A puppy is a great way to add a new member to your family. Not only are dogs man’s best friend, but they are also furry, adorable, and easy to love. However, life with a puppy isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Puppies can be rambunctious, and they require ongoing healthcare and regular training. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind during your first few months with your new pet.

1. Keep Your Pet Contained
Puppies are a lot like human babies. They will climb and run and crawl everywhere they can, including places they should not be. Because they aren’t fully grown, they may not have the sense to stay out of trouble and out of danger, so you need to keep them contained when possible. That’s where gates and crates become your best friend. Dog crates are perfect for housebreaking your pet, and baby gates play double-duty as puppy gates to keep Fido off of stairs and other areas. In a pinch, you can even use a child’s playpen to keep your pup away from danger.

2. Set a Routine
Puppies need a routine, especially when it comes to housebreaking. A set routine for each day helps your pup know what to expect and keeps him or her free from anxiety. You should include mealtimes, playtimes, and exercise in your routine. You should also set a bedtime for your pup. Though you cannot force your dog to go to sleep, you can make sure the house is quiet after this time so she knows that playtime is over.

3. Start Training Now
Though you may be solely focused on housebreaking your pet, it is best to start all types of training now so your dog doesn’t develop other bad habits. For example, if you don’t want a large dog on your furniture in a few months, don’t let your Golden Retriever pup on the couch now – even if he is super snuggly. You can also start teaching commands like “sit” and “stay.” Your pup may not learn all the tricks right away, but it can help build a good foundation for later learning. Finally, make sure every member of the household is on the same page. If one person lets the dog sleep in the bed, then he will expect everyone else to let him sleep there, too.

4. Socialize Your Dog
Puppies are naturally fairly sociable, but they may not always be that way if you don’t introduce them to new people and animals often. Take your pet as often as you can, making sure they see at least two or three new faces every day. Dog parks are great for socializing, but if you don’t have one nearby, a quick trip around the neighborhood or to the nearest pet store will also do the trick. However, if your pup seems scared or shy, remember to socialize slowly. You don’t want to create more anxiety for your pet. This will help your dog become more sociable and prevent aggression as an adult.

5. Puppy-Proof Your Home
If your puppy chews on your shoes, clothes, furniture, and anything else, then congratulations because you have a normal puppy. Until they grow out of the chewing stage, it’s best to completely puppy-proof your home. That means putting away anything you care about because your dog is very likely to destroy it. The good news is that your house will feel very clean when all your stuff is put away. The even better news is that your pet will (likely) outgrow this problem in just a few months.

Puppies are incredibly fun and can quickly become the new favorite member of your household. Make sure you follow these tips and invest in an all-in-one pest medication like Sentinel to keep fleas and other pests away. Remember that it’s all smooth sailing from here!

Listed below are some helpful resources referenced in the article that can provide some guidance for those looking for helpful information on pet supplies & medication: