How do you keep your sanity now that you’ve brought a new puppy into your family. Congratulations! Now that the celebration is out of the way… do you really know what you are getting into? Are you prepared for the lack of sleep, the constant attention, the misunderstandings, the persistent chewing, the messes on the floor, and all that goes with having a new little out-of-control furry creature in your life? Remember what it was like with your first child? Same thing, having a new puppy is like having a new baby in the home.
Don’t worry! It’s not all bad.
Actually it’s all very good, and puppy parenting can be extremely rewarding. However, it can also be mentally and physically draining if you don’t take time for yourself while raising a puppy. Here are a few tips on how to get your breaks and keep your sanity.
Life might seem chaotic right now with your puppy going a mile a minute, around and around in circles, up and over in a whirlwind of activity. In reality, your puppy really wants and needs routine. In many ways, puppies are like children.
Children need rules and routine in order to feel safe. Puppies need rules and routine for the very same reason. Getting puppy on a routine is going to help you both. Start by creating a schedule. Choose feeding times, potty times, play times, nap times, and bed time. Then stick to it.
Of course, you may need to adjust the schedules in order to keep puppy on track, especially with potty training. But, as you work this out, puppy will quickly learn the schedule and you’ll be able to relax a bit.
If you have things you don’t want destroyed, do yourself a favor and save your sanity by putting them out of reach. Puppy is too young to understand all the things that can and cannot be chewed on or played with. And, if you have to be constantly vigilant and always yelling ‘no!’ you are not going to remain sane for long, or enjoy your puppy.
As a reminder, shoes make wonderful chew toys, in the eyes of a puppy. Keep all shoes hidden behind closet doors. This will remove the temptation and frustration. Safety issues also come into play here. Tape up or otherwise corral electrical cords. Plants can be either a mess waiting to happen or worse; there are many poisonous plants to be aware of. To be safe, remove them all out of puppy’s reach. Also, put breakables away. In other words, clear the decks! You have a puppy on board.
There are so many great toys on the market today for puppies. Look for appropriate squeaky toys, chew toys, rawhide bones, ropes, and more. Use these to distract and keep puppy busy while you go about your day.
Be sure to keep a bucket of these ‘distractions’ handy at all times. Anytime puppy goes after something to chew on that you would prefer puppy leave alone, like your arm or the sofa, pull out a distraction. Puppies need to chew and they need to play, so make a good toy available at all times.
Of course there are going to be times when you just need a break. Maybe you want to get away, or maybe you just want to stay home and take a nice, long, completely uninterrupted nap.
Ask for help! Maybe a family member or friend can help. If this is not an option, schedule time to get out and about to local dog parks or pet clubs where you can meet other pet owners. You may be able to make some mutually beneficial relationships where you both help each other out with your energetic puppies.
Puppies might just be the cutest little things on earth. With all the power their cuteness holds, you may be tempted to forget to take care of yourself. Don’t do it! Find ways to make puppy happy while taking little breaks so you can be the very best puppy parent you can be. Then you’ll both be happy, healthy and ready to enjoy each other.