It finally happened. You gave into your kids pleads (or maybe this is your childhood dream being fulfilled) and got a puppy! If you're reading this, you've probably experienced a range of emotions from excitement to confusion and overwhelm! We understand.
Our family's dog came into our lives in an unexpected way. Nathan was always a "no" when it came to dogs, but after his terminal diagnosis he surprised the kids with the news that finally, we'd be getting a puppy to help bring some joy into a season of loss. He read up on breeds and temperaments (ever the researcher!) and settled on a Cavapoo puppy he was convinced would be perfect for our family and named her Goldie.
Goldie has brought so much joy to our family (and the Saranoni office on the random weekdays where she tags along) and while we're not perfect dog owners, here's what we've learned about being first time dog owners!
1. Take time to educate yourself on puppy training! Communicating effectively with your new puppy is a language all its own! Teaching dogs is not the same as teaching little humans, and if you expect to jump in and "figure it out" you'll likely find yourself frustrated and confused. Find a podcast, or invest in a training expert! We love Baxter and Bella, as well as Staples Dog Training!
2. Help your new addition feel comfortable with a space all their own separate from the space they share with your family. Just like you enjoy your own safe space, so does your new puppy! Create the den environment of their dreams with comfort and security! Saranoni's Pet Blankets are designed to fit standard kennel sizes so you can outfit your puppy's place with luxury made just for them! Our blankets are water resistant, built to last all the puppy loving, shedding and drool and double as amazing couch or car seat protection! Shop our small, medium and large options and colors below!
3. It will take time. Just like kids growing from littles to teenagers, puppies go through regressions, rebellious phases and back again just like kids! Don't stress if you have an off week with potty training or they suddenly refuse to come after a long obedience streak. It happens, and you haven't done anything wrong-- just stay consistent! At the end of the day, all your hard work will pay off.
4. Puppy biting DOES come to an end. Those razor sharp little baby teeth will eventually be replaced by duller adult teeth and better impulse control! In the meantime, be sure to provide them with plenty of chew toys, (a wet rag tied in a knot and then frozen makes a great outdoor teething toy) spray your furniture legs with a puppy safe chewing deterrent (yes, it exists!) and avoid playing with your puppy when they're overtired, or overstimulated as they'll become even nippier in their excitement-- it's generally not aggressive biting at all.
5. For the sake of training consistency, involve your kids so they can be involved and not unwittingly undo all of your hard work and further confuse your puppy! This can make the biggest difference, and consistency will be key in teaching your new family member how to politely conduct themselves in your home!
Good luck, reader! We can't wait for you to experience the magic of owning a dog--there's nothing like it! Take lots of pictures, be patient with yourself, and soak up those puppy cuddles!