Long hours, teething puppies, and the veterinarian meltdown. What am I talking about exactly? The struggles some pet owners have with their new puppy! Whether you have had numerous puppies or this is your first, you may soon realize that every dog is different. Just like children, they have their own personalities and some may have better habits than others. Some struggles that puppy owners may know all too well is:
- Long work hours mean crating your puppy for a while
- Getting into things they shouldnt at home
- Nervousness at the vets office
So how can you counteract these struggles and build a stronger bond with your pet? In a recent article, “No Nervous Breakdowns- Tips for Keeping Puppies from Driving Veterinary Clients Crazy”, Wayne Hunthausen, DVM shares tricks for owners and their puppies. Now we know you can’t stay home from work to spend time with your puppy (no matter how cute those puppy eyes are) and you don’t want to come home to a destroyed house. Crate training is perfect for a lot of people and their pets but it is not recommended to confine the puppy for more than four hours at a time. They do have a lot of energy and with no way to burn it off they may develop destructive habits. Dr. Hunthausen recommends an open playpen-type
enclosure so that your puppy is in a designated area but has the freedom to move around and burn off energy.
Busy working at home or trying to cook in the kitchen? Dr. Hunthausen also encourages using a leash in the house. Not only does it get your new puppy used to having one on but it also keeps the puppy from wondering off (and potentially getting into something he/she shouldn’t). This also helps make sure there is safe play between puppies and children.
Lastly Dr. Hunthausen talks about first visits to the vet with your puppy. Now some puppies are playful and happy at the vet no matter what, but others may not share that same enthusiasm. How can you help with this puppy meltdown? Dr. Hunthausen urges you to “play Doctor” at home. Of course we don’t mean diagnosing your pet or giving it medications, he means physically interacting with your pet as the doctor would. Go home and look in your pets ears, mouth and handle the paws. Touch the pup’s chest with a an object much like a doctor would use a stethoscope and then run your hands down the pup’s belly. This shows
the puppy its okay to be touched.
If you puppy is very anxious at the vets office try coming back in a couple times a week with a favorite treat to show the puppy that the vet isnt a bad place. Let the technician/receptionist give the puppy treats and play with them without doing the “mean stuff”. Then when the puppy comes in the clinic next time there may be less fear and stress.
For more tips and tricks or to read the full article check the links out below:
“No Nervous Breadowns- Tips for Keeping Puppies from Driving Veterinary Clients Crazy” by Wayne Hun thausen, DVM
“Puppy Enrichment” by Kathryn Primm, DVM
“Puppy Socialization” by Kathryn Primm, DVM