How Much Work is a Puppy? Do You Have The Time?

playing with a new puppy

It takes a lot of hard work to raise a puppy. When you bring a new puppy home, you’ll have to deal with potty training, separation anxiety, training, eliminating bad habits, etc. Taking care of a puppy will take a minimum of 2-3 hours of dedicated time spread throughout the day and night. 

Is it Hard to Raise a Puppy?

Raising a puppy is a fun and rewarding experience that pays off greatly as the years go by. Not to mention how adorable they are! 

But raising a puppy isn’t easy. It takes quite a bit of hard work, and you will have to dedicate significant amounts of time to make sure your puppy grows up to be a happy and well-behaved dog. 

The difficulty can vary quite a bit depending on the breed, environment, and lifestyle, but some things will always take time. 

Remember that your dog will be your companion for a significant portion of your life, so take the time to raise them properly.

Why Raising a Puppy Can Be Difficult

Potty Training

Teaching your puppy when and where to relieve itself is the number one challenge you’re going to face while raising your puppy. 

You need to be consistent, or else your pup will get confused. Getting the puppy on a routine schedule and helping them find a comfortable place to go are the two most important things to get down ASAP. 

Punishing the puppy for going where they aren’t supposed to go is not a good idea. They will then associate going to the bathroom with punishment, which will cause them to become anxious when they have to go.

It’s best to go for positive reinforcement by rewarding them when they go in the right place. Whether you train your puppy to go outside or inside on a wee-wee pad, make sure you remain consistent and allow them to make mistakes. 

Patience is necessary when potty training your puppy. 

Being Home Alone

Puppies often suffer from separation anxiety. That means they’ll get nervous when you leave them alone. 

Working a day job while training a puppy can be difficult. If you don’t have a dog sitter, like a friend or family member to keep the puppy company, the loneliness may stress them out. 

When emotions run high, your puppy might chew on your new shoes or soil the fresh linens. Coming home to a hot mess is part of the deal when you have a puppy, so be prepared. 

Having other pets may relieve separation anxiety, especially in more hyperactive breeds. However, it’s best to make sure that the two animals get along before you leave them at home by themselves. 

Staying Healthy

Puppies are sensitive. It’s important that you look after your puppy with care, especially within their first year. 

They can get sick or injured much easier than a grown dog. You must keep your puppy up to date with the latest vaccines and keep a tight schedule for visiting the vet. 

Fleas, ticks, and heartworms can do more damage to puppies than older dogs, so keep them out of the dirt and grass until they’re a bit older. 

It is also imperative that you watch what your puppy eats. Keep them on a healthy diet, and DO NOT let your puppy eat any foods that can harm them. 

Human foods that harm dogs, like chocolate, onions, or grapes, will be much more harmful to a puppy than a grown dog. 

Other Pets

If you have other pets, make sure they get along with your puppy. If you have larger dogs or cats, they might see your puppy as a chew toy. 

The reverse might also be true. Energetic dog breeds are going to be a nightmare for more docile pets. Elderly dogs and cats, beware! 

Remember that pets can transmit diseases between each other. Make sure all of your animals are up to date with their medications and vaccinations. 

It’s best to keep your pets separate until you know they’re compatible. Get them accustomed to each other slowly and give them time to get to know one another. You might even be lucky and find that your pets get along from the get-go. 

In that case, you’re all set! Pets become lifelong friends, which is great when you’re going away for an extended period of time, as it keeps your companions from getting lonely.

Tips to Making it Easier to Raise a Puppy

Though raising a puppy can quickly become a full-time job, there are a few things you can do to take the load off. Follow these tips to avoid losing sleep (literally) while training your new pup.

Instill Good Habits Early

People don’t give dogs enough credit; they’re actually quite intelligent. They are mammals, after all. They will take care of themselves if you train them properly. 

Though having a puppy can feel like a nightmare, remember that this is the best time to instill good habits. Once they’re grown, it’s challenging to change those ingrained behaviors. 

While everyone loves a dog that jumps all over your legs when you get home, it’s a bit too much when they get big, especially if there are children around. 

It’s best to reward them for the good things rather than punish them for the wrong things. The key to having a well-mannered dog starts in the early years. 

This is also the best time to teach your puppy some cool tricks!

Playing and Teething

Puppies love to play. Actually, they need to play. It’s how they acquire those critical hunting and foraging skills and build their intelligence. 

When you have free time, play with your puppy, they’ll appreciate it. Not only will it keep them healthy and sharp, but it will help them go to bed at a reasonable time as they’ll be burning off all that puppy energy. Just don’t play too hard, or they might get hurt!

Another thing to keep in mind is that they’ll be teething during the first few months. Make sure to keep plenty of toys and doggy bones around, unless you want them to tear apart your brand-new couch. 

Between four and eight months, they’ll start to lose their baby teeth. Be aware that puppies may seem anxious when losing their teeth. It’s a painful new experience for them. Once their new teeth grow in, they’ll chew less, but their bite will be a lot more powerful. 

Give Your Puppy its Own Space

To help facilitate training (and keep the security deposit for your apartment) it’s usually a good idea to keep your puppy confined to a specific area of your home. 

Whether you use a fence, gate, or crate, giving the puppy its own space can provide a variety of uses. From potty training to punishment to helping them sleep, sometimes you’re going to have to confine your puppy. 

It’s also important that you give the dog a safe space to play. Puppies are a lot like children, they’re curious, and they want to explore. Sectioning off a space just for them allows the puppy to (safely) be reckless. 

Give Your Puppy Some Time

Time is of the essence. It might seem like a handful at first, but after a few months raising your puppy, it will pay off…especially if you’re doing it right. 

Dogs are more intelligent than we realize and will let you know when there’s a problem. Eventually, your puppy will fall into a daily routine. Consistency is key. If something isn’t working, try something new, but don’t change what works for your puppy as you’ll only confuse them. Before you know it, the things you’re having a tough time with will become second nature. Just keep trying, and don’t give up!

Recommended For You