So, your a new dog/puppy owner – congratulations! That is a very fun process but it doesn’t come without some work. I have created a list below, meant to help guide you a few of the most common mistakes in our opinion that new dog owners may run into, even if you aren’t a brand new dog owner, you still may be surprised at something maybe you could improve on. While this information list is not at all created to scold you or make you feel bad, it is to help you and inspire you to do what is right for your puppy. Sometimes there are unique situations where things may be differently, but in most cases many of these mistakes are made often!
1. Possibly the most important rule, do not skip out on anything when it comes to the health of your dog. While I don’t believe that giving your dog a spa day every week and teeth cleaned every other week or purchasing the most expensive dog food you can find is anything that will make your dog live longer, what is important is making sure to take your puppy to the vet when they need to go. When they leave us they will already be up to date on vaccines, dewormings and will of already been to the vet for a check up! But from that moment on, as the new family for your puppy, it is now your responsibility to make sure your dog gets the best care that you can provide. Starting with the rabies vaccines, any other booster vaccines, multiple times per year deworming schedule etc. At your first vet appointment you can ask your vets office if they have a guide of when your puppy should come back for routine care, we also give you a paper that is to help guide you, unless your vet has better ideas to help your puppy in any specific way. Please do not skip out on the health of your dog or your dog may end up suffering and you will end up broken hearted. Like they say, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of a cure!
2. Getting a dog before you are ready or getting the wrong breed for your family. There are many different dog breeds that all have specific situations where they fit best. If you live in a small apartment you probably won’t want a Great Dane puppy, the same as if you live in a large house, with a bunch of children, you probably don’t want a little 2 pound teacup size dog that could easily get hurt because they are so tiny and fragile. Do your research on the breeds you have in mind, we only raise the few breeds we raise because we understand them best and have the most experience with them over other breeds and we have the most love for the kind we choose. You can feel free to ask us questions too if you are considering getting a puppy from us. Also, just because you see a cute little picture of a puppy, please do not make any impulse buy, that puppy will grow up into a grown dog, and a dog is part of family for life! Make sure you are fully ready mentally and physically to get a dog. Some things to think about – Can I afford the dog, dog food, vet care etc? Am I never home to be able to give a dog the time he or she needs to be played with and loved? Is this dog going to be a good size/weight for you? Are you willing to clean up messes, accidents etc?
3. Thinking training isn’t important, while your puppy is a puppy – you may think training isn’t really that important. There will come a day and time where you will of wished you worked harder at training your puppy or getting a professional even to help you train. Patience and love are two very important things needed when it comes to raising and training a puppy. Ever heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? While that isn’t entirely true, it does have truth to it, after your puppy is grown it does become much harder to train the dog. Seek professional help if needed.
4. Not offering enough exercise. Every dog needs exercise! Dogs love to run, play and be active. To much exercise for a young puppy can be a bad thing since the puppies joints are fully developed yet, this is usually not very likely to happen, but just keep in mind if you have a 12 week old puppy, you should not expect your puppy to go run a mile with you tomorrow. They do need exercise to help keep them fit and healthy, also play time helps them sleep better because they are tired! Win win!
5. Wrong Diet. Your vet can always offer you a knowledgeable response when choosing the best food that works well for your puppy that is available in your area. You do not want to feed the cheapest dog food you can find because it usually lacks good nutritional value but at the same time you don’t need to find the most expensive dog food just because it’s more expensive so it must be better right? Not always. It’s a good idea to take a look at what you can afford while also looking over the ingredients on the back of the bag of dog food. we have an article here on our website we wrote specifically about picking out good dog food, you should check it out! We also believe strongly in “free feeding” which means you fill the dogs bowl and let them eat as much as they want, you can take it away from them a few hours before bed so they aren’t wanting to poop in the night (good idea to do with water too) with experience, we have found that not only do our dogs tend to eat less when we don’t offer exact measures amounts, we have also seen dogs become aggressive over food because they know they only get this small amount from you. If your dog starts getting over weight though, that can be a problem then you any need to start adjusting the amount or dog food brand.
6. My dog is very much over weight, isn’t it cute? While that may “look cute” to have an overweight looking dog, that usually isn’t healthy. With most dog breeds they will naturally be a little bit more on the thin side than being over weight. Your vet can help you access this if you believe your dog is over or under weight.
7. Expecting your puppy/dog to hold their bladder to long. You cannot expect a 9 week old puppy to hold his or her bladder for 10 hours, it’s just not going to happen, and if it somehow did, that isn’t very good for your dog to hold it that long. It will depend on how large your dog is but usually there are specific rules that can be followed such as a new puppy that is around 8 to 10 weeks old can usually only hold their pee or poop for a few hours before needing to go to the bathroom. As they get older, they are able to go a little longer. Letting your dog out to go to the bathroom to much is better than not enough.
8. Is Yelling at or spanking my dog something I need to do? Absolutely NOT! While there will be times you are very angry at your pet, this is never the method to use. You want your puppy to trust you, when you are mean not only can that be cruel but it will just make your dog scared of you, especially when a puppy. The best thing you can do is praise your dog or give them a special treat when they do something you want them to do! While we don’t mean you should never tell your dog no, or never swat them on the butt from time to time, there is a place that you need to draw a line and to know when your doing more harm than good. You need time, love and patience to raise a dog!