Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for pet owners. The idea of having a new furry friend to bond and share experiences with is one that all pet owners can relate to. In practice, forming a strong bond with and encouraging healthy habits with your dog can be a bit of a process- but one that we are excited to undertake!
Freshpet acknowledges that it is crucial to work towards forming a bond with your puppy to build the foundation for a strong relationship. Here, Freshpet reviews a few tried and true ways to forge a strong bond with your new puppy after bringing them home for the first time.
Create an Inviting Atmosphere
Puppies feel most at home when they have an environment that they can relax and feel safe. Some pet parents stand by pens as a way to provide their puppy with a place that they can settle in. A designated puppy area should have training pads, a bowl for food and water, a comfortable bed, and a few pet-safe toys. If done right, a puppy area will have everything that they may need throughout the day- but try not to keep them confined more than necessary! Puppies do well when they can explore their environment and learn, but it is certainly helpful to have a safe place to sleep at night or during the day when the humans are at work.
Spend Quality Time
While it sounds simple, some pet parents forget just how much time puppies need to spend with us to properly forge a bond. Spending quality time is essential for forming a bond as it is one of the first experiences that a puppy will have socializing. For best results, quality time should be well rounded- meaning that you will want to spend enough time playing, exploring the house and yard, training, and relaxing. Quality time is where we learn about our puppies, whether it be their personality, preferences, or habits. Remember that puppies are not only learning to bond with us, but we should also be making every effort to figure out how to be the best pet parents possible for them as well.
Invest Time in Training
Training is important for new puppies because it helps to establish a relationship where they are receptive to listening to us. Without it, puppies may develop behaviors and habits that do not contribute to a happy and safe home life. Puppies can start being trained on simple commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “down” as early as 7 to 8 weeks. This means that your puppy is more than likely already ready to begin training once you have them home.
With puppies, it is always important to remain patient with training as each puppy may have its own schedule for fully learning the ropes. Patience is also crucial for establishing routines as becoming angry or overly stern with your puppy early on may make them fearful and much less likely to be trained properly. Training may be about learning the rules of coexisting with us, but it is also an extremely important form of bonding that can be introduced early into the relationship. Remembering its importance will help you stay on track and invest the necessary time.
Enjoy the Process
Bonding with a puppy and all that it entails can have its own set of obstacles, but it is important to keep in mind that enjoying the process is the best way to overcome them. Pet parents can sometimes get caught up in worrying about how they believe things should be going. Perhaps their puppy is nervous or scared at first, does not exhibit the personality that they had hoped, or is difficult to train. Freshpet encourages pet parents to remember that their puppies are still growing and developing, and the end results will likely reflect the type of environment that we uphold in our homes. This means that enjoying the process, remaining patient, and focusing on loving your puppy will contribute to a strong, lasting bond.