After receiving the big news of when you’re bringing home a new puppy, you’re likely eager to start getting everything ready. It’s easy to think about an essential puppy checklist that includes supplies such as an ID tag with a collar and leash, quality food, and health supplements, along with a comfy dog bed and crate, as these are things your pup will need while growing. However, it’s also easy to forget how to best prepare when you are wrapped up in the excitement.
Remembering to balance your overall finances, taking precautions against possible dangers in your home, and learning how to teach your puppy as they mature are parts of pet parent life that most people may not be completely prepared for. This is perfectly fine, because living with a puppy is an all-around learning experience! Incorporate these ways to prepare for a new puppy to ensure they live their best life alongside you.
Financially Plan for Necessary Expenses
This new family member will be a big part of your life for the next decade or more. The cost of owning a dog may be more than you would think, being at least a thousand dollars on average per year considering vet visits, unexpected illnesses, training classes, daycare, grooming, and everyday expenses such as food and toys. Find what resources work best with your budget in mind and what your puppy may need down the road.
Helpful resources to look into could include pet insurance, starting a savings account just for them, opening up a line of credit if necessary, and you may even decide a home equity loan is a good option for high costs. This option works especially if you’re considering home upgrades for your puppy such as a fence, a swimming pool, additional playrooms, or a maximized interior space. It’s never too early to plan on how to balance your finances to ensure you and your furry friend feel most comfortable.
Create Safe Spaces Before Bringing Home a New Puppy
Puppies are curious and like to play and explore, so it’s best to puppy-proof your home for your new friend’s safety. Ask yourself what’s around your house that could be in easy reach of your puppy. Try getting down at their level for a whole new perspective! While your puppy is still growing, it’s particularly common to become worried during the times when they’re alone. If you’re out for long periods of time during their younger years, consider looking for a dog-sitter to help ensure your puppy is safe and happy at all times.
Indoors, common household objects such as electrical cords, garbage bags, cleaning products, and even decorations during the holidays can be extremely dangerous for a puppy in a new environment. Plus, if you’re a plant-lover, you’ll want to research which plants you own are safe to be around your puppy. Keep them completely out of reach and if they’re hanging, be sure that no fallen leaves are able to be ingested by your puppy. With their mind full of curiosity, and tons of active energy they have to release, they’re determined to do anything!
One of the most important solutions to transitioning your dog into their new home is to give them a designated space. Keep in mind taking extra safety measures such as installing a camera or gate; and preventing naughty behavior with some mentally stimulating toys. This will become their den as you’re letting them know they have their own private, safe area to go to when they need alone time and self-comfort.
Teach and Socialize Them as Much as Possible
Have you heard of the common saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? It’s not impossible, however teaching an older dog can be more challenging depending on their physical and mental condition. When doing so, it’s crucial to pay close attention to any signs of exhaustion and stay patient as learning could take some time. This is why for puppies, the best thing to do is start training them early on as their brain is still developing! The key to socializing your puppy is to always praise positive behavior and go slowly. Once you think they’re ready, doggy daycare may even be a beneficial option for them. Instead of leaving them home to become bored quickly while you’re at work, take them to get them both physically and mentally stimulated by playing with other dogs.
During more restricted times, and considering the current pandemic, there are still ways you can compromise to help your dog enjoy the outside world. Help them gain self-confidence by exposing them to a variety of new experiences. This could be as simple as a walk in a new park, watching neighbors walking their dogs past the window, inviting close friends or family to play, or even passing a dog in your neighborhood and seeing if they’re comfortable with having a playdate. While you always aren’t able to do things like these, you can take advantage of this opportunity to train your puppy at home and spend time bonding with them.
There are tons of things you can do to prepare for a new puppy! But it’s most imperative that you are emotionally, physically, and financially prepared for their lifetime. With some patience, time, and adjustments to your lifestyle, you and your new puppy will find unity together without a problem. And don’t forget to enjoy all those puppyhood experiences as you learn and grow together!