This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jenn Lee
5 Simple Ways You Can Prepare for Bringing Home Your New Dog
The addition of a canine buddy to your home comes with great anticipation and emotion, but it is also a serious undertaking of responsibility. Animal behavior tends to be unpredictable, so having ample provisions and some structure in place ahead of time will allow you to focus on your pet instead of scrambling to cope. Following these five steps will make your new pooch’s transition smoother for both of you.
Have All the Supplies You Need
Dogs need stuff. They probably don’t have to have every item offered at the pet store, but some basics are necessary. A crate and bedding, food, food and water bowls, treats, a collar, a leash and an identification tag with your phone number are the bare essentials you should have at first. Hygiene products like shampoo and a brush will also be needed before long. You can even save yourself some money and ensure pure ingredients by making your own homemade dog shampoo. Don’t go overboard on toys and clothes until you get to know your new best friend and discover what he or she likes.
Establish Household Rules
Having some rules in place before your dog arrives makes it easier to be consistent. The entire family should be on board with theories of whether the dog will be allowed in all rooms and on furniture, where he will sleep and eat, and how feeding, walking and cleaning up after will be
delegated. If everyone doesn’t follow the same rules with the dog, he can get confused and think he’s in charge of the domain.
Make a Plan for Introducing Your Home to the Dog
Knowing ahead of time what you will do with the dog when he first arrives can lessen the chaos. If there are children in the house, prepare them with the proper way to approach a dog, so they don’t frighten each other. Placing the dog on a leash will show him he has limits. Starting on the outside of the home can be beneficial, as the dog will be able to stiff things out and get a potty break. Keep the leash on when you enter the house, and let him explore the main rooms where he will be allowed. The dog may be pretty excited or scared, and your family will have heightened emotions as well, but try to keep the atmosphere quiet and calm to prevent the dog from feeling too anxious. Have someone home with the dog as much as possible for the first few days, and it is better to limit his exposure to strangers until he is more bonded with you.
Consider the Dog’s Health and Select a Veterinarian
Depending on the situation your new pooch comes from, it is likely that a trip to the vet should happen in the first few days. Be sure you find a vet that comes highly recommended and have an appointment scheduled. It is a good idea to avoid dog parks until the vet visit, in case there are any missing vaccinations. If you already have other pets in the house, be sure they are healthy and current on their vaccines before the new dog is xposed to them.
Research Dog Training?
Training your dog begins the moment you take ownership. Do some research on basic dog training to get you through the early days of asserting control over the dog. Be prepared with the verbal commands you’ll need to start setting the dog’s boundaries. If your new dog is an adult, there is a good chance some of these will already be familiar to him. Once the dog has been with you for a while, it may become obvious that formal instruction by a professional trainer is warranted.
You want to give your new doggie the best home you can, so doing some preparation ahead in advance of his arrival will create a more welcoming and comfortable environment.
Jenn Lee, is a family blogger and proud parent of Reggie the Golden Retriever .