The day is here! The new puppy arrives! Getting a new dog to join your family is an important event in both your life and the dog’s life, an exciting time for both man and beast!
Hopefully you’ve taken the time to consider the best breed for your lifestyle or the size of your home, particularly if you live in an apartment. It’s handy when your personalities match as well. Most of the time, anyways.
After all, puppies come with growing pains. The good news is you can avoid a lot of problems by following a few simple guidelines.
1. Puppy-Proof Your Home
Not only do you want to avoid the destruction of a pair of expensive shoes, more importantly, you don’t want your new pup to get his teeth on something that could harm him. Dogs chew for plenty of reasons, one of them being the simple desire to explore, just like a baby. Some breeds like to chew more than others, but all puppies will get their teeth into something they shouldn’t at some point. Get your pup a variety of toys and encourage chewing of ‘his’ things, not yours.
2. Respect the Neighbours
Your dog will bark. It’s going to happen. If you live in an old apartment with thin walls then it’s probably a good idea to look for a breed that doesn’t bark at his own shadow. Either way, it’s a good idea to slide a note under your neighbour’s door to let them know of the impending arrival. They’ll be a lot more likely to cut you some slack when the barking starts.
3. Set Up a Private Base
Everyone needs a quiet place to which they can retreat when they get tired or overwhelmed. A crate or a bed your dog can call his own will give them somewhere to nap or relax. The natural denning instinct in dogs is different than humans – we don’t like being confined, but dogs need their own space where they can feel safe and secure. If you have young children, it will also help them learn to respect their new roommate’s space.
4. Mental Prep
Before the new pup arrives, and even before you give strong consideration to adopting a new member of the family, it’s crucial to ask yourself the tough questions.
- Can our home handle it?
- How will we react when he chews up the remote control?
- Will we be able to give him all the comfort and attention he needs?
Welcoming a new member of the family is always accompanied by good moments and difficult ones. There’s no need to hide from the those tough moments like barking, chewing, slobbering or bathroom accidents, but it’s just important to be aware of them and prepared for them.
5. Set Up A Support Network
This one is easy – people love puppies – and crucial. Finding a neighbour or a cousin or a co-worker to puppy-sit or take your pup for walks shouldn’t be too hard. Just make sure you prepare them for potential issues, like barking at other dogs or running wild off-leash. It’s ok to seek assistance with a new dog because we all need breaks sometimes. Plus, being busy with life and work shouldn’t make dog ownership impossible.
We need to make sure we’re prepared when a new pup arrives so we can spend time enjoying the new addition. Following these simple steps will alleviate stress for everyone.
Now, do you feel prepared? Yes? Then there’s only one thing left to do!