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Just bought a puppy?

Adorable puppies after a bath.
Adorable puppies after a bath.
Picture (c) Erika Wisan

     You and your family have taken a trip to the mall. You venture into the pet store and suddenly have realized that a puppy is a wonderful, adorable little creature and you would like to add one to your home. You let the kids pick out the puppy then you buy the dog food for them, maybe a crate and a dog food bowl. When you get home, this adorable little puppy has used your carpet as a potty. You clean the mess and pretend nothing happened. Next your puppy has decided to chew on your favorite shoes. This irritates you because you just bought those brand new shoes. Now it has been a few weeks later and you have stains all over your carpet, and all of your things have been destroyed. You decide that it would be in the dogs’ best interest to go to an animal shelter. 

     What I have just demonstrated for you is one of the top reasons dogs are being put into shelters. A family will buy a dog knowing nothing of what they require, how they train, or even common breed health problems. Most of these dogs don’t receive a single trip to the vet. Here are some tips that may prevent future and current dog owners from sending the dog to a shelter.

     Puppies and dogs are naturally den animals. This refers to how they potty train. Dogs do not want to use the bathroom where the sleep and eat, for example your house. Rubbing their nose in where they have used the bathroom is also a misleading form of potty training. Use this simple guideline for taking the dog outside. If your puppy is two months old, take him/her outside every two hours. If they are three months old, take them out every three hours. When they puppy reaches eight months old and can start waiting for up to eight hours, then it can routinely be every eight hours. If you feed the dogs in the morning and at night, take them out after they eat until they use the potty outside. Crating is also very useful in the early stages. If you will not be home to take them out and do not want them using the bathroom in the house, crate-training is a wonderful method.

     Chewing on your possessions is never something you want a new puppy to do. Keep objects you do not want chewed out of their reach. Put shoes in a closet, keep wires out of their reach and do not leave chewable items on the floor. Buy them some toys and when they chew the specific toys you gave them, give them a treat.

     Always take your dog on a walk. A tired dog is a happy dog. For some dogs, two 30 minute walks a day can drastically reduce hyperactivity and boredom. Instead of finding an object to chew or finding some other means of entertainment, they will sleep when sufficiently exercised.
Research the breed. If you are buying or have bought a dog, there is plenty of informative websites containing useful information. In the site link posted below, you will find breed description, temperament, common health concerns, exercise required, life expectancy and much more. Knowing your dog will ensure a lifelong happiness.

     If your beloved pet has other issues not specified here, consult with a trainer. Taking an animal into a shelter should never cross an owners mind. You made a lifelong commitment to your pet the day you purchased him/her. You both deserve long fulfilling lives with one another.
 

Dog Breed Information

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