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If you're looking to grow your family, getting a puppy is one of the best things you can do in life. Small, sweet and simply adorable, they are little, fluffy bundles that'll give you infinite joy and love. They're not without their teething problems though. Puppies require a lot of time, love and attention.

They have a lot to learn, and as their new puppy parent, you're there to help guide them through the early stages of life, so they can grow up to be a happy and well-trained dog. Various pitfalls lie along the way. Things like toilet training, boundary pushing, socialising and recall.

But they're nothing you can't handle, especially if you invest in some professional dog training to help. Ready to get started?

To help prepare you, here's what to expect in the first few months of welcoming a puppy into your home.

 

Month one

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Firstly, a dog is going to be with you for a long time. It's vital you research the different temperaments of each breed, so you can get a dog that will suit you and your living situation. Not only that but it's really important you go to a reputable and experienced breeder.

Once you have chosen your puppy, they are most likely going to stay with their mums until around eight weeks. This doesn't mean you can't go meet them though! Seeing them with their sleepy closed eyes and super soft fur will make your heart melt.

At around three to four weeks, your puppy's ears and eyes will start to open and they'll be getting used to new sights, sounds and smells. This is a great time to make sure you have everything ready at home for your new arrival. Check you can travel with them safely in the car and have a lovely snuggly bed waiting for them at home.

 

Month two

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Playtime has officially begun! Your puppy will be playing with their littermates, finding their squeaky bark and learning how to wobble a bit less. And even though they'll still be stuck to their mum's side, this is a great time to interact with your new puppy. So, make sure you plan in regular trips so you can bond with your new dog. Toilet training can take a little while to complete and will need to be done at home.

his is so your dog knows where they can and can't go. They'll also need to be taught a consistent schedule. However, toilet training begins fairly early on and they'll need to be taken for breaks every hour or so. By the end of the second month, you'll want to make sure you have your first vet check up with your puppy so they can get their vaccinations booked in.

Puppies also tend to get spayed or neutered at around eight to twelve weeks so if this is something you would like your puppy to have done, now is a good time to investigate the next steps. And speaking of vets, now is also a good time to get your pet insurance set up! Vet bills can be hefty – especially as your puppy gets older.

 

Month three

By month three, your puppy is most likely to be enjoying home life with you and your family. They are learning all the time and are very impressionable at this stage. It's important to remember that like kids, they are still very young, and life should feel very safe and warm to help them feel confident and happy.

And once they have had their vaccinations, you can take them to puppy training classes. This will not only help you start to take control of their behaviour, but will also give you a great opportunity to spend time with your pup and reward them.

They will also have the chance to be around other dogs and people – something that's important for when you're taking them out for walks as they get older.

 

Month four

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Teeth, teeth, teeth. By month four, your dog will be pretty much settled in your home but they are still learning. And at this stage, they will want to explore the world through their mouths. Chewing is important for a healthy, strong jaw but you will need to make sure they are chewing the right things – i.e. toys and not your hands!

Firstly, you'll need to puppy-proof your home – to make sure they don't injure themselves or eat something they shouldn't. Things like chocolate can be fatal for dogs so make sure this sort of thing isn't lying around the house.

Even wrapped up bars in bags can be snuffled out at a moment's notice! Stair gates and crates will help as well as cabinet latches which will stop them trying to explore areas where they're not allowed. Training will really help you here and you can employ the things you've learnt in class, in the home. Your puppy won't be ready for off-lead play so keep them close and make sure good behaviour is always rewarded.

 

Month five

When you haven't had your puppy for long, it's easy to forget just how quickly they grow up! But by five months, they really are starting to develop and around now is the equivalent of your puppy's teenage years. You'll notice they're starting to push boundaries so you'll need to remain consistent with your training. Keep up the socialisation to make sure they grow into happy, well-behaved dogs.

 

Month six

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By the time you've reached the six month mark, you will have passed most of the hurdles of raising a new puppy. Your dog is about to enter their first heat so if you haven't had them spayed or neutered yet and are planning on doing so, then make sure this is done soon. Consistency in your training will really pay off during the second half of your dog's first year with you.

They are still learning and you can expect them to be a little disobedient for the first year and a half or so – depending on your individual dog and their breed. But life with your dog will bring far more rewards then it does troubles! Seek advice from your dog trainer and your local vet as they will have a fantastic amount of knowledge and experience. And they will also help you to feel reassured.

Expect fluff, mess and noise. But you can also expect plenty of cuddles, infinite energy and endless love.

Have you welcomed a new puppy into your life recently? We'd love to see your pics! Send them to us via Instagram or Facebook @meandmypetsofficial.

 

Disclaimer: This content in this article is intended for information or entertainment purposes only, it is not intended to replace the advice of a vet or animal health professional. Your use of the information is entirely at your own risk and Me & My Pets assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information found on this site. If you have any questions or concerns over your pet's wellbeing you should consult your vet immediately.