It’s an exciting time in every dog parent’s life – bringing your new ball of fur home for the first time. After all, this is a milestone for both dog owners and their new pups alike. But with this excitement comes eagerness to reach all of the other milestones, too. Follow the tips below to ensure that you and your pup are prepared to reach one of the most exciting milestones together: the first walk.
Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! It is extremely important to get your new furball the proper vaccinations before they play outside. Because puppies are at an increased risk of contracting contagious and transmissible illnesses, pup owners should visit the vet as soon as possible. Not only are the majority of these diseases expensive to treat, but they could potentially be life-threatening.
Did you know that dogs adapt better to their surroundings when they reach 4 to 12 weeks of age? Before journeying on a walk around the neighborhood, it is extremely beneficial to introduce them to small social interactions. Carrying them around new people or bringing them into a new environment helps teach your new friend not to be scared of new sounds and sights!
Pro Tip: Meeting new dogs during the socialization period can be a tricky situation to navigate. When your pup meets other dogs, always ask the other owner if it is okay for your puppy to approach theirs. This will ensure that your dog has a good experience.
Now that your pup is vaccinated and introduced to different environments, you’re ready to embark on the first walk! But before you take your puppy on its first walk, make sure you have all the necessary supplies to get you through it! For instance, you will want to remember to bring treats to reward your pup for good behavior, a phone, dog waste baggies, water, a bowl, and any clothing if the weather is cold.
Pro Tip: To ensure that your pup is familiar with wearing a collar and leash, put it on them a few days leading up to their first walk. Not only will they be used to wearing something new, but it will also build your puppies confidence during the first walk!
(Don’t) Push it to the Limit
Small puppies should start going on small walks. Would you ask your 2-year-old child to go on a one-mile walk? No! The same advice rings true for your fur children too. Four-month-old pups should only go on 20 minute walks twice a day. As you pup matures and grows, you can increase the length of the walks.
Pro Tip: Let your pup walk at its own pace. This allows your fur baby to explore and sniff around, which makes walks more enjoyable!
Visit Barking Lot in Deerfield, il for more helpful tips about raising a playful pup!