We all know that getting a new dog is equal parts amazing and difficult. Some people who bring a new dog home aren’t adequately prepared for what dog ownership entails. Whether a customer is thinking about getting a dog or just brought one home, share these helpful tips for new dog owners—they might learn something new!
- Puppy proof your home
Even if you bring home an older dog, they are still curious creatures! Keep an eye out for potential dangers: electrical cords, poisonous houseplants, and other small items that could be swallowed.
- Grab your gear
New dog owners should be prepared with the essentials when bringing a new furry family member home: food, treats, a cozy bed, toys, a leash and collar, poop bags, and grooming supplies.
- Go to the vet
Ask around to find a trustworthy vet in the area. Making sure your pup is healthy and up to date on shots is important! Not only do you want to find a reputable vet, but be sure to locate a 24 hour vet hospital to bring your dog to in case of emergency.
- Microchip and register
If your city or town requires dogs to be registered, get this taken care of right away. Even if your city does not require a license, it’s a good idea to get your pup microchipped and also provide the dog’s name, your name and your contact information on your dog’s collar. If your pet is lost or stolen, microchipping will ensure his or her safe return. Collars can come off, but microchips are there to stay.
- Clear your calendar
Avoiding extended days away from your new family member is important to creating consistency that dogs need. Having your new dog stay with someone else during the first few months could interrupt bonding time, especially for rescue pups, and being around them will help them get used to their new life and their new home.
- Reach out to puppy parents
Having a new dog can be overwhelming! Keeping in contact with other puppy parents for assistance and support is crucial to saying calm through this often difficult process. Some reassurance and a confidence boost is always comforting—and new puppy friends are great, too!
- Find a puppy class
Even if your dog is a rescue and somewhat trained, it’s still a good idea to go back to basics and enroll in a training class. Your dog will get socialized, learn basic commands, and become much easier to handle.
- Set some rules
It can be tempting when you bring home a new dog to be a little lax on the rules, but resist the temptation now so you can avoid problems later on. It’s much easier to prevent a bad habit from starting than it is to break one.
- ...And expect those rules to be broken
It’s easy to get frustrated when you feel like your new pup should understand quickly, but he still doesn’t. It can take 30-50 or more perfect repetitions before a dog truly gets a command.
- Introduce new dogs outside
This one is for those of you who already have a dog or cat in your family: If you have another pet at home, let your pet(s) meet the new dog before he comes into the house, if possible. Take the dogs on a walk together so they begin to feel like a pack and start to bond without feeling territorial.
You can do your part in helping your customers adjust to a new furry family member. Creating new dog kits filled with food, treats, a collar, leash, poop bags, and a toy is a great way to help our customers who don’t know what to purchase. Keeping a list of reputable vets and trainers will relieve some stress, help maintain a strong relationship with new pet parents, and keep them coming back!