So you’ve got a brand-new puppy? Kong-gratulations! Enjoy this first year of development because it goes by so quickly. We’ve talked about essential experiences to share with your dog before their fifth birthday. (If you’re wondering why the basics like housebreaking aren’t on here, they’re in that article.) Here are a few more things to enjoy before your pup turns a year old. Check ’em out!
1. Enjoy those soft, sweet paw pads.
They’ve barely touched the sidewalk! So peeenk. So cuuute. Wait, what are you doing…get those out of your mouth! I’m talking to you, human. Fine, or don’t.
Protect your puppy from all the gnarly cooties out there. Do your pup parent duty and protect O.P.P. (other people’s puppies) while you’re at it.
3. Spay or neuter.
Reduce the number of unwanted and homeless dogs in the world. Puppies heal faster and bounce back quicker from surgery than older dogs. Do it now, and you won’t have to deal with the challenges of heat, marking, and hormonal mood swings.
4. Start that Instagram page!
Kidding! Wait, actually I’m not. Is your pup the next Tuna? Groom the next generation of superstars. Because “#puppy” gets tonssssss of clicks and likes.
5. Make someone’s day.
Bring your dog to visit your grandparents, your friend with the blues, or your coworkers. Everyone feels good, and the pup gets lots of ruv. A wag-wag situation!
6. PUPPY BREATH.
Inhale deeply, because it’s only going to get funkier from here.
Play, play, play. Teach your dog to play nice, and tire them out.
8. Name your dog.
Well, of course. Make sure they learn their name, and they don’t think it’s “No, Bad Dog!” My rescue pup came with the name “Nola,” (which my New Orleanian heart loved) but the word “No” in a dog’s name can be a source of confusion.
9. Get a regular food routine.
Establish healthy food habits. Check with your vet to see what type of food is best for your lil’ buddy, and what kind of schedule and treats are healthiest. Now’s a good time to observe your pup for any allergies or sensitivities.
10. Get that chewing situation under control.
Provide lots of appropriate chew toys and treats so your puppy doesn’t eat your Hush Puppies.
11. Puppy class!
Or meetup. Or play dates. Socialize and learn a few basic skills. Plus, what’s better than a puppy? TONS OF PUPPIES.