Getting a puppy is a big responsibility. It's up to you to bring him up right, all the way from a tiny little ball of fur into a loving and well-behaved adult dog. This means taking care of them, raising them right, and making sure they are healthy and happy. Which is why the biggest worry I hear when someone is planning on getting a puppy is "What if I make a mistake?"
If you ask yourself this question, let me congratulate you: you are already taking a step towards being a good puppy owner! If you care enough to worry about making a mistake, then you are on the road to doing the right thing. It shows that you really care about raising your puppy the right way. The more you know about your puppy, the better you will be able to deal with any situation that comes your way.
To help you and your puppy, here are 3 common mistakes that puppy owners make:
1. Beginning the potty training in your home.
Many puppy owners start potty training their puppies in the home using pads and newspapers. This is sometimes necessary while the pup is still too young to go outside. But after that, all potty training should be done outdoors. That's because your puppy will not carry the training information outdoors into a new environment. Some pet owners assume that once the puppy grows up, he will begin to go outside on his own. But this is not the case! If you teach your dog to go in a corner inside the house, he will go in that corner. Train your puppy to go in the spot where you will expect him to go when he's older, and he will learn faster and easier.
2. Letting your puppy do things you won't want him to do as an adult.
This one can be hard to do because puppies are so adorable. Anything they do is cute, from biting to pouncing on people. But an adult dog biting and pouncing on people is not as fun, especially if it's a large breed. This is what happens if dogs are allowed to display unwanted behaviors when they are puppies. No matter how cute their gnawing on your finger may, you need to step back and tell your pup no. If you don't want your dog to lay in your bed or bark at passing cars, don't let him do it as a puppy. Your puppy will carry into adulthood everything you teach him now, so make sure you set clear boundaries.
3. Changing your puppy's food the day you get him home.
Many new puppy owners come to me for help when their puppy displays signs of sickness on the day they bring him home. More often than not, the puppy is feeling sick because of the food it was fed. If you want to avoid this mistake, ask the previous owner of your future puppy what kind of food he is feeding the puppy, and make sure to get the same kind of food. If you'd like to switch your puppy's food to something else, you will need to do so gradually or your puppy may feel sick and even throw up.
To change the brand of dog food your puppy eats, first feed him only the old food. Then begin mixing more and more of the new food in with the old food until only the new food is left. In the end, just remember: you can't be prepared for everything. But knowing the biggest blunders pet owners make is the best way to avoid them. Keep asking questions, and keep being great dog owners!