How To Prepare Your Home For A New Dog
Bringing home a new furry friend is very exciting, and with it brings a list of experiences for both human and companion. You never really know what you’re in for when you bring a dog home because they’re just getting acquainted to a new space, so their personality will slowly start to shine. If you’re ready to adjust your lifestyle for a new dog, there are some steps to take to prepare your home for the new addition.
Preparing for paws
Before the big homecoming, do a thorough cleaning of your house, concentrating on clutter. The more objects that are out and in the way, the more likely your dog’s curiosity will be piqued to chew. This includes things like: electronic cords, musical instruments, shoes, plants, small exercise equipment, and laundry. Make your space as tidy as possible and store any food in cabinets and countertops, out of your dog’s reach. Your dog will be adjusting to everything that is in your house so also pay close attention to choking hazards and household chemicals.
- Timing is critical - When you choose to bring your dog home is hugely important to how they’ll acclimate to their new environment. Plan on bringing your dog home on a weekend or day that you can completely devote to them and getting them used to their new home. On the car ride home, make sure they’re safe and secure either in their crate or in the back of the car. If there are two of you picking them up, have one person ride in the back to comfort and console your dog. Once they’re in the new place, give them room and space to sniff corners and explore their forever home.
- Make sure the basics are covered first - You can either take them to the pet store and allow for them to sniff and possibly sample food, to pick out the dog food they love best. Or, if a food has been established, go out and buy that food. If you and a partner are sharing in the responsibilities, figure out a schedule of when your dog will be walked and who will be walking it. If you’re getting a puppy that is not potty trained, discuss that process and who will be getting up, and when to let the puppy outside.
- Buy fun, new things - This is probably the most fun part of getting a new dog, after all, it’s a shopping spree for your new dog-child! This is shopping online with Pupaholic and picking out new toys, treats, food bowls, leashes, collars, and a bed. Of course picking out dog coats and sweaters is also fun.
- Find a veterinarian - Finding a vet that you are comfortable with is crucial. Your vet is an animal doctor, so they will be seeing your dog when it needs shots and when there are health issues. Make sure you like them and the staff members because they will be caring for your pooch. Also consider the location and proximity, and if there is a 24 hour emergency service. If they do not provide this, make note of where the closest one is, and post the phone number to your fridge.
- Find a great dog trainor - You may have a great dog, but they may need additional support in certain areas. Do a little research or ask around about a good dog trainor. Maybe they need support walking correctly on leash or support in not barking when you’re out — this is when having a trainer on standby is helpful. If you have a puppy, a dog class will be important to instill good, proper behavior and manors.
- Make a file for your dog - If you have a filing cabinet that contains important documents, make sure you add one for your dog. Make sure all relevant information is included such as: immunization records, the breeder or shelter’s information, and any medical history they have. For extra precaution, take a picture of your dog so you have a current one available in case they are lost or stolen.
- Show your dog its potty place - This may not always work out ideally, but taking your dog to a designated space outside — if potty trained — and introducing it allows them to get comfortable being out there. Always use positive reinforcement with your dog, and when they use the correct space for the bathroom. If you’re in the city and don’t necessarily have a backyard, let your dog sniff and explore the dog area or nearby trees and grass that they’ll be using.
- Balance out space - It’s very exciting having a new dog around, and you’ll likely want to introduce them to everyone. While this is great for socialization, take cues from your dog, and make sure they’re not feeling overwhelmed. Give you dog space, but balance it out with a lot of love and cuddles. If you have children, be mindful of how they play with the dog. Make sure you have a conversation with them about how you treat a dog. As a parent, you may have to watch carefully for the first few days, and ease playtime in between the dog and your kids. Overstimulation from kids is an easy way to overwhelm your dog.
- Watch for habits - In the first couple of days, watch what your dog is doing. Observe what their temptations are; it is counter surfing for food? Or, pulling tissue from the bathroom trashcan? Take note, and take action if need be.
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