Puppyhood is a very exciting time for a dog parent: The time goes by so fast, and that first year of a dog’s life is so much fun—but also can be a very scary time.
When I lost my beloved Cocker Spaniel, Brandy Noel, in 2008, I vowed to myself, “never again;” that is: never again will I allow myself to get this close to a dog and have my heart broken. I am happy to say that my passion for dogs trumped all and my “never again” sits at my feet and his name is Dexter. I can honestly say I could never NOT love this way again.
When Dexter first entered my life, it was quite the shock for me in some ways: Caring for an elderly dog with a multitude of health issues meant adjusting rapidly for a new baby in the house. I recall one particular phone call I made to the veterinarian back then, asking why my puppy might be vomiting yellow bile. I forgot: Puppies do that, especially when they eat too many treats or try to ingest things that move: You know, like bugs.
Entering Puppyhood with a Trusted Friend
If only there had been a resource like the new Puppyhood.com around when Dexter was growing up, my life would have been so much easier. Our neighbor recently brought a new puppy into her life, and here is Graham in all his puppyhood glory:
Golden Retrievers grow up fast, like most puppies do, so during his first year of life, some of the things his dog mom will learn at the new site include:
- Puppy stages: Did you know during their first year puppies go through just about as much developmental changes as a child does in their first 14 years?!
- Puppy play: Find out which games puppies should play to encourage and foster stimulation;
- Puppy training: Commands every pet parent should know. When Dexter was a pup, we began with basic commands and tenets of the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program administered by the American Kennel Club. I am proud to say he passed!
- Puppy grooming: Did you know that if your puppy is younger than 7-8 weeks, you should hold off. His little body isn’t ready to self-regulate his body temperature just yet?! But you can wipe your puppy down with a warm cloth if you need to give him a quick clean.
Beyond all of this, the Puppyhood.com website is a treasure trove of personalized information geared for you and your pup.
Members Only: Free
As a member of the free website at Puppyhood.com , an array of special features is unlocked after signing up, including a:
- Puppy milestone tracker: Proud dog moms and dog dads, show off your puppy’s steps and advancements (plus have a record of it);
- Expert advice: Search, ask questions, get answers STAT;
- Things to do and access within your own community: Customized to your pooch!
What About the Pre-Puppy Process?
I received advanced access to the Puppyhood.com site, so imagine my glee in exploring when I found the new puppy adoption section: Designed for pet parents who want to adopt a new bundle of joy. If you have no idea what sort of puppy would be fit for your life and lifestyle, this section will walk you through, as indicated with this screen shot:
Back to my buddy Graham: One of the cutest things he does is takes all his toys outside, and his mom recently shared this cute photo where he left his snake toy in the doggie door. Using the Puppyhood.com resource, Graham’s mom could investigate why her puppy has this behavior and what it means. This is very helpful because when we think like the dog, we can anticipate what they are thinking, what they might do, and be a better pet parent as a result… like Graham meeting a tennis ball for the first time:
Puppyhood.com is a portal or hub for pet parents to learn everything needed for puppies to get off on the right paw in life. Now if only there was a way to bottle that sweet scent of puppy breath, how fantastic would that be?!
Have you ever raised a puppy? What sort of things did you use as a resource/helper during that first crucial year of life?