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12 Mistakes New Puppy Parents Make

Puppies sitting on step

Getting a new puppy is lots of fun, full of comical and cute antics, soft snuggles, and precious puppy kisses. However, when you bring home a puppy, you also bring home a lot of responsibility. If you don’t take the time to prepare for your new furry arrival properly, you could be in for more chaos than cuteness. Therefore, before you get your new pup, ensure you know the expectations so you don’t make these common mistakes puppy parents make.

dog in crate

Things Puppy Parents Do That They Shouldn’t

Get a Puppy for the Wrong Reasons

While a new dog is cute and lots of fun, it takes a lot of time and energy to raise a puppy. Before you adopt or purchase a dog, make sure you’re ready for the commitment. Getting a new pet as a gift for someone who doesn’t expect it or for your young child, without careful consideration and conversation first, is a recipe for disaster. It’s also not very fair for the dog since it often results in him having to go back to the shelter or breeder.

Use a Crate as Punishment

Crate training is an excellent way to get your new dog used to his surroundings, provide a sense of security, and an excellent aid for housetraining. However, it is not a way to punish your pup. Putting your puppy in his crate as punishment makes your dog associate the crate with something negative, sabotaging your crate training efforts. Plus, when it comes to training your pup, positive reinforcement is best; you should avoid any form of punishment altogether.

Leave the Puppy Alone for Too Long

Puppies need lots and lots of attention. It’s essential that for the first several weeks your new puppy is home, you can spend a lot of time with him. If you work long hours, you should arrange for someone to check in on your pup, or if possible, bring your puppy to work with you. When you are home, schedule adequate time for things like training, playtime, and bonding time with your dog. Otherwise, your puppy will lose out on valuable learning opportunities, engage in undesirable behavior, and end up pretty unhappy.

Feed the Dog Table Scraps

Yes, it’s hard to resist those big, round, adorable puppy eyes, but it’s for your dog’s own good. Not only are there quite a few human foods that are toxic to dogs, but feeding your pup these things can lead to overeating, obesity, and some items pose choking hazards. Plus, it makes your dog develop a bad begging habit.

Get a Puppy That Isn’t a Good Match with Kids or Other Animals

No matter how much you fall in love with a particular pup, if he isn’t a good match with kids or other animals, it’s not fair to bring him home to a house with children or pets. You likely will end up needing to return the dog, which is heartbreaking for the pooch, not to mention you could potentially risk harm to your other pets or kids.

Bring Their Puppy to the Dog Park (and other places) Too Early

Dog parks are full of things that pose a risk to your pup. There are parasites, fleas, ticks, sick dogs, and other potential problems. If you bring your puppy to the park before he’s had his vaccinations, and if he isn’t on adequate heartworm prevention, you expose him to a lot of hazards with just one simple outing to the park. Yes, it’s tempting to show off your new, sweet bundle, but do so once it’s safe for your pal.


Shiba Inu puppy on leash


Things Puppy Parents Don’t Do That They Should

Don’t Get Puppy Vaccinations

Vaccinations deliver essential antibodies to help boost your puppy’s immune response to various diseases until his system is strong enough to do it on its own. Ignoring your pup’s shot schedule exposes him to a host of risky diseases and illnesses that can lead to severe health conditions and even death.

Don’t Put Their Puppy on Heartworm and Flea Prevention

Parasites can cause many issues for your dog, like Lyme Disease, Heartworm Disease, and in some cases, be fatal. Luckily, it’s easy to guard your dog against dangerous parasites like heartworms, fleas, and ticks, with monthly prevention medications.

Don’t Stay Positive and Consistent with Training

A trained dog is a happy and healthy dog. When you take the time to train your pup using positive reinforcement, you help ensure he stays safe and out of trouble. You can also do more things with your canine companion when he can stay on his best behavior. However, failing to train your puppy, or doing so inconsistently or negatively, can have some significant unpleasant side effects. Your dog is likely to engage in disruptive behavior, perhaps get aggressive, or be denied entry to various places that typically allow dogs.

Don’t Provide Ample Experiences and Socialization

Keeping your dog in a bubble doesn’t do either of you any favors. As soon as possible, start bringing your dog to various places, introducing him to a variety of people and other dogs, and letting him begin to learn what all of these things are. For example, take your dog for regular walks, so he doesn’t go berserk (in a bad way) when you try to snap on his leash. Likewise, take car rides with your pup to fun places, so he gets used to the car; don’t just use car rides to go to the vet. All this does is make your dog terrified of getting into vehicles; make sense?

Don’t Take Care of Their Dog’s Teeth

Your dog’s dental health plays a significant role in his overall quality of life. But, many pet parents don’t think about brushing their pup’s teeth as part of regular care and grooming. If your dog puts up a struggle when it comes to brushing his teeth, you can also look into various products that can help. For example, some chews help clean your pup’s teeth, as well as special dental rinses you can simply pour into your pet’s water bowl. It’s also vital to get regular dental check-ups and cleanings for your pup.

Don’t Take Their Puppy to the Vet

It’s crucial when you get a new puppy to bring her to your vet as soon as possible. This is true even if you get her from a reputable breeder or shelter that has already checked her out and given her a clean bill of health. If anything else, you need to establish a relationship with a veterinarian to start out on the right, healthy foot with your new dog.

If you’re about to get a puppy, make sure to look over these mistakes puppy parents make before you take the step into dog ownership. You can also check out the rest of our blog for tips on adopting a new dog. In some cases, you might find that an older dog is a better fit for your lifestyle, or you might not be ready at all for a pup just yet. Remember, it’s essential to make the right choice for both you and the dog; after all, you both deserve to be happy!

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