If you have finally given in to your kids and agreed to have a dog as a pet, there is much to prepare. Assuming that you are fully aware of what is involved with raising a dog and have made your choice, here is a checklist of things to arrange prior to the puppy’s arrival.
- His Personal Items – A comfortable bed, which will be located in an agreed location, most likely the kitchen, with food and water bowls and some non-toxic chew toys (essential if you want your shoes to survive). Toys like a soft ball are fine, which will keep him amused.
- Leash, Collar & Harness – These three items are essential and he should be introduced to them as soon as possible. His collar should be worn at all times, with the exception of bath time, and with the leash and harness hanging from a peg near the door, he will soon associate these with going out.
- Medical Insurance & Vet Registration – It is important to have some form of health insurance for the puppy, and if you are thinking. “What is the best, affordable pet insurance?”, an online search will take you to a pet insurance broker, who will have a range of packages to suit your needs. He will need to be taken to the vet to have his vaccinations, so make an appointment for the first week of his arrival.
- Grooming – You will need a bottle of natural dog shampoo, which is very mild, plus a dog brush, and if he is a long-hair breed, there is a lot of grooming required. Nail clippers are another must have, and once he gets into the routine of bath and groom, he will look forward to this. Luke warm water is advised during the winter, while you can shower him in the yard in the summer months and always make sure the shampoo is fully rinsed out of his coat.
- Travelling Crate – Even if you plan to let him loose in the back of the car when he’s older, he still should travel in a crate at first. Make sure you fill the crate with soft blankets and that he’s never left alone when in the crate and he will be fine. It should be used for trips to the vet and the journey to the park or wooded area where he gets his exercise.
- Food Supply – Whatever he has been eating, you should have a limited supply when he first arrives, then you can gradually introduce the adult dog food. It isn’t wise to change his menu until he is settled into his new surroundings, as this could prove very stressful. Include adequate supplies of doggie treats, which will be used to train him, and given as a reward when he does well.
You should have a potty tray for him initially and this should always be in the same place, and with consistent behaviour, your puppy will soon learn what kind of behaviour is acceptable and he will be an integral member of the family.