Quick Tips for New Parents

Being a first-time parent can be a stressful and challenging experience for even the most prepared person. You worry if they’re happy, eating the right foods and haven’t peed on the carpet in the middle of the night… I did mention I’m talking about my dog, right?

Two weeks ago, I adopted a dog from the Butte Humane Society. After looking for a pet for months and months, I found Indigo and the rest is history. She is a 10-month-old, 55-pound lap dog and quite a handful.

When you’re thinking about adding a new member to your family, it’s hard to imagine all the new and bizarre challenges you will face. Here are my top tips for dealing with a new dog (or maybe just mine):

1. When your dog won’t go to the bathroom, it might need some privacy.
I share this technique at the risk of sounding like a crazy dog lady, but believe me it works! If your dog doesn’t seem comfortable using the bathroom outside and prefers the carpet in your home, try this. Take your pet where there aren’t many distractions, let the leash hang loosely and look the opposite direction.

2. Buy dog wipes for between baths.
They look like a giant baby wipe and come in a variety of scents. They are extremely useful for combating a greasy coat or a smelly dog. Indigo actually enjoys it when she isn’t busy trying to eat them. I bought my lavender scented wipes at Petsmart.

3. If you don’t want your pet to sit on the furniture when you’re not there, don’t invite them to sit on the couch, ever.
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way and now Indigo wouldn’t dream of using the lovely dog bed I bought for her–that’s $40 I’ll never see.

4. For a high-energy pup, buy them a bone.
Unfortunately, Indigo doesn’t understand when I explain that I can’t play because I have homework, so I give her a bone to keep her entertained while I lovingly ignore her. Most bones are cheap and good for oral hygiene. This will keep your dog distracted and allow you to get some work done.

5. Consistency is key.
Try using the same phrases for a specific action. Every time we are going outside I tell Indigo, “We are going OUTSIDE.” After a while your pup will catch on, and if they still need help, patience and positive reinforcement should do the trick!

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