This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Mikkie Mills
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Adopting a Dog? Remember These 5 Tips for New Dog Owners
Have you been looking into adopting a new dog? There are many ways to prepare yourself and your household if you are invested in adding a new furry friend to your family. From understanding the local resources you have at your disposal to getting the proper supplies for your home, here’s a list of tips you should keep in mind when getting ready to meet your new
Research Local Pet Care
Put some research into determining what local resources you have available for your dog. In addition to knowing the various veterinarians available in your area, you may want to research local dog boarding options, nearby dog parks and groomers. Go out of your way to select a veterinary office that will suit your needs. If that location isn’t available during non-business hours for emergency situations, look up nearby emergency veterinarians as well. You will want to place a similar amount of research into selecting a groomer. Depending on your new pet’s age and experiences, you may experience the difficulty of taking a nervous dog to the groomer. Focus on finding a groomer who places importance in providing a good experience for pets and who is familiar with animals who may experience anxiety with new situations.
Dog-Proof Your Home
Go through your house and determine what adjustments will have to be made to ensure that your dog will be safe in your home. Place childproof latches on low cabinets to prevent pets from gaining access. Make sure the childproof latches are on any cabinets that house chemical goods that could harm your dog if they were to be ingested. Ensure that any other possibly harmful products are kept out your pet’s reach, such as medicines and health products. Take similar precautions when it comes to living plants that you may have that could be toxic to animals. Secure trash cans to prevent your dog from getting into them or knocking them over. Move or place protective covers over wires and outlets. Put away any small items that your dog could choke on, such as board game pieces and other rinkets.
Prepare for Housetraining
Some dogs may require housetraining to adjust to life in your home. Prepare yourself for the trials of housebreaking your pet by having proper cleaning products on hand in addition to any materials you may need for training purposes. Research housetraining methods to understand what approach you should use to help your pet understand. If you are concerned about possible damage to carpeted areas, you can look to keep your pet contained to areas that have easier to clean surfaces through the use of indoor dog gates until your pet has been properly housetrained.
Determine a Schedule
Figure out what sort of schedule you will be able to set for yourself and your dog. You will want to set aside time for playing, exercise and social engagement. You may also want to put your dog on a specific feeding schedule. Invest time in researching your dog’s breed to get a better
idea of what needs that breed typically has. Some dogs may require a significant amount of exercise while others may need more solitary time. Other dogs may have certain dietary needs which may require a stricter feeding schedule. Set aside time every day to take your dog out for walks and playtime.
Get Them Vaccinated, Microchipped and Licensed
Ensure that your dog has all of the proper vaccinations. If your dog did not already receive vaccinations previous to being adopted, make sure you make an appointment with your vet. You will also want to get your dog microchipped. Having your pet microchipped will help keep your dog safe and will act as proof to establish your ownership in case your dog gets lost. Lastly, make sure your dog is licensed.
By following the tips above, you can help prepare your house to ensure that your dog feels at home within the first few months of joining your family.
Mikkie Mills, is a freelance writer who often writes about family, home improvements and the occasional DIY project.