My beloved Madison has been gone for a year and my friends convinced me that it was time to get a new friend.  Enter JJ, my adorable four-month old puppy.  And as many of you know, having an adorable baby brings lots of excitement into a home. It has been awhile since Madison was a puppy, so I did some research to find tips on raising a puppy to refresh my memory, and below is a puppy primer of my favorites!

  • Get a crate. Dogs love the intimacy of a small space to sleep in.  And it’s a good idea to keep the crate in your bedroom for the first few weeks so your puppy can be reassured and feel safe.
  • Baby gates are a great way to keep curious puppies from roaming into places you don’t want them in.
  • Make sure to provide lots of toys and chews, to keep your puppy busy and happy! And it is a good idea to give your puppy two or three toys at a time so the variety can keep him/her interested.IMG_6390
  • A daily routine is a good idea, so your puppy knows what to expect each day, from feeding to walks to playtime.
  • Consider enrolling in a puppy class. This can help your puppy learn some basic obedience and also let your puppy learn to socialize with other puppies and people.
  • Throw a “meet the puppy” party so friends and family can meet your adorable new friend.
  • A friend suggested to get your puppy used to handling, from their feet, nails, tail, ears mouth, teeth and belly. Not only will your puppy love the touching, your vet will be grateful when it’s time for her checkups.
  • The number of hours a puppy can “hold it” is his age in months plus one. For example, a two-month old puppy should be crated for a maximum of three hours at a time during the day, but they can hold it a longer when they sleep at night. I guess I am lucky because JJ goes to sleep at 9 PM and doesn’t wake up until 5 AM!
  • Don’t push the training too much. Your puppy is a baby so just focus on socialization and having fun in these early months.
  • Reward your puppy for doing the right thing. If he or she goes potty outside reward them with a treat or praise them for their work.
  • If you are ever concerned about something don’t be afraid to call the vet or talk to your other puppy parent friends about what is going on.
  • As the cold weather approaches, American Humane advises to leave your pets’ coats a little longer in the winter to provide more warmth. And when working on housebreaking your new puppy, remember that puppies are more susceptible to cold than are adult dogs. In cold conditions or bad weather, you may need to opt for paper training your new pet rather than taking the pup outside.
  • Please remember to get your puppy microchipped. It’s inexpensive and can be done by your vet or local shelter.  It’s the best way to being reunited with your puppy if he/she ever gets lost!
  • And finally, take lots of pictures! Puppies grow up so fast!

I’ve had so many animal friends over the years and each one has brought me so much joy and love.  I’m excited to have JJ in my life and look forward to every new adventure with my beloved pet!

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