Preparing for a New Puppy
If you’ve recently decided to adopt a new puppy, congratulations! You’re about to embark on a new adventure with a cute, furry friend. However, there are bound to be difficulties along the way. So you’re going to need to prepare well to be ready to welcome your puppy home. Start by trying some of the following tips.
Choose the Right Puppy
Your first order of business is to choose the right puppy for your situation. Learn about various dog breeds, for they have distinct characteristics and temperaments. Make a short list of breeds that would work well for your family. Think about size, too. You don’t want a Great Dane in a tiny apartment.
Perhaps you’re satisfied with a cute mutt. There’s nothing wrong with that. Visit your local animal shelter to choose a puppy. But do take into consideration skittishness and potential size when full-grown. If you aren’t especially sure that a puppy is right for your family, consider adopting an adult dog who needs a good home.
Do Your Research
Always do your research before making a big change like adopting a puppy. Start reading as soon as you get the idea. Learn about puppy care, feeding schedules, the benefits of crate training and housebreaking. Talk to friends and relatives who have gone through the puppy stage, and ask for tips. You should know as much as possible before you bring your dog home, but don’t expect to be an expert until your puppy is living in your house. You never know what will come up.
Develop a Care Plan
You should, however, develop a care plan for your new puppy. Make a list of chores to do, things to buy and routines to put in place. Also think about the first steps in training. If you’ve got all this written down, you’ll be less likely to panic when you bring your puppy home. Of course, you’re going to have to be flexible to a point. Puppies are quite unpredictable.
Line Up a Vet
As part of your research and planning, line up a regular vet. Your puppy will need checkups and vaccinations. Look for recommendations online, or ask pet-owning friends. Read reviews, and check prices as well. Don’t feel locked in to your first choice, however. If you decide after a couple visits that the vet isn’t a good fit, then make a change. Otherwise, rely on your vet for advice and guidance especially through the first few weeks of puppy ownership.
Puppy Proof the House
Even before you bring your puppy home, puppy proof your house. Puppies chew, so if there’s anything you don’t want chewed, pick it up, and put it away. This goes for books, shoes, clothing and other household items. Also, guard against anything that could harm your puppy. This includes electrical cords, cleaning products, sharp objects, plants and medications. Look for anything that your puppy could choke on, and stash it out of reach.
Make sure that your puppy has a safe, designated area just for it. This might be a crate or gated area with a bed or blanket, water and toys. You can put a rambunctious puppy there for a while to get a break and calm your nerves. Otherwise, always supervise your puppy until it learns boundaries.
Finally, make every effort to stay calm. A new puppy can be stressful and unpredictable. As much as you research and prepare, you never know what might happen next. This shouldn’t deter you from adopting a puppy by any means, but you do need to learn how to stay calm when things get crazy. After all, dogs can sense your stress and anxiety and respond accordingly. So if need be, put the puppy in its crate, and clean up the mess. Then relax. Your puppy will grow and, with the right training, become a terrific dog.
Puppies are both challenging and immensely loveable. So prepare well to welcome this new furry member of your household.
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