Preparing your house and family prior to the arrival of your new dog will help ease the transition for everyone and keep things on a positive note right from the beginning. Doing these things as a family is best, so everyone knows it will take a combined effort to care for the dog. Everyone in the house needs to be on the same page as far as rules and how to treat the new pet. As you’re gathering the necessary items, equipment and puppy proofing the home, teach your kids what it will take to care for him daily and train him.
Preparing your family
It’s a good idea to have a family meeting before hand to get everyone on the same page, discuss ideas, and inform children. The first day home will be very stressful for the pup, so it is best to not overwhelm him. Follow his lead and just stay close behind reassuring him in a soft voice. Let him check things out while you give him attention in moderation. Don’t begin any training or discipline in that first few days, with all the changes he won’t retain much. Also keep food and water available even though he may not want much at first. You will want to discuss what words will be used for commands when training does begin. When everyone uses a different variation of commands it confuses them and can prolong training. Just allow him to get used to everything and everyone that first few days.
These items can be purchased anywhere but a few great local places are Just Pets, Dog Savvy, Petco, and PetSmart.
- Choose a Veterinarian
- Dog Food (ask Vet for recommendation)
- Dog Dishes
- Shampoo and Brushes
- Collar and Leash
- Long leash for advanced training
- Gates and/or crate
- ID tag in case he gets lost
When choosing any of these items make sure you’re purchasing them for the appropriate age and size of your dog. For crates make sure it is only big enough for him to lie down comfortably or turn around if needed. Any bigger than that and they will begin using part of it for a bathroom. If they are a young dog buy adult size and block off enough of the crate to only allow him to use the space he needs. This will keep you from buying a puppy crate and an adult crate.
Preparing your home
You will want to puppy proof your home and make sure it is safe for his arrival. Check to make sure there are no electrical cords he can chew on, no chemicals or cleaners out, or anything else he may be able to get into that could hurt him or make him sick. Don’t under estimate them they can get into things you never thought of. Just like a toddler child, get down on the floor at their level and see what they see from their point of view. That will help you find the things that need to be fixed or removed.
Enjoy this time
Most importantly enjoy this time with your pet. Don’t worry about what is to come right now. Just keep an eye out for any strange behaviors, aggression or health concerns. Other than that just make sure he knows that he is welcome and this is his new home where he is now safe and can live happily. Be proud knowing that you helped one of the many dogs who are homeless and are just looking for someone to love them.