Separating a young dog from his mother and littermates can be stressful for a pup. This is why it’s important you take enough time to make the proper preparations before bringing a new puppy home.
Unfamiliar people and places can make a pooch feel uneasy and fretful. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make the transition easier for the pup so that he can adapt well to his new family.
To ensure that both you, your family, and the pup can get along well, get ready with the following things beforehand.
Just like humans, dogs need food in order to survive. You need to provide high-quality dog food and make certain that it’s the right one for your puppy’s breed, size, and age. Keep in mind that unlike adult dogs, puppies will require more frequent feedings.
Be consistent with the food you feed your pup as changing his food overnight may cause gastric distress. If you really need to change his food, do so gradually. Feed your pup three meals a day until he reaches 18 weeks of age.
Prepare two separate bowls for food and water
If available, choose bowls that are dishwasher safe and are easy to clean. Pick stainless steel or ceramic bowls as they can’t get damaged by chewing and have a smooth surface that doesn’t hold as much bacteria as plastic bowls.
There are accessories you’ll need to make your puppy’s life comfortable and happy as he adapts to your home. These items include:
- Collar and leash
- Grooming tools and supplies
- Dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste
- ID tag
- Safety harness or seat belt
- Dog toys
- Exercise pen
- Cleaning tools
3. Safe area
Upon bringing your new pup home, it’s a good idea to keep him confined for a few days until he’s trained. This is important for your dog’s safety as he may accidentally swallow hazardous objects. Create a safe area by installing a pet play pen where he can do anything he wants without being at risk of any danger.
Puppies tend to chew anything and everything including electrical cables, shoelaces and furniture. Make sure that when you set up a play pen, any such items are out of your dog’s reach.
Create a peaceful sleeping environment
Inside the play pen, you can also add some bedding to help your pup sleep comfortably. Choose one that is machine washable for easy cleaning. Get at least two sets of bedding so that your dog has something to use while the other one is still in the wash.
4. House rules and routine
To uphold positive puppy-raising, establishing rules and routines is necessary. Once the pup becomes part of your family, he will experiment with various behaviors to figure out which ones work for his benefit. To develop a relationship with your pooch based on mutual respect, trust, and cooperation, you need to implement nonviolent training.
The better you reinforce desirable behaviors in your pup, the less you’ll be upset with him as he grows older. To help your new dog develop good habits, here are some issues you and your family should agree on:
- Where will the pup sleep? This can be in a crate in one family member’s bedroom until the puppy is fully house-trained and trustworthy.
- What games will the pup be allowed to play? Good games like “fetch” and “tug” help reinforce desirable behaviors. However, harsh games like “jump up and bite skin” and “body slam” encourage bad behaviors. Be sure everyone in your family is onboard with teaching only appropriate games with the new pup.
- Who will feed the pup? Your dog should have a consistent feeding schedule. At least one in your family should take the responsibility for feeding the pup to ensure he gets fed at the right time.
5. Care service provider
Start researching on professionals who will aid you in raising the puppy correctly. This includes a veterinarian, training instructor, groomer, and a dog daycare. Get a phone book, list down the contact numbers, and check out these service providers.
Puppies learn by result
A puppy learns something once he gets to experience it.
Ignore him when he displays bad behavior and give treats and lots of praise if he displays good ones. Having all the right things ready and knowing how to respond to your pup’s behavior will help you and your new furry companion get off on a great start.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.