Congratulations on your new Puppy! Before you bring your furry friend home, make sure you prep your house and family for his arrival. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has put a list together of the top 10 things you should do before you bring home your pup.
1. Stock Up On Supplies
Essentials include food and water bowls, safe chew toys, grooming tools, a harness, an identification tag and bedding. Start your new pup on Freshpet Select Chicken, Vegetable, & Rice, a wholesome, high protein, vitamin-rich food that he or she is sure to love. Depending on the age and weight of your new pup, make sure to follow the proper feeding guidelines for puppies.
2. Distribute Responsibilities
Decide who is going to be responsible for what before bringing your pooch home. Who will walk the dog, when will the dog be fed, who will take the dog to the vet? These are just a few things that need to be decided to avoid conflict in the household.
3. Establish House Rules
Before bringing your new pup home, you need to decide what behaviors are encouraged, and which are forbidden? Consistency is the key to training dogs, so make sure everyone will stick to enforcing the new system.
4. Be Consistent in Training
Do the little one a favor and be consistent with the terms you plan to associate with various commands. You could even write out a list of all the words you want to use so everyone will use the same commands.
5. Dog-proof Your Pup’s Environment
Tuck electrical cords out of the way, install safety latches in lower kitchen cabinets, put pillows out of reach, etc. Make sure items that are dangerous to ingest are off floor level.
6. Learn Some Handy Housetraining Tips
If your new pooch is not yet housetrained, determine where his indoor “potty spot” will be. Figure out your plan to housetrain him, and coordinate with the entire household.
7. Consider a Crate
Crates often give dogs a sense of security by offering them a place that is all their own. Providing your new pooch with his or her own safe and secure spot will help them adjust more quickly.
8. Make it Legal
Find out about your community’s dog licensing rules and apply for a license. This information can usually be found by visiting your state’s department of agriculture website. You can also ask your local shelter for information about the rules.
9. Make a Vet Appointment
Bring your new canine to a caring veterinarian for a wellness exam within one week after adoption. Ask friends or family for referrals or you can look online for veterinarian reviews.
10. Combat Sibling Rivalry
If you have a dog in your house already, before you introduce the new hound, pick up anything your resident dog might guard, such as food bowls, bones, toys and beds. Even if your dog has never exhibited possessive tendencies, it is best to exercise caution.
Make sure to visit our Fresh Forum to engage with other first time dog and cat owners. We would love to get your input!