For Preparing Your Home For Your New Family Member!
Preparing Your Home For Your New Dog
START WITH THE BASICS
Dogs, especially younger ones, have an overabundance of energy. Expect your pooch to jump on furniture, chew almost anything in its path and run all over the place in the first weeks in its new home. If there are any objects or pieces of furniture you care deeply about, make sure to put them away or protect them in order to avoid any unfortunate accidents. To curb their excitement, make sure to give them plenty of exercise, whether in the form of regular walks or runs.
THE BARE NECESSITIES
Before bringing your new dog home, you'll need to purchase a bed or blanket, a collar and a leash, food and water bowls, and an identification tag. This last one is extremely important, as only 15 to 20 percent of lost dogs are ever returned to their owners. Make sure to include your name, address and phone number. For a more permanent I.D, you may also want to look into microchips.
PICK THE RIGHT POOCH FOR YOU
Dogs can vary widely in their behavior, health needs, training requirements, and day-to-day care. Some breeds are harder to train than others. Long-coated dogs can be quite beautiful, but require more grooming than short-coated ones. Very active dog breeds can develop behavioral issues if they don't get the daily exercise they need. Consider every aspect of your dog (e.g. gender, age, size) to better prepare yourself for a successful ownership.
KEEP IT OUT OF PAWS' REACH
Each year over 50,000 dogs die from poisoning caused by common household items. These include medications, chocolate, alcohol, rat poison,antifreeze, fertilizer and other chemical hazards. Although we can't mention all of them here, please consult your veterinarian or other trusted sources (ASPCA, PetMD etc.) for a more complete list and prevent your pooch from getting to them.
GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS
If you own a yard and wish to let your dog run outside then a fence is a wise investment. Dogs have an instinctual drive to hunt squirrels, birds, and other critters and can easily become lost chasing after them. With over three million dogs ending up in shelters every year, a fence can help prevent your new family member from running away. Just make sure it's high, deep and sturdy enough for your dog's build. An electric or “invisible” fence is also a an option, but you must remember to train your pooch adequately.
A COMFORTABLE DOG IS A HAPPY DOG
Depending on its age, energy level, and overall health, a dog can sleep anywhere from 12 to 18 hours a day. With so many hours of snoozing time, it's important you set up a cozy bed or crate somewhere in your home for your pooch to have a safe place to sleep. Since dogs are creatures of habit, make sure this is a spot they're allowed to keep for the foreseeable future.
BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING
Each year, over 100,000 instances of pet poisoning are reported. And although seeing a veterinarian is always the best option, there are times when you may have to administer first aid yourself. Consider keeping the following items in your doggy first aid station: ice pack, a few sterile cotton balls and gauge squares, adhesive tape, rubbing alcohol, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. You can never be too careful!