When you decide that it is time to make the big move and bring a new dog or puppy into your home, he or she will bring so much joy to your life. However, before you bring your new pal home, you want to make sure that this dog is the right fit for you and your family. Owning a dog is a big commitment, a worthwhile one, but there are some steps you should take to ensure that the dog will be comfortable once you bring him or her home.
Make sure everyone in your house is on board with having a dog. All the members of the family should want the dog and be willing to take on the responsibilities with you. Who will walk the dog? Will everyone ask your new dog to sit and stay before feeding? Who will clean the yard? Will everyone use the same commands? Is she allowed on the couch? You get the idea. You want to be in sync so the new dog or puppy is not confused.
Do your homework on breeds and personality types. Every dog is different, but there are some common traits in some breed types. For instance, Labradors are very active and will need a lot of exercise, puzzles, and time to keep them happy. Labradors are also very friendly so they tend to get a long with children and other dogs. But, they are also bigger dogs. Therefore, if your family and/or lifestyle would be more in tune with the requirements of a smaller dog, than you should choose from another family or mix of breed.
I can’t wait to meet my new family!
MAKE SURE TO HAVE THE RIGHT SUPPLIES
Stock up on pet supplies. Your pet will need a few things to be happy such as water and food bowls, a bed, a crate, leash, collar, toys, and a pet emergency kit. If you will be switching food from what she was eating, do it gradually by mixing the old brand with the new brand. This may mean having two bags of dog food open for a little bit.
DOG PROOF YOUR HOME
It is important to dog proof your home. If you have any electrical cords loose, make sure tuck them away. You should get safety latches for the cabinets that contain poisonous chemicals. Keep those items that your dog could swallow off the floor. You might even want to get down on a dog level and look around to see with might tempt her to chew on….think of it as similar to baby proofing you house.
Sign up for puppy classes. Obedience training can help bond your dog to you and the family, teach you techniques that you may not be aware of, and help your dog adjust to your house. Even just a few lessons will help you get on the right track.
FIND A LOCAL VETERINARIAN
Find a veterinarian and make an appointment. After adopting your new dog, a physical is a good way to check to make sure she’s healthy or has any underlying issues that you’ll have to keep in mind. If you don’t have a veterinarian already, ask your friends who have vets who they use and like. Make this appointment soon after you bring her home to make sure your new dog is healthy and doesn’t have any specific needs.
Good luck with your new dog…it will be a lot of work at the beginning, but worth the effort.
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