Take a breath, grab a cuppa and centre yourself for a second, we get it! No matter how cute their squishy little faces are, puppies can be hard work, and frankly exhausting at times. Fortunately, there are some ways you can try to make things easier for both of you.
Whilst so many of us are working from home, it does seem like a great time to bring a puppy into your lives. So we want to try and offer some advice to make things a little easier. Like adding a new baby to the family, a puppy is an amazing source of joy and unconditional love. It can also bring anxiety, exhaustion and frustration along with it too. The constant cycle of cleaning up mess, moving and protecting furniture and the 200-million percent energy levels can be overwhelming. Especially when you’re trying to get some work done too.
It’s normal to feel like you’ve taken a lot on after bringing home a puppy, we won’t sugar coat it, that feeling can last a few months. You don’t have to struggle through the juggling act alone though, here are six strategies for coping and managing home life with an energetic pup.
Although that fur ball seems to have the zoomies round the house constantly, puppy energy generally comes in short bursts. If you can give you pup a way to release the growing power levels then they’ll likely be ready for a rest afterwards.
If they’re too young to go out, or a walk doesn’t fit into your day at that moment in time then try and engage your pup in a game of chase around the lounge, set up a treasure hunt with small treats hidden around the house, or a good ole game of fetch in the garden – easier said that done with the British winter closing in…
Most dogs thrive on routine, so try to exercise your pup at the same times each day. You should notice a pattern to when they get the zoomies, so better still try to schedule your exercise for those times.
They say that dogs are man’s best friend, well naps may soon be competing for the top slot are your new BFF.
A lot of pups can (and should) be directed to take a nap, like you would a human child. Just like toddlers act up when they’re cranky, pups can become troublesome when they’re overtired. This acting up can often be bouts of biting, barking, unwanted chewing, whining… you get the picture. Despite their constant energy bursts, puppies do actually need a lot of downtime, it’s healthy for them to sleep a lot.
If you crate train, then you can pop them in there with a chew or treat, or just ask them to go their bed. It may take a few times to get into a pattern, but if you’re consistent, they’ll settle into the routine.
Chews and treats for mental stimulation
Although physical exercise is super important, mental exercise should be just as much of a consideration. Simply put, a bored puppy with find a way to occupy themselves – chewing, biting, barking…again, you know the drill.
Any time you’re trying to keep your pup entertained, maybe before that nap time or just when you’re getting on with some work, make sure you have the right treats and toys available.
Why not take a look at our Chewboxes for puppies? You can get build your box here, choosing individual items or our specially selected collections.
Chewing is a natural instinct for all dogs, especially when they’re puppies. Giving them some tasty treats and super fun toys will help keep them interested in the things you want, and away from the things you don’t.
Ask a friend to puppysit.
You can take a break if you need, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Puppies are great fun to be around, especially people who haven’t had to spend the morning scrubbing pee and poo out of a favourite rug. So people will jump at the chance to spend quality time with your adorable fluff ball.
You can ask a trusted friend or relative to watch your pup for an afternoon, or even a full day. Not only will it give you a bit of time to recharge your batteries, but it also helps your pup to build their social skills, learning to be comfortable with different people. Use the time wisely, refresh and recharge so you can bring your best-self back to your puppy when they get back from their playdate.
When your pup is being calm, give them a treat. Reinforcing this behaviour is a great technique for raising a well-mannered dog.
Keep some training treats handy at all times, when you notice your pup lying down calmly, quietly chewing their toys or simply relaxing, silently walk over and place a treat at their feet.
The first couple times, they might get up and get excited when they get the treat. That’s ok! You’ve rewarded the previous calm behaviour, so simply walk away without reacting. Over time, you will help your pup build a positive emotional association with being calm.
Give yourself a mantra
Following advice and sticking to a routine for exercise & naps can make things smoother, but there will still be moment when you’re just feeling done with the cycle of cleaning up puddles and fending off sharp teeth.
For those moments, come up with a mantra you can tell yourself to keep calm. Remind yourself, this is just a moment and is temporary. It’s true that certain breeds stay ‘puppy like’ for longer, but generally its just the first few months that are the worst.
As you and your pup settle into your own routine, life will get easier. Soon, you won’t be able to imagine your life without your pup in it. It will get better, hang in there!