Puppy Party Time!
Here at Happy Hound, we think every day is Puppy Day, but there is an official “National Puppy Day” on March 23rd! Did you adopt a “Quarantine Dog,” or are you thinking about adopting a puppy? You don’t need to wait until National Puppy Day to learn more about the joys – and responsibilities – of dog ownership or even to adopt a puppy.
National Puppy Day was established in 2006 to bring awareness to the sizable number of puppies and dogs needing rescue every year. Many people go to breeders to get a purebred or “designer” dog when are so many adorable puppies needing adoption that are in shelters or come from unplanned litters (one reason it is so important to spay or neuter your pets!). If you are thinking about adding a furry bundle of joy to your family, keep in mind the many cute pups needing rescue that are just waiting for you!
Know What To Expect
Puppies are a handful. If you have a young pup, you already know this, but for those planning to adopt, it’s wise to consider. Puppies require patience, training, consistency, socialization, and lots of love. During our strange pandemic times, you probably have more time to spend on training and giving them attention, which makes now such a great time to adopt. They also provide much needed companionship during quarantine. However, you may have a harder time with socialization – with other dogs and people – so it helps to be proactive.
Provide New Experiences
With a new puppy, take the time to introduce them to new things. Let them feel different textures, walk on a variety of surfaces and hear new sounds. Expose them to the smells and sounds of nature. Keep your puppy in your arms until they are fully vaccinated, but then take them on your daily walk(s) and go to different locations so that they can experience grass, gravel, sand, trees and the urban environment. On your way, they will hear birds, see squirrels and maybe even meet another pup.
Spending a lot of time indoors is good to practice training and learning skills like sit, stay and come, but it is just as important to expose young puppies to other dogs and people. You can set up an outdoor playdate with a neighbor or friend and their dogs, keeping their leashes on so you are ready to intervene if playtime gets a little ruff. You can also bring the littlest pups – under four months – to Happy Hound for a Puppy Social! Your puppy will join a motley crew of other young puppies for a puppy party in the Happy Hound Puppy Park where they have lots of toys, room to run, and are under professional supervision. Sessions last 45 minutes, just enough time to tire them out.
Prevent Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a behavioral condition that causes your pet stress and may lead them to be destructive or fearful. It helps to train your dog to be apart from you for periods of time. You may be home all the time now, but eventually, you’ll leave the house more, and your dog won’t understand why you are gone. It may be hard, but ignoring your pet a little each day is essential to preventing separation anxiety. Crate training is perfect for designating a time and space for your pup to be alone. It’s also great for overnight sleeping and to prepare them for potential boarding when you, eventually, go on a trip. Start early and use positive motivation, much like with potty training and teaching new commands.
Celebrate Your Pup!
National Puppy Day is a great time to celebrate everything canine. Spend the day pampering your pooch. Take them to their favorite park, on a long walk, spoil them with a new toy (or three) and indulge them with a special treat. Maybe a trip to the dog park is in order. You may even get to socialize with other humans, too (from a distance, of course). Or try teaching your dog a new trick. Try shake, rollover, or work on a basic command that they are still learning. Be sure to take lots of photos and consider sharing them on social media. Use National Puppy Day hashtags to help spread awareness: #NationalDogDay, #NationalPuppyDay, #MandBestFriend, #DogDayIdeas. You’ll bring joy to others and document your pet as they grow up far too quickly.
Happy Hound offers training classes for all sizes, doggie daycare and dog walking services which can help you ensure your dog is getting properly trained, socialized, and exposed to new people and places. Plus, it gives you some time away from them to prevent separation anxiety, for both of you!
Celebrate this National Puppy Day by showing your current pet some love or learning more about puppy ownership so that you can be your dog’s best friend, too. Visit Happy Hound in Oakland, California, for professional advice, dog training, dog boarding, and to socialize your puppy safely during Covid at our Puppy Park.