What To Expect When You are Expecting (A New Pet, That is) - Puppy Prep!
Getting a new pet is an exciting and fun time. But with most things in life, a little prep work beforehand will go a long way to set up everyone involved for success. We believe that there are multiple aspects that you should decide and set up before bringing them home. Since puppies tend to be the ones requiring the most planning, we will focus on them. However, a majority of these tips can be used for any aged pet coming into their new home. Here are a few things to consider to help get everyone started out on the right paw:
Choose Your Vet
Make sure you have your veterinarian chosen and an examination scheduled within 48 hours of pickup. This can identify any early health issues and can be used to work with the breeder (if applicable) if there are any concerns.
Sign Up For Training
Pick a trainer who has a good reputation and uses positive reinforcement methods. Get them signed up for class at the earliest age they will allow you to enroll. This is great to get them socialized, but it's also important that someone observe you as the owner interacting with your puppy. Trainers can help us with our body language and cues to connect better with our puppy.
Decide on Words, Rules, and Schedule
Consistency is the name of the game for puppies or any new pet. First, you need to decide what are going to be your training words, and communicate that to all involved. If one person uses the word “down” for jumping on people, and another says “off”, this can cause the pet confusion. These words should coincide with what you are doing with your trainer. Second, everyone needs to be on the same page for the rules and boundaries. Decide as a family what is off limits. Can they go on the furniture or be in the same room as people eating? One family member telling your pet to get off the sofa, but another calling them up to snuggle can also send mixed signals. Again, consistency goes a long way to solidify behavior. Third, make a schedule and stick to it. Setting regular times to eat and scheduling walks/exercise time can help establish routines and eliminate accidents. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Prep The House
You will need to prepare your house for the new family member. Puppy-proof to make sure anything that could hurt your pet— medicines, chemicals, certain plants — is out of reach. We suggest creating a gated-off living space for your dog or puppy where they can’t damage your belongings or eat something that will make them sick. They can hang out here when you are home, but not able to give your full attention to them. Pick a room that’s a center of activity in your household, so your dog won’t feel isolated, and be sure it’s one with easy-to-clean floors. You may also want to keep a crate in this area as well. Make sure you remove anything that you don’t want chewed on or soiled. They are curious by nature and their mouths will find a way to stay busy. We suggest crate training for a new puppy when you are not home or if you need to work uninterrupted. This gives them a safe space to retreat to when they need a break as well.
Buy Your Supplies
You will need to stock up on items for your fur-friend.
Two non-tip bowls for food and water.
Consider investing in a crate of an appropriate size. It should be able to accommodate the adult dog comfortably, and should come with separation grills to make the inside smaller, and a tray to make it easier clearing up any accidents.
Soft, washable bedding for the inside(if they are a chewer we suggest no bedding to avoid them ingesting it).
If you have chosen not to use a crate you will need to purchase some alternative bedding.
Enrichment toys and chew toys.
Collar and lead, snap-on collars are the best for puppies.
Correct shampoo for your puppy’s coat
Brushes and grooming tools
Baby gates if you need to keep the puppy away from stairs or keep it in a certain room.
Set Up Your Support System
Just like a human newborn, it sometimes takes a “village” to raise your new pet. Identifying who you can rely on to help with care is important. Who is taking care of Fluffy when you go on vacation? Or while you are at work? If you have a family member, great! If no one is available, or you just don’t want to burden them with the responsibility, let us step in! Our PUPPY PLAY TIME service options are a great help!