Seven things that anyone who's ever owned a puppy will know

National puppy day covers the very serious issue of responsible puppy buying. It’s also a chance to celebrate healthy, happy puppies who have been well-bred, and well-matched with their new families.

If you’ve adopted a puppy from us, or bought from a responsible breeder – you’ll know that caring for a young dog can be a heartwarming, hilarious, and sometimes exhausting experience. Here are seven things that anyone who’s ever owned a puppy will know!

  1. The one treat that your puppy will do absolutely anything for.

    Finding your puppy’s favourite treat will be invaluable for the training that the two of you will be doing for years to come – 71 percent of the dog owners we surveyed use food and treats to train their dogs.

    Favourite treats are often small pieces of meat or cheese. Just make sure it’s safe for your dog to eat, that you’re not giving them too many treats and you’re still feeding them regular nutritious meals.

  2. How to walk to the veterinary surgeon backwards, with your eyes shut – as well as your vets first name, middle name, and favourite colour.

    With all of your puppy’s check-ups, appointments for vaccinations, worming, treating for fleas and neutering, along with any surprise visits, you’re going to be spending quite a lot of time together! This also makes insurance for your new dog a pretty essential purchase.

  3. The perfect emergency carpet clean procedure, and the emergency puppy exit dance.

    Accidents happen! It takes puppies a while to learn basic control, and toilet training is an important part of your bonding process. The key is staying patient and positive – never punish them for mistakes.

    Our #DogKind report found that whilst 88 percent of owners felt that training should never frighten, worry or hurt a dog – worryingly 79 percent of owners still felt a dog should be told off for doing something wrong. Many owners may be seriously misunderstanding what it takes to scare a dog.

  4. How to perform a hazard check at lightning-speed.

    Everyone loves how curious and playful new puppies are – but their curiosity can also get them into trouble, and fast! You’ll quickly learn how to scan any new space for potential hazards, and keep them away from your puppy.

  5. That a good dog trainer can be a life-saver, or can at least save a bit of your sanity.

    A good trainer makes the process of ‘sit’, ‘lie-down’, and ‘don’t run away with my socks’, a whole lot easier. Regular training classes are also a great chance for you and your youngster to bond, and for them to meet new dogs and people in a positive environment – there’s going to be a lot of interested sniffing!

    Worryingly, our #DogKind report revealed that although 93 percent of dog owners feel that dogs should be trained how to behave from an early age, just 39 percent attended training classes.

  6. How even the smallest of puppies can manage to seem like they’re in two places at once.

    Healthy, happy puppies are very active, and surprisingly fast. It can be hard to keep an eye on them when they’re forever dashing around. But you’ll also learn how invaluable a secure and enriching environment – and an endless supply of tennis balls – can be. 67 percent of the dog owners we surveyed told us that their dog always had access to toys.

  7. Where the phrase ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ comes from.

    Puppies can be whirlwinds of energy, but they also really need their sleep. Having a safe, quiet place where your puppy can go to rest undisturbed is really important. A crate, or comfy bed in a quiet corner, is invaluable.

Thinking about getting a puppy?

If you’re ready for the task of puppy-raising, then it’s important that you take the right steps to end up with a puppy who’s healthy and happy. This includes having the time and money to make the commitment, choosing a dog who’s right for you and – if you decide to buy from a breeder – ensuring that you buy from someone responsible.

Choosing a good breeder can make the difference between taking home a healthy, well-adjusted new puppy, and unwittingly funding the cruel puppy trade. Watch our video on spotting a puppy trader, and read about the Puppy Contract.

We also have so many dogs in our care – both the young, and the young-at-heart – who are just waiting for loving new homes. Use our search to find dogs near you.

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