You Got that Puppy in the Window

Preparation tips for new dog owners
Preparation tips for new dog owners

Your friend just showed up at your door with a furry friend. You pet them and note how cute they are. In fact, this pup seems to look just like the one you spotted in the window last week. And what do you know, you’ve just been surprised with a new member to your household. This can be a little exciting at first, but it can also be a little unsettling, especially if you haven’t made any preparations to accommodate your new friend.

While you may adore your new friend, you aren’t exactly prepared for what you need to do now that you’ve become a new dog owner. It’s important to understand that owning a dog is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. They will change your life in many ways, many of which will be a blessing if you understand the responsibilities of what it means to be a dog owner.

Puppy proofing your home

First things first, your pup is a surprise to both you and everyone else in your home. So, you’re going to need to puppy-proof their new environment. It’s best to start in a particular location. Dogs that have been freshly introduced into a new environment will not only need to be confined to smaller areas, but will actually feel more comfortable in them. This is because there are new sounds, scents, and activity that they won’t necessarily understand. Additionally, it’s about their safety as well. This means that you’re going to be cleaning up the house and getting ready for a small and curious companion who will undoubtedly find interest in just about everything.

Power cords are a big issue, especially around the holidays. Not only can they be chewed on, but they can also be a tripping hazard for young puppies who haven’t quite gotten a hold of their balance yet.

Chewable items can be just about anything, and the smaller they are, the more dangerous. Controllers, devices (electronics like your Xbox), cell phones, and even loose change can all be attractive items to nibble on or swallow.

Then there are the downright dangerous items that include chemicals and even food products. As a new pet owner, it’s important to understand what can hurt a dog that we humans often take for granted. Harsh cleaners should find their way into top cabinets. But, food is a hazard that many new owners don’t think about at first. Chocolate is well known as a dangerous poison to dogs, but the list also includes onions, avocados, alcohol, caffeine, and grapes, to name a few. As a new pet owner, it is wise to only feed your dog healthy dog food and refrain from any table scraps.

Addressing their needs

Preparing the home is one thing, but you’re also going to need to figure out what it is that your puppy needs from you. Feeding- what should you feed them? What’s in a healthy diet? Pay attention to what your choice dog food is designed for, such as puppy mix, adult, senior, or weight. The contents, texture, and size will all affect your dog’s ability to eat and their general health (puppies require more fatty acids and growth-stimulating nutrients).

And if they eat, they’re going to have to go potty. Choose a location for your dog to potty and take them back to it right after they’ve finished eating. Proposing a command will help associate your dog with the purpose of their particular visit to the potty location. Just be sure that your designated potty area and command remain the same throughout the training process.

The right toys for your pup

Toys are something else entirely. Young puppies aren’t picky about what they play with, so you could give them anything and they’ll jump right on it. Just be cautious about hard-plastic toys, stuffed animals, and objects that could be swallowed. Plush toys that lack stuffing are available and tend to be the softest for a young puppy’s choice entertainment.

While toys are good for entertainment, a young puppy is going to seek out your attention. You are after all, their new best friend. They trust you, look to you to teach them all the good habits, and to keep them happy. While the season can be full of hustle and busy schedules, this is the most important responsibility for any dog owner.

Being surprised with a new friend does happen, especially during the holiday season. Not everyone who gets a dog is expecting a dog. And while many people consider a dog a wonderful gift, it’s important to remember that it is the happiness that comes from the experience that is the true gift.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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