How to Prepare for a New Dog

December 30th, 2015

225623_1052094591479804_4971795058250736157_nBringing a new dog home is one of the most exciting stages of being a pet parent. Whether this is your first dog, or your fifth, there are some things you should make sure to do to give your new dog a smooth transition into your home.

1. Dog Proof Your Home

To keep cleaning to a minimum, get some dog-proof lids for your trash cans and containers that your dog might be tempted to knock over. To keep your dog from getting into anything that might make him sick, remove all rodenticides, snail bait, fertilizers, and toxic cleaning products from mouth’s reach.

Get the Right Accessories 

Time to go shopping! Make sure you have a collar, leash, choke chain, harness or other leading accessories so you can facilitate safe and controlled exercise and play dates.

Acquire Medical Records

When you take your dog home, make sure you get all medical records detailing previous vaccinations, deworming, surgeries, medications, supplements, and other treatments. Give these to your new vet during the initial examination so you can get your dog’s shots up to date. You can also get a microchip implanted during this check up. Getting your dog chipped will increase the odds he will be returned to you if he gets lost.

Pick the Right Food 

Use your vet’s recommendation for creating a healthy food program for your dog. To switch from one food to another, slowly reduce the previous option and add the new food over a period of seven days or more. Avoid sudden dietary changes so you can avoid vomit, diarrhea, and other digestive upsets.

unnamed-1Activity, Socialization, and Training

Make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise so he will be more responsive to training. Keeping your dog well exercised will also keep him from chewing up things around the house and getting into trouble.

Start with leash led walks around your neighborhood, commit to some small playdates in a local park, and give your dog lots of positive feedback as he plays well with others.

If you need additional training, bring your dog into Happy Hound for a consultation and some recommendations.