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New Puppy Guide

Over the last year, pet adoption rates have skyrocketed across Maryland, D.C., and the entire United States. Animal companionship has helped many of us get through the isolating lockdowns and quarantines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the number of new puppy owners has also gone up significantly! Here are our best puppy care tips and words of advice.

Start Training Early On

Reward good behavior and discourage behavior that will become troublesome as your pup grows. Don’t wait for your puppy to misbehave before giving them attention. Jumping may be cute when they’re a small puppy, but as a fully-grown dog, it can become a difficult habit to break. Similarly, teaching good leash behavior early in your puppy’s life can save you from pulling and tugging later on.

Socialize, Socialize, Socialize!

Acquainting your puppy with different people and dogs can be a major boon to you and your pup. Visiting the dog park, meeting up with friends and their pets, or sending your puppy to daycare are all great options for socialization. Be sure to introduce new experiences slowly and don’t let your puppy get overwhelmed. High-stress situations can cause dogs to lash out or become traumatized, which can make future experiences difficult. Always be mindful of your dog’s body language.

Stick To A Routine

Pets love to have a daily routine. Routines allow your puppy to know what to expect throughout the day. This can encourage good behavior and facilitate housetraining while alleviating pet anxiety that can lead to destructive or harmful behaviors. Good things to include in your daily routine are regular feeding times, walks, and playtime.

Set Realistic Expectations

With all that being said, don’t expect too much from your puppy. Teaching the basics is more than enough to prevent bad habits. There will be plenty of time to teach your dog to sit, stay, high-five, and roll over as they get a bit older. Focus on socializing your puppy and having fun with them in a safe way. Lastly, make sure to take lots of pictures of your pooch. Puppyhood goes by so fast!

For puppy training, doggy daycare, pet sitting, and walks, we’ve got you covered! Our team of pet care experts is always available to make your life (and your dog’s) easier! Give us a call at (301) PET – CARE to learn more or visit us online