Everyone knows that dogs are a person’s best friend. They are the first person to come running to the door when you come home and the last person to deny you any affection. Puppies bring a lot of joy to a household, but they are also not easy to take care of. If you are thinking of getting a puppy, here are some things to keep in mind to prepare and make the process as easy as possible.
- Preparing your home
Before bringing your puppy to your home, you must make sure to puppy proof it to prevent any mishaps. This is a lot like baby proofing a home. The best method for this is to get down to the level of a puppy and find out what may be harmful to your new friend. Some things to watch out for can be electrical cords, toxins (ant traps etc.) and breakable items.
In order to keep a puppy you must have the legal right to do so. If you are unsure of what the legal obligations are to keep your puppy, check with the local authorities in your city/state. Most dog licenses come at an affordable price and come with a tag that should be placed on your puppy’s collar.
- Supplies for your puppy
Aside from the necessary licensing forms and tags, there are other supplies that your puppy needs for their added comfort. You should get a water bowl, some chew toys (especially if the puppy is teething), a dog bed and, depending on your preference, a crate or kennel for when you are not home.
The diet of your puppy is a deciding factor in their future health. There are so many brands of dog food that it can get a bit overwhelming trying to figure out which one is best for your puppy. The first step to do is to do some research and ask your vet on what the best option might be. There is a rising trend in all organic foods, so perhaps keep an eye out as to how natural your puppy’s food is and also if they like it.
It is preferred to have a veterinarian chosen before bringing the puppy home. This way, you can take your puppy to a first exam to get informed on their health status, and things to be aware for in the long term. There are a lot of visits to the vet in the first couple months of having the puppy at your home – this is usually due to vaccinations.
While it is a controversial subject, it is best to get the basic immunizations for your puppy. This will prompt more visits to the vet which allows them to keep track of the growth and health of your puppy.
This usually starts the moment you bring your puppy home. Starting it early can put your puppy on a routine that matches yours so that it is more convenient. This stage requires a lot of patience as some puppies may go at a different pace than others. The best thing to do is to maintain a routine and to have a designated spot to go to the bathroom.
- What to avoid
Like humans, dogs have an adverse reaction to certain foods. To prevent your puppy from getting sick, research what types of foods are harmless to your dog. Some examples are chocolate, grapes and coffee grounds.
- Dental care
Dogs need dental care too! It is important to get your puppy in the routine of having their teeth brushed (from three times to once a week), so that their teeth can remain healthy and strong well into their adult life. Avoid using human toothpaste because of the high levels of fluoride and opt getting pet friendly toothpaste at any pet store. Taking care of your dog’s teeth can ensure that no costs will be spent on future dental work.
Typically the first 12 weeks of your puppy’s life is their socialization period. This is the time to introduce your puppy to other furry friends and have them interact with the outside world. This is key to how they will be able to interact with anyone/anything in the future. A socially well-adjusted puppy is good for themselves and the owner.