Making the decision to get a puppy is a big one. Your entire family should put a lot of thought into it and agree on the responsibilities ahead of time so that there aren’t any surprises. Deciding which breed will fit best into your family, whether you want a dog from a breeder or from a shelter, and who will take on the many responsibilities are things that should be discussed before the new addition comes home.
It’s a good idea to take a vacation day or two from work to help your dog get settled. If you go into the situation with a good attitude and all the necessary equipment, the transition should go smoothly.
What You Will Need
Here’s a list of some of the essentials of puppy-dom:
- Crate. Crate-training your dog from day one is the best thing you will ever to for your dog and for yourself. Crated dogs, when done properly, feel secure and comfortable being in their crates and provide them with a safe place to stay or sleep when unsupervised. Once your dog gets older, he will happily come and go from his crate as he chooses when the door is left open. Although the process can be a long one, your dog will come to love his crate.
- Stainless Dishes. There will be times when your dog has different diets. Hopefully he will eat a high-quality nutritious pet food, but when supplementing his diet with veggies, meats, or wet food, having a nice bowl will make the clean-up easy.
- Collar and Leash. Make sure to have a properly fitting harness or collar that is fitted with his rabies and I.D. tags from the start. This will make vet trips and outings easy.
- Toys. You will learn that you need to keep your dog busy and mentally stimulated to curb many bad behaviors that stem from boredom. Having an array of pet toys is a great way to keep him busy when you can’t be around as well as giving you something to do together. There are soft or hard toys, squeaky or crunchy toys, toys that record your voice, and toys that talk. Find out what he likes best and go with it. My dogs like plain tennis balls the best.
- Grooming Supplies. Have brushes, nail clippers, and shampoo ready for your pup when he gets home.
- Training Aides. Bitter Apple Spray is used to spray on things you don’t want him to chew on. Pet gates are helpful for keeping him out of rooms you don’t want him in. There are books galore on training your dog. The list goes on and on.
Before your dog gets home is the best time to make sure you’ve taken care of any hazardous traps. Once he’s home, you will be very busy and won’t have time to think about the potential hazards that may be around the house.
- Check for holes or gaps in the fence outside.
- Keep anything that you don’t want him to get into closed up. Make use of your closets and keep your shoes and hats put away. Keep controllers and books in tables and on shelves.
- Puppies like to chew. Put cables or wires under rugs or behind furniture. If you can’t, staple them neatly around the baseboards of your room.
Getting a new furry family member is a joyous occasion, and a little advance planning will help ensure a great start for your new little buddy.