The decision to add a dog to your family is not one that should be taken lightly. If you are planning to open your home and your hearts to a new canine companion, you need to do some preparation first. Here’s a list of things to do before your new fur-friend comes home.
Dog-proofing your home
If this is your first dog, you might have some bad habits that you will need to change. You might as well start trying to change your habits as early as possible. This includes keeping power cables hidden away, food high off the ground and the toilet seat down. You might also need to start hanging up the shower mat to dry instead of leaving it on the ground. Any objects kept low to the ground could be at risk of getting chewed. This includes your shoes!
Buy what you need
Don’t get yourself a dog until you’ve got everything you need for it already at home. This will result in the dog having the clearest possible understanding of everything when they arrive. Things you will need include bowls for food and water, a carrier, bedding, food, and a poop scooper. You can buy all these things at any local pet store or find a pet shop online.
You’ll also need to stock up on cleaning supplies, there will be accidents! Puppy pads might be useful during the early stages of toilet training.
Getting your family prepared
With pets comes responsibility. Your family needs to be prepared for this. You need to agree on who is responsible for what when the dog arrives. This includes walking, feeding and cleaning up after it. Will it be an indoor dog, outdoor dog or both? Where in the house is the dog allowed to go? Will it be allowed on the couch or on beds? How about carpeted areas? Ensure your whole family is on the same page for all of these things.
Prepare any other pets
If you already have cats or dogs, ensure they are all up to date with their vaccinations and wormed. Whilst any new pet you get should have received these things, you should protect your current animals just in case.
Speaking of your other pets, you will need to be careful of them when the new dog arrives. Other cats and dogs can get jealous and territorial around new animals. Ensure they get equal attention and feel equally loved when the new pet arrives. This will help prevent any resentment in the future.
Research crate training
Crate training involves buying a cage or pen that will act as the “den” for the puppy. It is meant to be their safe space, rather than a place you send them only for punishments. This is becoming a popular way to train dogs, and you should really give it a shot. You will want to reward your dog for being good and hanging out in their crate, but don’t spend too much.
Find a local puppy school
Assuming your puppy is old enough, you will want to get them into puppy school as soon as possible. It’s always good to train a dog early before they develop bad habits. It’s also good for their socialization. If socialization occurs latter in life your dog may end up being territorial and aggressive towards other dogs.
Bring home the puppy!
Once you’ve looked into the aforementioned items, it is now time to bring home the puppy! Introduce the new puppy to people and other pets slowly if you can, but most puppies will be happy to meet everyone. As mentioned earlier, be careful of how the other animals behave around it. With some research, planning, and preparation your new dog will quickly adapt and love its new home with you.