So you’ve decided you want to make the commitment to becoming a dog parent. Congratulations! There are few things more rewarding than coming home to a wagging tail and a barrage of wet kisses. Owning a dog for the first time instills a new level of responsibility, patience, and compromise. Here are five tips that will help you prepare for bringing your new furry friend home.
Tip #1 Do Your Homework
You may already have your heart set on a certain breed, but it’s important to do some research before bringing a new dog into your home. Consider factors such as environment and professional life – it wouldn’t be a good idea to get a large, energetic breed if you live in a small apartment and travel often. Also, plan for vet appointments and shots, and be sure to have an emergency medical fund or insurance plan in case of an accident.
Tip #2 Get the Hardware
Have everything ready for when your furry companion comes home for the first time. Items on your pet store shopping list should include a leash, collar, identification tags, dog food, safe dog toys, dog bedding, stainless steel food and water bowl, and a package of disposable doggy waste bags. You may also want to invest in a crate, to ensure that your dog doesn’t get into any trouble while you’re away.
Tip #3 Get the Home Ready
Puppies and new dogs are curious by nature. Dog-proofing your home before the dog arrives is a good way to reduce the number of hazards or catastrophes that may occur. Use adjustable dog gates to keep certain rooms or areas off limits. For the kitchen and bathrooms, be sure to put medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves, and use childproof latches to keep those little paws from prying open cabinets. For teething, there are a number of homemade sprays you can easily make that will keep your pup away from shoes and furniture.
Tip #4 Spend Quality Time
New dogs – especially pups – need to develop a relationship with you and the new world around them right away. Schedule time to begin bonding with your dog. Simple things like communication and feeding them go a long way to develop trust between yourself and your new canine.
Tip #5 Training
Properly training your dog can make life easier in the long run for you both. It is important to instill structure in your dog’s life early on, to prevent bad habits from forming. Crate training and positive reinforcement will better help your new dog learn the difference between appropriate inside and outside behavior.
Remember that it will take time for your new dog to get acclimated to its new home. Click here to learn more dog health and behavior tips that will help you give the best possible care for your new furry companion.