Bringing Home a New Puppy
The thought of bringing home a new puppy can be exciting and even a little overwhelming. Making sure you and your family are prepared is the first step to succeed. Holding a family discussion to talk about rules, guidelines, feedings and potty times before bringing home the new puppy is very important, especially when there are children in the home. If the puppy is going to be left alone for long periods of time make sure to check out home care visits.
In addition, sectioning off an area of the home is equally as important to supervise your new little one from getting hurt or into (too much) mischief. It is recommended to keep them in a crate while they are left alone without supervision for the beginning stages of their young lives.
What do I need?
Before you bring your puppy home, be sure you have the following supplies to get you and your new fur ever friend off on the right paw:
- A high quality or premium pet food and treats – this will assure that your new puppy is off to a good and healthy start.
- Food and water bowls. Stainless steel or copper are recommended.
- A leash and collar
- Identification tags to attach to the collar with your puppy’s name and your phone number. It is advisable to also add your veterinarian’s name and phone number.
- Safe chew toys are perfect when your little one is still teething
- Flea, tick, and parasite controls
- Brushes and combs
- Dog shampoo
- Nail clipper
- Vitamins and supplements – please talk with your veterinary clinic first.
- Travel crate for visits to the veterinary office or any other travel.
Will my new pet get along with my children?
The best introduction for children and pets is to allow them to meet prior to the purchasing or adoption phase. Ideally, your children should be a part of the process and choosing the family pet.
Children get very excited (and well who wouldn’t!) over the thought of a new pet, but it is critical that they understand that the new puppy is still fragile. Just like babies and children, puppies need lots of rest, so allow for supervised time periods of interaction throughout the day. Play sessions should not exceed 20 to 30 minutes and no more than 3 times per day when the puppy is still growing.
Loud noises and sudden movements can be very scary for a puppy. Children, especially younger, don’t always understand the fragileness and may be tempted to shout at or around the puppy. Teasing and rough play also form bad habits, such as excessive barking and jumping that will be hard to break if not curbed immediately.
Allow children to take part in helping to care for the dog. Giving them chores such as feeding or brushing the new puppy will help them to take responsibility in the care and upbringing of the new family member and will help them to form a lifelong bond.
Ok, but what about other pets?
Bringing home a new puppy makes us eager to get them settled in right away and part of settling in is getting your new pup acclimated not only to the human members of the family, but also the furry (or maybe furless) residents too. This big world and all the new things can be very exciting, but also very scary for a new puppy, so allowing them to get used to their environment is highly recommended before introducing them to other pets.
Keeping your pets separated for a few days is advisable, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t begin to get familiarized. Start by placing your new little pooch in a gated area or in a crate. Crates act as a den or safe place for a dog, so leaving it open will let them know they can go into their safe zone at any time. Give the puppy and your other pet(s) items that offer scent- this way they can get to know one another before their meeting. Do let your pets smell and touch each other through the crate or pet gate after the first day. Do this several times over the next few days.
Once they’re ready to meet face to face, supervision is essential and an area for them to separate should be readily accessible in the event trouble should arise.
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