Similar to raising a baby, a puppy takes a lot of work. But an even greater challenge befalls those who are trying to raise a puppy while working full-time. Amidst the chaotic and stressful nine-to-five grind, you must decide where best to use your time to train your puppy and provide for his/her needs. It’s not enough to just leave them a cup of kibbles and some water every day. Happy and fulfilled puppies require the love, attention, and care of their parent/s. Fortunately, it need not be a stressful process. With the tips below, you can maintain a work-puppy life balance:
Puppy Proof Your Home
Before bringing your puppy home where you can shower them with hugs and kisses, make sure that your humble abode is accommodating of clumsy and energetic puppies. Sharp table corners, steep staircases, and toxic cleaning products are all safety hazards that can harm your pup, especially if they are left alone for most of the day.
Get a high-level idea of your current household. Look at electrical cords, power outlets, chemical products, and fragile items. Keep all of them out of reach. Keep in mind that your puppy, filled with energy and enthusiasm, will jump and climb wherever they can. They’ll also chew any object and scratch any surface they can.
A good way to restrict access to certain spaces in your household is to install sturdy baby gates. Make sure the gate is at least within waist-level so they are safe at home otherwise they might jump it. Also test the sturdiness of the gate as a flimsy fence can easily collapse in the paws of a persistent pup.
Leave Them Toys to Play With
To keep them occupied, leave your puppy some toys. Try to pick toys that can mentally and physically stimulate them, such as Little Minds Puzzle Ball and Squeaky Chew Ball Dog Toy with bacon scent. Plush toys are great for chewing, as your puppy undergoes his/her teething phase, but they fail to mentally stimulate your puppy.
When picking toys, avoid those that have small, standalone parts that your puppy might swallow and choke on. You can check if a toy requires supervision by checking the label. Avoid giving your puppy rawhide as a toy. These are difficult to chew and digest and may cause choking, to a puppy who has neither the training nor the bite force to chew it.
Basic training gives your puppy structure and discipline. Start off by teaching your puppy a daily routine. Without a consistent daily routine, your puppy won’t recognize you as an alpha and they will be confused as to what they can get away with and what they should be doing. Establish where their food and water dishes are located, what times of the day they should eat, where their bed or create is, and what not to chew, scratch, or meddle with in any way.
House training is often the first thing that new dog owners tackle, and for good reason – you don’t want your puppy peeing everywhere inside the house. As a full-time professional, however, it can be difficult to train your puppy to only do their business outside. To remedy this, try to walk your puppy outside before going off to work and another walk right after you arrive home. Of course, as a puppy, their bladder control isn’t as strong as older dogs. You can either have a family member or friend walk them or hire someone to do it right around lunchtime. This spaces your puppy’s walks four to five hours in between.
When starting out, leave a pee pad on your floor. These large, absorbent blankets will train your puppy where to pee and poop if they really have to go.
Spend Time With Them
Puppies who grow up without enough attention will develop insecurities, which can affect their social skills outside the home. On the other hand, those who are given enough attention by their parent/s will be better at coping with outside stimuli including other dogs. Whenever you have the time, pet your new puppy.
When you get home from work, try to do basic training with your puppy. Teach him/her commands including sit and stay. Train their recall by using a 15-foot long leash. Your puppy’s first few months with you will be an essential time for creating and solidifying your bond with him/her.