What do I need to know before bringing home a puppy?
First and foremost, it’s vital that you’re truly ready for the commitment of becoming a dog owner. Dogs require a big investment of both your time and money. They require daily exercise (some more than others) and a whole shopping list of items to keep them fed, comfortable and entertained. Plus, a puppy will likely need training or obedience classes to learn at least the basic commands, like “sit,” “stay” and “leave it.” And, everyone in your household should be on the same page when it comes to enforcing agreed upon doggy rules.
Many people don’t realize how much goes into taking in a new pup, which can lead to innocent puppies being surrendered to shelters and rescue organizations. Do your due diligence before getting a puppy and be honest with yourself when considering if you are prepared to take on all the responsibilities that come with dog ownership.
How do I puppy proof my home?
Young puppies are often curious, which means they can sometimes get into things they shouldn’t. Before bringing your new pup home, inspect your living space (both indoors and out) for any potential dangers. This could include loose electrical cords (that may look tempting to chew on) or toxic plants (that might look like a good snack). Keep cleaning products, toys, and other items put away and out of reach. It’s also a good idea to invest in baby gates, especially if you have stairs, to keep your puppy safe. You’ll likely want to restrict where your pup can venture inside your house while they’re getting used to their brand-new world, and while being housetrained.
Outside, make sure your yard is fully fenced and that there are no gaps your pup could potentially escape through. If you have a backyard shed, make sure the door is closed so your puppy can’t go exploring.
Also, don’t expect your puppy to know right away that outside is where they do their business. Puppies aren’t always the masters of their bladders and may have a house accident – or many. Young puppies should be taken out to the bathroom every hour or two, but don’t worry, this will become less frequent as they get older. As they learn where they can and can’t “go,” praise them when they go outside, but don’t punish them when they have an accident indoors.
If my puppy causes damage to my home, is this covered?
Whether it’s a pair of shoes or the leg of a piece of furniture, puppies love to chew. However, if your puppy (or dog) causes damage to your own property this is not covered under your home insurance policy. On the other hand, if your puppy causes damage to someone else or their property, this could be covered under your home policy’s
What are the basics a puppy needs?
When it comes to puppies, you’ll need to have patience – a lot of it. On top of that, and providing your new pup with a lot of love, there are a few must-have items you should buy
- Collar and leash. With these, you can take your puppy on daily walks and explore the neighbourhood. A collar is also important for identification, so don’t forget to get an ID tag.
- Food and water bowls. Your pup will need somewhere to eat and drink, and be sure to keep these clean.
- Food and treats. If you’re not sure what food to go with, ask your vet for recommendations. You’ll want to select a food that fits the needs of a growing pup. And, of course, you’ll want to buy some tasty treats to reward your puppy (and help with training).
- Bed and crate. Especially if you don’t want your dog on your furniture, make sure you get your puppy a bed they can snuggle up in. A crate, when used properly, can act like a den and give your dog a safe space they can retreat to.
- Toys. Puppies have a lot of energy to burn. To help keep them occupied, purchase a few toys you can play with together. Just remember that it’s best to always supervise your dog when they have a toy with them.
- Grooming supplies. To help keep your pup healthy, don’t forget to buy a brush suitable for their coat and other necessary supplies (such as nail clippers if you’re going to do this yourself). Good grooming is just as important for your dog as it is for you.
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. Take the time to make your house a home sweet home for your newest addition, and get ready for unlimited puppy kisses and cuddles.