How much attention do puppies need a day?
The first few weeks with a new puppy might make you feel overwhelmed!
Among other things, you’ll likely question whether you’re giving your puppy all the attention and care they need.
So, today we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about puppies and how much attention and affection they really require.
How Much Attention do Puppies Need a Day?
Puppies are bound to be scared when you bring them home for the first time.
They’ve just been separated from their mother and siblings and are in a home that’s unfamiliar to them.
As such, most puppies need a few days to warm up to you. But when that happens, they might become overly demanding for attention.
The question is how much attention your puppy needs and if there’s such thing as too much attention.
Let’s find the answers together, shall we?
How Much Time Should I Spend with My Dog Per Day?
When people ask how much time attention their dogs need, I tell them to consider their pet’s age.
Usually, you’ll bring a puppy home when they’re at least eight weeks old. By that age, puppies are already eating solid food and are eager to explore.
But they’re still young and will spend around 15 hours sleeping. So, they’re not going to need that much attention from you.
When the puppy is awake, you’re going to use these precious few hours to bond with your puppy, engage in obedience training, and housebreak them.
You want your pooch to trust you and love you without being too reliant on your presence.
As the puppy grows, their attention and affection needs will change.
So, if you’re asking how much attention a 6-month old puppy needs, the answer will be a minimum of 2-3 hours a day.
But will depend a lot on your puppy’s temperament and energy needs.
When they’re adults, some dogs are fine by themselves for the whole day as long as you make up for your absence.
But no dog should spend more than 6-8 hours alone in the house.
How Much Time Do Your Need for a Puppy?
Naturally, you wonder if you’re going to have enough time for your new puppy.
Well, when you bring a puppy home, you have two important jobs that will take a lot of time and patience.
During this period, you have to socialize your puppy and get them comfortable with as many different sounds, people, sights, and smells as possible.
That’s the only way for puppies to grow up into mellow, happy dogs.
There many ways to socialize a puppy, but it’s a process that requires a lot of your valuable time.
Besides socialization, you have to housebreak your puppy and teach them that they should always eliminate outside the house.
Having an established daily routine helps immensely. That’s because puppies usually have to go soon after eating, right after waking up, and before bed.
As a rule of thumb, young puppies can hold their bladder for one hour per their age.
For example, a three months old puppy will need to do their business at least every 2-3 hours. So, you’ll have to take them to the designated potty area quite frequently.
So, you have to be prepared that housebreaking will take time. Some puppies are housebroken in a few weeks, but others take months.
How Much Playtime Do Puppies Need?
First-time owners often ask me about how long they should play with their puppies each day.
I’m afraid there isn’t an easy answer because different dog breeds have different energy levels and stamina.
Size isn’t always a reliable indicator of how long puppy play sessions should be.
While a large breed puppy might be able to keep up with you for a long walk or a hike, it’s not a good exercise for their developing bones.
So, when you bring your puppy home, you should opt for frequent but short play sessions.
Go for short walks around the neighborhood, play a game of hide and seek, or hide treats around the house.
These are just a couple of suggestions for what games to play with your pet.
Quality vs. Quantity Time
If you’re asking how much affection dogs need, think about how you spend your time with your dog.
Do you play games or your dog keeps you company?
It’s not enough to be present in the room for your dog to feel loved.
What matters to your pet is the quality of the time spent together, not the quantity.
That’s why you need to interact actively with your dog for at least an hour or so every day (not all at once, don’t worry).
You might go for a walk, play a game of fetch in the morning or engage in obedience training in the afternoon.
The important thing is that you should do something together so that you can strengthen your bond.
Some days you might not be able to devote so much time to your pet. But your dog will appreciate even 30 minutes if you spend them together.
Is There Such Thing as Too Much Attention?
Sometimes owners allow their dog to obsess their free time. That’s not healthy for both of you and might teach your puppy some bad habits.
For example, you get up to comfort a whining puppy during the night. The same thing happens almost every night after that.
Do you know why? Because your puppy knows that you’ll come running if they make enough noise.
So, once you’ve taken care of your puppy’s need and put them to bed, you shouldn’t give in to their crying and whining. You want your puppy to learn how to comfort themselves without relying too much on you.
Besides bad habits, you don’t want your puppy to think that you’ll be around 24/7.
Otherwise, your pooch will get anxious and scared every time you leave the house.
As a result, your sweet puppy might act destructively when left alone and develop separation anxiety.
So, both you and your puppy should have some me-time.
Your pooch will learn how to entertain themselves when you’re not around, and you’ll be able to catch a break.
How much attention puppies need a day is a complicated question, and it doesn’t have a definite answer.
It depends on your puppy’s temperament and disposition. So, you’ll have to figure it out for yourself as you get to know your dog.
For those puppies that don’t handle loneliness well, you might consider getting them a pet friend or asking a neighbor/friend to keep an eye on them when you’re at work.