Congratulations on your decision to add a dog to your family! Whether you’ve chosen to purchase your new pet from a breeder offering puppies for sale or adopt from a shelter or animal rescue, you are in for an exciting journey. To make the transition to dog ownership as smooth as possible, take the following steps before bringing your new addition home for the first time.
Purchase The Essentials
At a minimum, your new pup will need pet food, bowls for food and water, a leash and collar and a bed. Depending on where you get your dog, the breeder or adoption center may send you home with a small kit to get you started. Take the dog’s size and breed into account as you decide what to buy, and remember that there will be time, later on, to pick out extra toys and such.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
If you are bringing home a very young puppy, you can expect him or her to chew just about anything within reach and have more than a few “accidents” over the course of the housebreaking process. Many dog owners choose to put up gates in order to limit the dog to non-carpeted areas of the home, at least for the first few months.
Take Some Time Off of Work or School (If Possible)
The initial adjustment phase immediately after bringing a new dog home is quite time-intensive. If possible, it is very helpful to dedicate time to being at home with him or her. If you are not able to take time off, make sure to have a neighbor or friend stop by to give frequent walks.
Once again, congratulations on your decision to get a dog! Although there is plenty of work and responsibility involved, you will find that the rewards are simply immeasurable.