Are you thinking of adding a dog to your family? They really can be wonderful pets but you need to be prepared for when they arrive or you may have a few problems. You should make sure that everyone is aware of their duties as far as the dog is concerned. Decide who will feed the puppy and who will take it for a walk. The dog needs to feel accepted and loved by every member of the family if you want them to settle in as comfortably as possible.
Plan What You Need To Buy
A dog needs their own space. Somewhere they can go when they do not want to be bothered with anyone and just want peace and quiet. This can be a bed or basket, and it should be one of the first things you invest in. Everyone should know that that is their space and not approach the dog while they are in there.
Then there are things like feeding and water bowls, leash, collar, toys and food. You should make a list of everything you need before going out to buy so that nothing gets forgotten. Be sure to buy the right food for the age of the dog. Puppies, for instance, need food that is easy to digest.
Don’t Forget They Are A Baby
A puppy is a baby dog and there are many things you should do the same as you would with a baby human. Make sure there is nothing lying around they can hurt themselves on and that all medicines and unsafe foods, which you can read about in this very thorough pet safety guide, are out of their reach. Puppies are inquisitive and they will not know what is bad for them so it is up to you and the rest of the family to ensure that anything that could harm them is not easy for them to get to.
They are also inventive, so leaving something on a table, for example, may not be enough. You may think it is out of their reach but they will soon figure out that climbing on a chair will get them to what they can see. Things they should not have are best put in closed cupboards so they are out of sight.
Make Your Home Puppy Proof
Puppies like to chew things so tape up wires wherever possible, and make sure anything they could choke high is kept in high places. Check your garden fences to make sure they cannot get out, as until you train them they will not have any road sense. Your garden should be as safe for them to play in as your home so you need to make sure there are no garden tools left lying around that they could hurt themselves on.
Don’t wait until they are poorly to try and find a good vet. Investigate all the ones within easy reach of you and decide which is the best. Register your dog with them as soon as possible because there will be injections they need, worming tablets and possibly other things too. It is not a bad idea to have them checked out by the vet as soon as you can after bringing them home.
While looking at vets, you may also want to consider pet insurance, as some treatments can be very expensive. Usually, for a small monthly fee most illnesses and treatments are covered so you do not have to worry that you will not be able to afford whatever it is they need.
Decide Where You Want Them To Poo
Dogs can be creatures of habit and if you teach them from day one where you expect them to poo, they will generally always use the same place. Just remember in the early days to praise them every time they use the spot you want them to. Puppies love praise and cuddles and you will just reinforce it in their mind that this is the place to go for their toilet needs.
If it is an older dog you are adopting, they are probably already house trained and just need to know where to use. However, with a puppy you may be starting to get them clean from scratch and that takes time and patience. Once they are house trained though, they never usually revert to messing in the home unless they are ill and cannot control it.
Be Ready To Give Them Love Without Smothering
Little pups love cuddles but they do not like to be smothered. This can be a bit of a problem if you have small children who can be overwhelmed by the new addition to the family. Make sure the children know that when the dog arrives, they first of all just need to wander round and get their bearings. When they are ready for cuddles they will approach people, but make sure it is love that does not smother them or they will not come back for more.
Are You All Ready?
Bringing a new dog into your home can be very exciting for the whole family and if you are sure you have everything prepared, now you are ready to fetch them. Have you got to transport them home in a car? If so, make sure they are safely secured, as you have to remember they are with strangers and might be a bit nervous.
Try to fetch them when you have time off work so that you can devote a day or two to them while they start to settle in. It does not normally take very long for a dog to become accustomed to their surroundings, but it is even easier for them if they people they are going to be living with are around for the first few days.
It is said that dogs are mans best friend, and there are always stories about how they have looked after their masters in nasty situations. Take good care of your dog and you can be assured of a loyal and loving pet who will be around for many years.