollarTree.com. Deals offers low prices on everyday essentials, party supplies, pet products and more.