Keeping Your Sanity After Getting A Puppy
I was talking to a friend the other day about the trials and tribulations her daughter was experiencing since adding a puppy to the family. The daughter has two small children of her own in addition to a senior aged boxer. She was overwhelmed and was thinking of returning the puppy. After some reassurance from her mother, she reconsidered.
Puppy parenting can 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.
Get your puppy on a routine. 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 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.
What tricks have you used to stay “puppy” sane?