If you're like most people who've recently made the decision to welcome a new puppy into their homes and hearts for the first time, you're undoubtedly looking forward to starting life with your furry friend. However, since you've never had a dog before, it's likely that you're a little unsure of what to expect and what you can do to help your new puppy get the best possible start in life. You're undoubtedly aware of big-picture issues such as vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and flea and ticket treatment, but what about strategies that help new pups settle into routine life in your household and otherwise get off to a good start in life?
Limit Household Visitors
Although it may be very tempting to invite friends, family, and neighbors into your home to meet your new furry family member, keep in mind that it's important to avoid overwhelming it with too many new faces in too short a time period. Introducing your new puppy to a variety of people is part of the socialization process that puppies need, but visits short and limit them to one or two people at a time.
Create a Feeding Schedule
Feed your puppy at the same time every day in the same location. Puppies require more frequent feedings than their adult counterparts. Cockapoos and other small-to-medium sized breeds should be fed about three times per day unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise.
Begin House Training
You can begin house training on your puppy's very first day in its new home. Be sure to take the puppy outdoors after every meal, right before bedtime, and the first thing in the morning. Offer plenty of praise and treats as a reward when your pup does its business in the desired area.
Provide Lots of Chew Toys
Those who've never raised a puppy before often try to train the animal not to chew. However, puppies that chew are simply doing what comes naturally, especially when they're teething. Providing the puppy with appropriate chew toys is a far better strategy than trying to stop the chewing behavior altogether.
Keep Your Puppy at Home
You should keep your puppy out of public spaces such as parks, including dog parks, until the animal is fully vaccinated in order to protect them from contagious diseases. Puppies on a normal vaccination schedule are not considered fully vaccinated until they are around 16 weeks old.