Do you feel like you don’t know how you’ll survive “puppy overwhelm”?
In other words, that “OMG, will he ever stop biting/peeing on the floor/whining all night” feeling!
It’s hard being a first-time dog owner!
Luckily, I’ve got some tips to help you overcome those “puppy blues!”
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Lifesaving tips to help you survive “puppy overwhelm”
I remember how I felt when I got my first puppy and realized the huge responsibility lying on my shoulders.
By the end of the first week, I was sleep-deprived, tired, and questioning my choice.
You are probably going through the same thing.
Fortunately, I can assure you that this period is going to pass and that you’ll be the happiest person in the world because you have that sweet pooch to keep you company.
#1 Be ready for changes
Most people assume that a puppy can’t have a very big impact on their lifestyle.
So, when they come face to face with reality, they are often unprepared how much a puppy can change your daily routine.
In some regards, a puppy is just like a baby. Sissy will rely on you for everything from feeding to potty training and grooming.
That means that you’ll have to make compromises with your social activities and hobbies.
Unlike a baby, Sissy is not going to stay still. She will run, play, and chase.
She will be under your feet no matter what you’re doing because she is a curious creature learning about the world.
#2 Clear your schedule
The first few months you’ll be busy with socializing the puppy, housetraining, obedience training, taking Sissy to the vet for her shots, and so on.
In addition to this, you have to bond with the puppy and earn her trust and love.
Not to mention that any puppy will be scared and anxious during the first few days/weeks at a new place.
My advice is to clear your schedule when you plan to adopt the puppy.
You don’t need any additional stress related to work or family problems because you’re going to have your hands full. And somebody must keep the puppy company.
#3 Do your research
One of the easiest ways to survive puppy overwhelm is to do your research.
Write any questions you have regarding puppy ownership and speak with friends who have dogs or the vet.
Go online and join dog forums and don’t be shy to ask even the stupidest questions. Believe me, once you get the puppy, you’ll be Googling things every day.
You should also speak with the people from whom you’re adopting the puppy.
Ask them for food preferences, likes and dislikes, temperament, favorite games, and routines.
It will make the transition easier for both of you if the changes in your puppy’s routine are minimal.
#4 Learn how to keep the puppy out of troubles
Before you bring a puppy home, take the time to puppy-proof the house. Believe me, it will make your life with the puppy much easier if you don’t have to worry about Sissy escaping through the window, munching on your plants, or ingesting bleach or medicine.
Furthermore, when you drop something, get used to picking it right up.
Puppies put everything they find in their mouths, including needles, jewelry, batteries, buttons, yarn, coins, and so on.
It can lead to an expensive emergency vet visit if you’re not careful. In addition to these, be careful when you go in and out of a room.
A puppy tends to follow his owner almost anywhere so you can accidentally step on a tail or squish her with the door.
#5 Buy a crate and toys
Sissy needs a place where she can feel safe and comfortable and where she can retreat when she is scared or overwhelmed. A crate is perfect for this job.
Don’t feel bad about it.
Sissy has to learn that you’re not going to be around 24/7 and crate training can help you lessen her anxiety and aid you in housetraining.
In addition to a crate, don’t forget to buy toys. Otherwise, your furniture and clothes will replace those toys you’ve forgotten to buy.
#6 Be patient with housetraining
Let me tell you something about housetraining.
It’s not a quick process, and it might take weeks or even months before your puppy learns to do her business outside.
Invest in cleaning supplies, antibacterial wipes, mops, and puppy pads.
Accept that there will be plenty of messes to clean while the young one is learning.
#7 Give yourself some personal space
It’s amazing to have a constant companion who follows you even to the bathroom and loves you unconditionally.
However, sometimes, you will feel that you don’t have any personal space left.
It’s ok to restrict the puppy’s access to some rooms so that you can have time to rest and gather your energy.
Your puppy has to learn to entertain herself. That’s why being around too much might be counterproductive.
#8 Ignore bad behavior
Sometimes puppies misbehave because they want attention. That’s why you should be careful about how you handle bad behavior.
If Sissy learns that breaking objects or barking gets your attention, she will continue to do it on purpose.
In these cases, it’s best not to react or acknowledge the bad behavior because you don’t want to create a precedent.
Pay attention and reward your puppy only when she does something positive and good.
#9 Prepare your friend/family for meeting the puppy
When you adopt the puppy, I’m sure that friends and family will be dying to come and say ‘Hello.”
While there is nothing wrong with that, talk with your friends before you introduce the puppy, and lay the ground rules.
Tell them what is and what is not allowed when they’re handling the puppy.
You don’t want them teaching the puppy something you’ll have to correct later on.
What’s more, keep an eye for signs that your furbaby is getting overwhelmed by all the attention.
I’m not going to lie. There might be moments when you’ll regret getting a puppy.
However, as the weeks go by and you see the way the puppy looks at you with unconditional love, you’ll know that you’ve made the right choice.