Deciding to bring a dog into your life is a huge commitment. It’s akin to having a child and all the responsibilities that come with it! Choosing to share your life with a dog means that your life will probably never quite be the same again – but that’s probably a good thing!
You might be introducing a new puppy into your family, or you’re giving a rescue dog some much needed love and attention, I’m sure you’re counting down until you bring that pooch home. But before you take this huge step, your home needs to be ready and there are a few things you should know. Read on for 5 ways to prepare you home for your new dog.
Prepare for accidents
I’m not talking slips and falls – although tripping over an excited puppy isn’t unheard of – I’m talking of course about toilet training. It’s a good idea to designate an area where your dog can go to the toilet. If it’s an older dog and you’re introducing them to the neighbourhood then look out for dog signs and don’t let your dog make a mess on the pavement. And don’t forget that positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog! Once they see that they’ll be praised for going in a certain place, they’ll want to repeat that behaviour.
Don’t delay – get a vet
Do some research, talk to you friends with dogs, and find a vet that is close to your home. Still not sure how to choose? Check out these tips for finding a vet. Then book an appointment and take your puppy in for vaccinations. If you adopted from a reputable rescue group, they should provide you with medical records. Be sure to make sure your dog is chipped and the information is up-to-date. The chip just might be your dog’s ticket home if he or she gets lost. If you’re adopting an older dog, by all means book an appointment. The veterinarian will give your dog a check-up and recommend any vaccination boosters or treatments that are needed that they might need. You’ll be giving your some experience at a vet practice that may come in handy later.
Make sure everyone knows their role
Bringing a dog into your world is a family affair, which means that everyone should have a role in their care. It’s important that everyone knows which job is theirs before you bring the dog home. Someone to feed the dog and to wash their bowls, walks, toilet duties, playtime and of course, training. Until every family member is on-board, you’ll want to wait to bring a dog home.
Puppies – despite being so small – can cause a lot of havoc! So it’s important to not only protect your belongings but also keep the puppy safe and prevent them from hurting themselves. Things like putting shoes out of reach, taping down electrical cables, ensuring anything chewable wasn’t on the floor, moving chemicals to higher places etc. And don’t forget securing the yard! A strong fence, secure gate and check for flowers and plants that could be toxic to your pet.
It’s natural to want to give your dog lots of love and attention the moment they come through the door, but it’s just as important not to overwhelm them. Provide a crate for your dog, with blankets and toys in side, when they are crated … don’t let children bother them. All dogs, just like people need a place where they can feel safe and recharge. Find the balance between lots of praise and lots of space to explore and get used to their new home.
This is a collaborative post.