Congratulations on your first puppy! They will surely bring you endless hours of joy (and maybe a little frustration too).
To help get you started on the right paw, we’ve put together a list of 10 fun things you can do with your new furry friend.
1. Go for walks
This one is obvious, but going for walks is a great way to bond with your puppy and get them used to be on a leash. It’s also a great chance for them to learn some obedience skills and get to know their new neighborhood.
After all, every moment with a puppy is an opportunity to teach them about their new world. Just ensure they’re all caught up with vaccines and are old enough to go outside, which should be around 6 to 7 months. You can allow them to socialize with other dogs if they have all the required shots. Keep an eye on them, so they don’t get into trouble!
2. Play with a ball
Playing with a ball is a great way to tire out your pup and have some fun at the same time. It’s also an excellent way to teach them basic commands like “fetch” and “drop it.” First, you need to know what motivates them – food or praise.
You need a lot of patience, too! Once you know what they like, you can tie both food and credit together into a marker word or signal, such as “yes!” or “good boy!” or “good girl!”
You give them what they want (a treat or scratches behind the ear) right after you say the word. This will teach them to associate the word with the things they like. Then, try saying the command you want to teach them.
They’ll be confused at first, so assist them by holding on to the ball until they let go. If you say “drop it” and they let go, reward them with the marker word and the things they like. After some repetition, they’ll learn what you want them to do.
3. Go swimming
Swimming is another great activity for active pups (and one that will cool them down in the summer heat). You can take them to the beach, lake, or even the local pool – make sure they’re wearing a life jacket if they’re not strong swimmers yet.
Never let them go into intense water, too. Keep the leash on and close if you’re worried about your puppy. They’ll still have a lot of fun! Look for a nearby resort for pets, too – these places are the best options for you since they are built for pets and have attendants to watch over your puppy.
4. Train them
Training your puppy is essential for their safety and obedience, but it can also be fun! Start with simple commands like “sit” and “lie down.”
These are also the first steps to teaching them to heel and stay. You can then move on to more complex commands like “get in,” (which is the starting position for the heel) or tricks like “roll over” or “turn around.”
The possibilities are endless! As stated earlier, all you need is a ton of patience and knowledge of what makes your puppy happy. Plus, you’ll be able to show off their skills to all your friends and family.
5. Take pictures and videos
Puppies grow up incredibly fast-at; at seven to eight months, they already look like adults and may even be experiencing their first heat. At one year old, they’re no longer considered puppies (even though they’ll still have a bit of that wild puppy energy!).
Make sure you document all their cuteness while you can! You might end up missing it once they’re older. Even people with particularly rough puppy blues end up missing when their puppy is a furious ball of furry energy.
Take pictures or videos of them playing, sleeping, eating, and walking. Make an Instagram page for them or post all of them on your socials – these cuties get a lot of likes!
If you’re feeling extra, contact some newborn photo editing services and set up a photoshoot! This way, you’ll have many souvenirs later when they’re all grown up. You’ll cherish those memories forever.
6. Make homemade dog treats
Homemade dog treats are healthy, delicious, and easy to make! There are many recipes online that you can try, or get creative and come up with your concoctions. Just make sure to avoid ingredients toxic to dogs, like:
Also, make sure to avoid using salt and pepper. Dogs are not allowed to have a lot of these!
7. Have a playdate
Lastly, arranging a playdate with another pup owner is an excellent way for both dogs (and humans) to have some fun. It’s also an opportunity for socialization, essential for puppies’ development.
Puppies learn a lot from older dogs by imitating how they behave and respond to humans. Just be sure everyone is on the same page about rules and boundaries before letting the dogs loose!
Puppies are so much fun, but they require some work too! These seven activities are just a starting point – there are endless possibilities regarding things you can do with your new furry friend.
The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy this particular time in their life-it; it goes by too quickly!