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Preparing For Your New Dog - What You Need to Know Before He Comes Home

Preparing yourself and your household before, during, andafter your pet comes home is an essential step to successfullyintegrating your new puppy or dog into its newenvironment. Give the new puppy or dog plenty of time toadjust; most experts recommend at least ten days. And, ifpossible, be sure to bring the extra addition at a time whenyou will be home for a period of two or more days in a row.These first few days are a shock and he needs a comforter tobe there.

So, before you bring your new dog home, especially if it's apuppy, you'll have to prepare your house for the arrival.Buy two new bowls, one for water and another for food. Thesmaller the dog, the smaller the bowl needed. You may evenconsider a propped bowl holder, which helps lessen thestress on the animal's neck, and keeps spills from occurringas often. Be sure to place the bowls and food in anotherroom of the house, away from other pets.

You will also want to purchase a leash for your puppy ordog. A four to six foot leash should do, even for trainingpurposes. If you have your dog's comfort in mind, perhapswhen he is trained, you may want to try a harness leash. Thistype of leash attaches to the dog's torso. Some newer modelsare made for leash training as well.

When you bring the dog home, you should have some foodall ready for him. If it's a puppy, it's best to talk to aveterinarian about a brand good for puppies. The vet willmake a choice based on the puppy's age, weight, and dietaryneeds. Never feed a puppy adult dog food, as it is notengineered for their touchy digestive systems. With an olderdog, ask the shelter what brand they used for dog food. Ifyou don't like their brand, at least take home a week's worthof their brand of food while he is getting used to his newhome. Then, slowly introduce the newer type of food to hissystem.It's also important to be consistent with the food you giveyour puppy. Just as babies get colic or have other problemsfrom using the wrong formula or changing it, puppies suffersimilar problems which will make you both miserable in theend. So make sure you don't just buy the weekly special ondog food. In the end, I guarantee it will cost you more thanit saves.

You are also going to need the three essential T's:

Often toys are made for chewing, and it's important for yourpuppy to be able to chew while teething. Ropes, fleece-linedchew toys, and some rubber products make great toys forpuppies. For older dogs, you might try other rubber chewtoys (balls, play bones, etc.) and rawhide bones. Next, giveyour puppy or dog treats for successful behaviors-alongwith lots of petting, attention, and the repetition of his name.Be sure, however, to do this extra playtime away from otherpets that were there before the new addition. Give eachmember five or seven minutes play intervals away from theother until they're more fully adjusted to one another. And,better yet, put up a small gate to keep the animals separatedduring this adjustment period.

Finally, be sure to dog-proof your home. Move all poisons,including plants (especially philodendron plants) and allcleaning supplies to a safe location. Remove pants, shoes,books and electric cords out of the puppy's reach. With anolder dog, you may not have to be as careful as long as hewas accustomed to living indoors. But, to be safe, youshould not assume anything. And, best of all, give thepuppy or dog his own space to sleep; a comfy corner awayfrom the other animals at night.

With these precautions, you and your new friend will adjustmuch more smoothly together with no hard feelings.

About the Author:
Tina Spriggs is an expert dog lover whose lifelong interest in canines provides the motivation for her site. To learn more about dogs or to find gifts and toys for them visit her site at Dog Gifts and Toys for Dog Lovers.

Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.

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