Are you getting ready to welcome a new canine companion into your life? As a first-time pet owner, you’ll want to ensure you’re prepared for your new pal. Or you might have had a dog before but are trying to find out how to look after a particular breed. Whatever pet you welcome, we’re here to share the top ten ways to prepare for your four-legged friend.
- Get Purchasing
The first thing to do to prepare for your new pal is to hit the shops to get your essentials. You could order online to get your basics or visit a puppy specialist to find out what you best need for their particular breed. The basics include a bed, leash, collar, and bags to dispose of messes. You may also want to invest in a car harness, and you’ll need some toys and grooming equipment to keep your pooch entertained and clean.
- Know Your New Breed
Researching your breed on a reputable web page will ensure that you have a good understanding of your dog’s needs. Top tips to look out for include:
- Anything relating to how they train and learn
- How often they will need to go for walks
- Their excitability level and how they act around kids and other pets
- Any particular health conditions and food to help combat them
Of course, you will have done this research before you pick up your new pal and bring them home. But it can be good to refresh your memory before you bring them into your lives just so you’re ready for walks around the park or a trip to see family later.
- Buy The Right Dog Food
In addition to hitting the shops for your dog, you’ll need to ensure you’re getting the right dog food based on their age, breed and energy. Their breed will often determine the dog size you’re purchasing food for and what quantity you need.
It’s also important to remember that your dog has been eating a specific type of food from the breeder or rescue center. It’s a good idea to find out what food they’ve been eating before you pick them up, so you can gradually adjust their diet if you need to without causing an upset stomach.
- Get Pet Insurance
When taking on the responsibility of caring for a dog, you must be ready to cover items like vet bills. To mitigate the risk of any unexpected pet care, ensure you investigate pet insurance options before bringing your dog home and visit money comparison sites to find the best price comparison for your budget. It’s also worth checking with your local vet whether they accept the insurance you’re registered with.
- Find A Local Vet
At some point, you may need to get your new pet spayed, neutered and up-to-date with their jabs. As soon as possible, register your dog with a local vet and ensure that they are microchipped from eight weeks old. Getting your pet set up with a local vet is as important as registering with a local GP when you move into a local area.
- Give Them Spaces To Feel Comfortable
Your new dog might be anxious when it first moves in with you, and it’s important to give it space where it feels comfortable to eat, sleep, and play. As much as you can, prepare some secure spaces for your dog with cozy blankets or toys where they can have a bit of space to adjust to their new life. Create tucked-away spaces where they can feel comfortable and hide away if they want to.
- Establish Some House Rules
If there’s anywhere that your puppy or new dog shouldn’t venture into, make this a firm rule from when they enter your home. Either puppy-proof areas to make access difficult with items like baby gates, or avoid playing with them in these areas to make it clear that playtime happens on the floor rather than the sofa or in the living room rather than the bedroom. Be firm and consistent in setting up your dog with clear house rules from day one.
- Dog-Proof Your Home
If there are areas it might not be safe for your dog to go into, make sure doors remain closed and baby gates in place.
You may also want to:
- Hide cleaning products and food in higher areas, out of reach
- Remove stray wires and any choking hazards
- Make sure your home and garden spaces are secure
- Check that plants in your garden or home are not toxic to dogs
Doing this before your four-legged friend arrives will ensure they remain safe, and you’ll avoid any emergency trips to the vet.
- Give Them Time To Adjust
As keen as you are to play and bond with your pet, it’s important to give them time to adjust to their new home. If they are anxious, sit quietly with them and keep your body language calm to help them feel secure. Pets adjust at a different rate from each other. You may find that rescue dogs are a bit more nervous and need to settle or that puppies have more accidents and may have more energy than older dogs.
- Set Them Up With A Trainer
Puppies can be trained in the home for toilet training but can be trained by a professional from around 8-10 weeks old. Older dogs can be trained from any age and may have picked up some bad habits from their previous home. If you need assistance with your dog’s behavior, register with a trainer as early as possible to get some support.
Whether you welcome a puppy or an older dog, some similar rules apply when welcoming canines of any age. Make sure you get the right equipment, food, and safe spaces for when they come home. Ensure you register for a local vet and get the right pet insurance as early as you can. Keep your pet updated on jabs, get them neutered or spayed, and perhaps most importantly, microchipped. Give them time to settle in and enjoy welcoming a new pet to your home in 2023.