Are you adding a new furry member to your family?
Whether you’re purchasing your pup from a breeder or adopting one of the 3.1 million dogs that enter shelters every year, you want to make your home as pleasant as possible for your canine companion.
Here are four things you need to do to prepare your home and family for a new dog.
Stock Up on Supplies
It’s important to have an area set up for your new dog before you bring her home.
Place food, water, toys and a comfy bed in a quiet part of your house.
If your dog isn’t fully house-trained yet, put some puppy pads on the floor to soak up accidents.
Ask the breeder or shelter what food your dog is accustomed to eating and purchase the same kind.
Introduce any new foods gradually to prevent stomach upset.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
Puppies, young adults and even some older dogs like to chew, dig and cause destruction, so keep your belongings and your dog safe by puppy-proofing your home.
Add anti-chew coverings to electrical cables, keep small objects and expensive items put away and protect furniture with waterproof covers.
Consider crate-training your dog to keep him out of trouble at night.
Secure Your Backyard
Letting your dog play in the backyard is a great way to give her exercise, but an ill-secured yard can lead to losing your furry friend.
Make sure your dog’s outdoor space is secured with chain link fencing that is too tall to jump over and buried deep enough to prevent digging out.
Keep an eye on your dog while he’s playing outdoors and consider a microchip to help find him if he gets lost.
You can also install invisible fencing that keeps your dog contained with a high-pitched sound.
Learn About Your Dog
Education is important for giving your new dog the best care.
Learn how to train your dog with basic commands to help keep her out of trouble.
You should also research your dog’s breed to make sure you’re providing the proper amounts of food, grooming and exercise and to learn about any breed-specific health or behavior concerns.
Remember, adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment.
Make sure you have enough time and energy for your new pup before bringing her home.
If you have issues with your dog, consult with a professional like a veterinarian or trainer before giving up.
Many dog behavioral problems are easy to solve with expert help.