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Use this checklist to help determine if your child has the skills he needs for this big step.
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Kids and Puppies: The Truth
If you’re thinking of giving your little darling a puppy for a gift, think of these guidelines as the EIGHT COMMMANDMENTS of puppy care, to pass on to your KindyKids:
1. A puppy is not a toy. Your kindykid must know that even though the puppy is given as a present, he is not an ordinary toy that your kindykid can play with and then leave somewhere unattended later on. Taking care of a puppy is a big responsibility.
2. Treat your new puppy as if he is a little baby. He will depend on you for all his needs – food, water, shelter and most of all, care and affection. If you have received the puppy younger than eight weeks old, he may be suffering from separation anxiety from his mother and so you would have to do your best to help him get used to his new environment.
3. On your puppy’s first day at home, make sure you had prepared a comfortable bed for him. If you plan to let him sleep outside, make sure you have a weatherproof doggie house for him. If he is sleeping indoors, you can use a crate or a wooden box with a small door.
4. Number one on your list should be how to house-train your puppy. Potty training is a critical issue and you need to get your pup started on this as soon as possible. You must provide a regular schedule for him where he can go out to poop as well as a good place for him to do his thing. Take him to his spot right after eating and within 2-3 hours before his next meal.
5. Give your puppy a regular feeding schedule as well. If your puppy is less than six months old, feed him balanced solid meals 3-4 times a day.
6. Provide your puppy with a lot of chewing toys from your local pet store. Your dog may resort to chewing when he’s bored or when he’s feeling some anxieties from his new environment.
7. Reward your puppy for good behaviour. Remember that part of teaching your dog to be obedient is the positive reinforcement in the form of treats, play time or a simple hug that should encourage him to repeat the desired action.
8. Smother your puppy with affection and treat him like a new addition to the family! Teach kindykids not to rough handle your puppy whenever you’re not around. Puppies need a lot of care and attention and that they are just as fragile as little babies.