In Part 1 of our Responsible Dog Ownership Month series, we talked about getting a dog and some of the many questions you may have to ask before you add a furry friend to your family! Now you’re ready to move from preparing to choose a dog to getting your home and family ready for a dog.
1. Get a Vet
Your new dog needs to see a vet within a few days of arriving at your home to have a physical examination, get vaccinations and begin a healthy life with your family! A veterinarian can answer your questions and help you learn what you need to know to successfully adjust to your new family member.
2. Schedule It Out
Planning and communicating with your family is always important, but doubly so during a big change. Talk out and then write out a schedule for when each person is responsible for walks, potty breaks, feeding, etc. Often we see pets with obesity problems because one family member after the other feeds the pet due to a lack of communication.
3. Prep Your Home
Move anything breakable or chewable to areas that are outside of your dog’s reach. Prevent any access to plants that could be toxic, and beware of electrical cords.
4. Have the Paraphernalia Your New Dog needs.
This means food and water bowls, collar, leashes, some toys, bedding, treats, toothbrush – the works! Don’t forget grooming tools – you don’t want to wait until you have a dog with a giant mane of fur to get through before you look to get what you need.
5. Set Containment Rules
It’s important that you have a means of containing your pet and that ALL family members follow these rules. If you have a fenced-in yard, this can be much easier. Always check the gate before letting the dog out, if applicable. If your yard is not fenced in, make sure your whole family knows it’s important that your dog be on a leash when outside.
Responsible Dog Ownership Month