Adding a new puppy to your family is an exciting prospect! However, it’s not without its challenges! This is especially true if you already have pets at home. Bringing home a new puppy can be stressful on older pets, made more challenging if you have young children or time constraints and is not without its frustrations even at the best of times. How many times can you clean up accidents in the house before you get tired of it all?
That said I didn’t even blink when my husband stated a desire for his own future running and hiking buddy. I remember the challenges we went through when we brought Connor home three years ago, but I also know that puppyhood isn’t forever and the love you receive afterward is well worth it! That didn’t mean I wasn’t going to make sure we were prepared though! Bringing home a new puppy can be made much easier if you keep a few things in mind!
Tip to Prepare for Bringing Home a New Puppy
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Do Your Research
Check out New Training Methods
You might have grown up around dogs and raised countless puppies in the past but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush up on your knowledge! New training techniques might have been developed since the last time you trained a dog and many times they are well worth learning! Clicker training positive reinforcement, crate training, and mat work might not be things you are familiar with but they really help you build a strong relationship with your new family member.
Regardless of the training method that your family decides on it’s important to make sure that everyone, including your kids, understands the rules and method used in order to avoid confusing your new puppy.
Pick the Right Breed
While everyone loves a mutt and rescues can be amazing it’s still important to keep their breed/suspected breed in mind. No matter how much you might like a certain breed to look at or admire what they can do it’s important to realize that they might not fit into your family’s lifestyle.
If you are not an active outdoorsy family willing to spend a great deal of time training and working with your puppy then a working breed is probably not for you! Likewise, if you want a running and hiking partner you should probably stay away from pugs and other short-snouted breeds who have trouble with endurance activities.
Brush up on Vaccine Schedules and Local Risks
When you get a new puppy most of us know that, much like our children, they require a series of vaccines in order to remain healthy. But do you know your local vet? If you don’t already have a pet you might have to do a bit of calling around to find one you like. Speak to friends and family for recommendations or look online so that you’re aware of all the options.
Aside from a vaccination schedule, it’s also important to learn of any extra risks your area might pose. Sadly Parvo, a very serious illness for young puppies, is quite rampant in our area. Knowing this we are able to take steps and protect our pup while in the midst of becoming fully vaccinated.
Stock up on all the Essentials before hand!
It’s really too bad that we can’t have ‘puppy showers’ when we are bringing home a new puppy because they require a lot of equipment! The cost of this equipment can be surprising to new puppy owners so it’s best to spread it out over a bit of time if your working on a budget. This is fairly easy to do if you know the approximate time you will be bringing your new puppy home. If your puppy is a surprise decision (Which I really don’t suggest) then at least get the basics and work on the other items as best you can.
- Puppy Food – If possible try to get the same brand as your breeder/rescue was using to avoid upset stomachs.
- Food & Water Bowls
Puppy Supplies To Make Your Life Easier
These items are definitely important and having them will make your life a lot easier but you can get by without them for a little while if absolutely necessary.
- Clicker – Use a word marker instead of a click, Good Boy/Girl works just as well as a click if you’re consistent.
- Puppy Treats – Use kibble to replace these until you can stock up.
- Chew Toys – These really are a necessity if you want to spare your shoes and house but if you play with your puppy enough to wear them out you might be able to put them off for a short while.
- Bedding (Use an old towel or blanket if you have to wait to purchase this)
- Bathing/Grooming Supplies
- Dog/Baby Gates or a Dog Playpen – puppy proof a room if needed or consider keeping your puppy leash with you at all times as an alternative.
Bringing Home a New Puppy Means Preparing For Change
Have you ever heard of the ‘puppy blues’? New puppy parents sometimes get so caught up in the excitement of bringing home a new puppy that they quickly become distraught and overwhelmed when dreams of face licks and wagging tails are replaced by the truth of little monsters who nip their hands, cry all night, tear things up and potty all over the floor.
Adding a puppy to the house is bound to disturb your routine. Having a plan in place can help everyone negotiate this change with a bit less stress. Figure out who is going to do nighttime potty breaks if they are needed. Ask your family who is going to watch the puppy while your at work and doing chores? If the puppy will be spending time in a crate during these times is there someone available to come home and let them out when needed?
Keep in mind that puppies are essentially infants and look to you for all of their early care. They can only hold their eliminations for a couple of hours at best and being removed from their littermates and mother can be scary. They will cry and whine, especially at night! Rest assured that this will pass as long as your consistent and try to keep your patience!
You can follow along on Connor’s adventure’s with our new puppy Echo on their dedicated Instagram Page @TalesFrom2Dogs
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Have You been Considering adding a new Pet to Your Family?