You just adopted a puppy from your local shelter. You set him down in the living room, with your family crowding around and wonder, “Now what?” Deciding on a name might seem like the most crucial decision, but although these furry friends add so much value to our lives, they also require a lot of work and care. Here are a few things you must do after bringing your puppy home to ensure the safety and happiness of your new family member.
Puppy-Proofing Your Home
It’s no secret that puppies are curious and like to explore, bite, and chew their way through new environments. Removing any chewable items that might be within puppy’s reach will be crucial to ensuring your property isn’t ruined and that the puppy’s safety isn’t in danger. Shoes, clothing and other soft items can cause serious digestive problems for dogs. It’s best to remove the temptation and make sure all unsecured items are removed from the floor or accessible surfaces.
Proper Food and Nutrition
Finding the right food for your dog might require some trial-and-error. Some dogs respond well to store-bought kibble, while others prefer a more varied diet of kibble and wet or raw foods. Adding dog probiotics can also aid in the digestion and immune system health of your new furry friend. Make sure to monitor your puppy’s eating habits and ensure that they are not gaining or losing weight too quickly. This can indicate that the food they’re eating might not be right and it’s time to experiment with something else. Finding a trusted veterinarian can also help guide you towards the proper nutrition plan for your dog’s needs.
Training and Obedience
In addition to creating the right environment for your new puppy, you’ll want to make sure they have the proper training foundation. While you don’t necessarily need to take your dog to obedience school unless they have specific alarming behaviors such as aggression, it will be important to teach the puppy to be comfortable around strangers and children, to walk on a leash, and what commands to listen for. If, for instance, you have a large unfenced backyard, it will be a good idea to set up a perimeter that your dog knows he is not able to leave.
Dogs can add so much value to our lives, from companionship, stress-relief, and a lifelong bond. This guide gives you a starting point for giving your puppy the foundation he needs to become another member of your family.