New puppies are a wonderful addition to any family; Regardless of his color, breed, or whether he’s smooth or fluffy, a new puppy seems to possess this uncanny ability to wiggle his way right into the heart. Getting a new puppy is exciting too, and there are always so many things to decide. What do we feed him? Where will he sleep? When should he get his shots and how do we go about housebreaking him? Deciding to become a new pet owner requires a great deal of responsibility and, if you aren‘t prepared, it can really make your head spin. Before you start to feel overwhelmed by the puppy pandemonium, here are some helpful reminders and hints to keep in mind:
Before You Purchase or Adopt a Puppy
There are several key things that should be taken into consideration before you go out and get a puppy. While they may seem like common sense, they are commonly overlooked in the excitement and worthy of note. If you haven’t gotten your puppy already, be sure to think over the decision carefully and try to follow these simple steps:
1. Make sure that the decision to get a new pet is a family decision. A new puppy should never be brought into the home unless everyone in the home is in agreement. Sadly, there are a large number of people in the world who have allergies and have to avoid certain pets; be sure to be considerate and talk it over with everyone first.
2. Look at your lifestyle. Remember that puppies don’t possess magic qualities that will transform a couch-potato into a marathon runner, an English Bulldog doesn’t make the best jogging partner, and , if you tend to have a very busy lifestyle, high-maintenance beauties like the Yorkshire Terrier or Maltese may not be a wise choice. Be sure that, not only are you ready for a pet, but that you choose a pet that will compliment your lifestyle, just as you compliment his.
3. Familiarize yourself with the breed. This is especially important if the dog that you plan on getting is a purebred. Not only do you need to familiarize yourself with your puppy-to-be so that you can make a wise choice, but it’s also important to learn about the breed for health conditions. Is the breed prone to any genetic defects? Is hip dysplasia common? What about allergies? Some dogs do extremely poorly under anesthesia while other breeds are very susceptible to chemicals in flea treatments. Take the time to do a little research and read up on the kind of puppy you’d like to get.
Bringing Your New Puppy Home
So the big day is here and it’s time to bring your new puppy home. Congratulations! By now, the puppy panic might be setting in, but never fear – these important steps and reminders should help to ensure that nothing is forgotten and that the transition should be as easy as possible for both you and your puppy.
First off, you need to figure out transportation for your puppy. Please don’t think that you can take a new puppy and just set him down beside you on the car seat, as this can be very dangerous, not only for you but also for the puppy. Remember that this is probably one of his first car rides and he’s bound to be frightened and curious. Leaving him free roam of the car puts him at risk from tumbling off the seats or, worse, crawling under the driver’s legs and risking an accident. Of course, it’s not a good idea to have someone hold your puppy either – remember that, when puppies get scared, it’s not uncommon for them to piddle or get sick to their stomach. For your puppy’s safety, as well as your own, be sure that you have a crate to transport him properly.
Taking Your New Puppy For A Veterinary Exam
Before you bring your puppy into your home, you will want to swing by the veterinarian’s office first. While you may be able to tell great deal from your puppy’s appearance, a vet can check him for more serious conditions, as well as administer any vaccinations that your four-legged friend may require. Do this right away, especially if you have other pets in the home. Also speak with your veterinarian regarding feeding your puppy; how much should he be eating and how often. Some breeds, such as Yorkies, can develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if they go too long between meals.
Introducing Your New Puppy To Other Family Pets
Once you get home, carry out introductions with any other pets carefully and with constant close supervision. It’s easy for other pets to feel apprehensive or jealous towards the new puppy, so it’s important that you take the time to introduce him to the other pets. Some places will even allow you to carry out introductions before you even adopt your new pet, giving you the chance to see how both animals will react together when on neutral ground. This is the ideal way of introducing the two, as it prevents the established pet from feeling that he has to defend his territory, but whether you perform introductions at home or not, be sure to take it slow and be patient. Always praise your old pet and make just a big a fuss over him as you do the newcomer.
Puppy-Proofing Your Home and Yard
Puppy-proofing your home and yard is also essential. Take the time to get down to his level and look your home over, top to bottom. Tape down any electrical cords to ensure he cannot chew on them or apply a product, such as Bitter Apple, to discourage chewing. Check your home for toxic houseplants and any chemicals that puppies may get into (anti-freeze is especially tasty to pets and very deadly). Also be sure to block off any stairs that a puppy can climb up or tumble down, as puppies tend to be very clumsy for the first few months of life. Even once your house is puppy-proofed, however, remember that puppies are like children and should have constant supervision. Always be watchful when your puppy is on the prowl.
Housebreaking Your New Puppy
House training puppies is always a major concern and, in truth, there is only one way to housetrain a puppy: through observation and patience. Puppies are creatures of habit and so, by feeding him at the same time every day and by observing your puppy, you will learn when he needs to be taken outside. Most puppies need to go outside after eating or drinking, when they first wake up from a nap, or right after vigorously playing. Do not yell at your puppy, if he does have an accident, as this just teaches him to be sneaky. Instead, calmly take your puppy outside every two hours and spend time with him, telling him to “go potty,” regularly, until he learns what it is that you expect of him.
What Will Your New Puppy Need?
Important items to have on hand for your new puppy should include at least a week’s supply of the food that he was originally being fed at his old home (mix it in with his new food gradually, if you plan to change him over), some teething and chew toys (rubber bones and rope pulls are much safer than rawhide, which is hard for them to digest), and your new puppy should have a crate that is large enough to accommodate him comfortably as an adult dog.
Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting event. If done properly, you and your puppy are sure to make the necessary transitions with ease and will soon be on the path to enjoying a long and happy life together. Hopefully these tips will help keep everyone smiling and tails wagging.