Life with a new puppy in the house can be fun, but there is also a lot of work involved considering all of the care and responsibility that comes along with it.
When my puppy Grace first stepped into my home, her eyes filled with joy and she bounced around as happy as a clam. My mom, dad, and I had previously puppy-proofed the house and purchased all of the things needed to be ready for her arrival so that Grace couldn’t get into any mischief. We also bought toys so that she has things to play with and also to teethe. We then introduced her to her crate where she would be kept when either sleeping or whenever we couldn’t watch her. Once she was in the crate, we gave her a Nyla-bone to show her that the crate is a “happy place.”
Later, after a long evening of going “potty” every twenty to thirty minutes, I decided to hit the hay and rock Grace to sleep and put her into her crate. About two hours later I heard a little “ruff, ruff” coming from the crate that lay next to my bed. I immediately took her to her designated spot in the yard, waited until she went potty, then headed back upstairs and to sleep. This same process repeated until about 8:30 a.m. You can imagine how much sleep I got.
Make sure that you wait a few days to get your puppy adjusted to their new home and then goon to the next step: socialization. Some people take their dogs to the dog park to socialize them, however little Grace is still too young to go to the famous “Canine Cove.” If you have ever had a dog before you know that it is not safe for them to go into a public dog place such as Canine Cove for risk of diseases such as Parvo. Before taking your dog to the dog park make sure he or she has all of their vaccinations and shots from the vet. The Veterinarian office that I go to is the Eastside Animal Clinic, located in Naples. There are many different vets to choose from so choose the one that you think is best for your dog. Back to socialization, our method to socialize little Grace was to invite other dogs and people to our house, somewhere where Grace feels safe. We invited my friend who owns a Shih Tzu named Daisy, my Mom’s friend who has smaller children and a Pit bull/Labrador mix, my neighbors who have a Maltese and their daughter who had a Chihuahua mix, and a Bichon Frise/Poodle mix. Grace did great with all of these different dogs, people, and situations. Besides all of the accidents in the house, she is really turning out to be a great dog that everyone loves and she is as sweet as can be.
Natalie Halbuer is a member of the Optimist Club of Marco Island’s Junior Journalism Club. She is 11 years of age.