Meet Riley, the newest member of the fabdog family! Adopted by fabdog’s own founder and designer Cassie, from NYC rescue Pixies and Paws. Her breed is still undetermined but she packs maximum sass!
Riley is already proving to be a fearless, adventurous, and energetic new bestie for Cassie’s 7 year old dog, Parker. She’s already been clocking lots of hours in the fabdog office, but truth be told, she is, at least for the moment, probably not among the most productive members of our team!
We (almost) forgot what it’s like to have a puppy! To that end, since we are in the thick of it, and summer is such a popular time for people to welcome a new pup to their families, we thought we’d share our top ten tips for new puppy owners.
- Be prepared! Getting a new puppy is a big decision—which gives you plenty of time to gear up before your pup comes home. Equipment you’ll need right off the bat includes: food and water bowls, a leash, a collar and identification tag, treats, toys, a dog bed, and a crate if you plan on crate training. Don't forget to activate their microchip!
- Get your home ready too. Before your new buddy steps one paw in your home, make sure it’s safe for and from your pup. Puppy proofing means putting away or moving anything that could be a danger to your dog—as well as anything that could be in danger of being destroyed!
- Expect some ‘uh oh’ moments. Puppies are babies—and they are learning as they go along. Potty accidents are to be expected, as are a few chewing casualties. Bear in mind that when puppies go into full mischief-mode, it generally means they need something—like sleep, attention, or some exercise.
- Speaking of sleep…making sure your pup gets enough shut eye is key. Like babies, puppies get cranky! As important as it is to make sure your pup is getting plenty of playtime and stimulation, it’s equally important that they get enough quiet time to nap throughout the day. Think about that expression ‘let sleeping dogs lie,’ and never wake a sleeping puppy!
- One more important truth about sleeping pups—they will ALWAYS need to go out, as soon as they wake up! Avoid an accident, and whisk your puppy outside as soon as those eyes pop open.
- When it comes to house training your puppy, get comfortable with the great outdoors—you’ll be spending a lot of time out there! At a minimum, you should expect your new furry friend to need to go out first thing in the morning, as soon as they wake from a nap, after they eat, after they play , when they come out of their crate, and before they go to bed. It’s helpful to establish—and follow—a routine from the beginning.
- Don’t sweat the chewing. Almost all puppies chew—and it does not mean they are aggressive, or intentionally destructive or vindictive. They are just doing what comes naturally. Take comfort knowing that it won’t last forever!
- Provide lots of things puppy is allowed to play with and chew on to keep your own things out of harm’s way. A bored puppy can mean trouble—so keep lots of toys on-hand to keep your pup busy. Rotate through the toys, rather than having too many out at any one time, and change up the selection to keep your pup’s interest.
- Reward good behavior from the beginning. Anytime you catch your pup in the act of doing something good—from going potty outside, to dropping something they got a hold of, to going nicely into their crate—is praise-worthy. Remember, your pup wants to please you, so if you give them an idea of what you like, they will catch on quickly, and do more of it!
- Start to get social. Dogs that are best-adjusted as adults are usually the ones who were introduced to all kinds of things at an early age. Feel free to show your puppy all the smells, sounds, people, places, and other dogs (once immunizations are complete)—but try to follow their lead. It’s best not to overwhelm new puppies with too much too soon, and pups that are more reserved may need a bit more time to get comfortable with all the newness.
One bonus tip: as you enjoy your new puppy, remember that it’s natural to experience a few ‘what have I done’ moments. As cute as they are, new puppies can be exhausting, frustrating…and did we mention exhausting?! It helps to share the responsibilities with family members or friends as much as you share the joys of new puppy ownership, and to remember that puppyhood doesn’t last forever!