Getting a puppy is a big decision. It’s a commitment to many rewarding years together and it starts with big steps for both you and the puppy. These milestones should be memorable for both you and the puppy in ways that are as positive as possible.
The day you bring your puppy home is an amazing day full of new discoveries for both you and the young canine. It is the first huge milestone on the road of puppy ownership. The puppy explores its new home, its new family, and fills the hours with a combination of rest and revelation. You get to learn the puppy’s personality quirks. Stay close, take the pup out often for bathroom breaks every few hours, and you will have a successful first day.
Your pup probably had its first round of shots while still with the breeder, but round two comes shortly after the puppy is old enough to adopt, at about eight weeks. Round three is at ten to twelve weeks. This is an exciting round of shots because, after this one, the puppy can start meeting other dogs. You can start visiting dog parks and pet stores. Make the veterinarian experience positive with lots of attention and treats.
Teething is a difficult time for both puppy and owner. It doesn’t feel good for the pup to go through, and often enough, the closest object for the pup to chew on happens to be you. You need to be quick on your feet to redirect the chewing attention to good chew toys or treats like bully sticks. Be understanding that the pup is going through discomfort and is seeking to remedy that by applying pressure on aching gums.
At this point, you have made it through nearly a year of milestones with your puppy. The pup is by no means an adult just because the first birthday has come; in fact, large breeds can stay on puppy food for the first two years of their lives. However, by this point, your puppy has learned its name and become potty trained and gone through many exciting moments with you. Be sure to check in with your vet about future steps and care.
These four milestones are big moments in your puppy’s life, but there are many more. Celebrate with your pup and enjoy the knowledge that you have a lifetime of memorable milestones to come. Spend time together and let your pup know how special it is to you.