Choosing a puppy as an addition to the family is one of life’s absolute joys. But that little fluffy bundle also brings major responsibility. With some thoughtful preparation and well laid out planning, you can give your dog a great head start to life, and ensure yours is filled with more fun than frustration.
Responsibilities – Questions to ask yourself
Before you bring a puppy into your home, you and your family not only gain a new friend, but take on many responsibilities. The first questions you should ask yourself are:
Can I afford a dog? Throughout their life dogs need food, grooming and healthcare.
Do I have time to look after a dog? It takes a lot of time to properly feed, train, walk, play with and care for a new puppy.
Is my home suitable for a dog? This is particularly important if you are considering a larger breed that needs a lot of outdoor space.
Other things you need to take into account.
Legal obligations such as:
• Taking care of any damage or problems the puppy may cause.
• Making sure the puppy doesn’t hurt anyone or disturb people living around you.
• Keeping private places and public walkways clean.
Health obligations such as:
• Keeping your puppy healthy and safe: This includes any suitable foods, water, shelter in a safe environment, preventative treatments against certain parasites and infectious diseases and any other necessary veterinary care.
• Keeping your puppy healthy is also necessary for the health of your children, family, and other people who come into contact with the puppy.
But more than anything, you are taking over the role of your puppy’s mother, the maternal role of carer and teacher. This means providing your new puppy a stable home, where he or she feels comfortable, safe and happy.
Which Breed? – Choosing the right breed of dog
A new puppy is going to become part your family for many years. So you need to think about which kind of dog you will be able to live with – and can live with you.
• Physical characteristics
• Exercise needs
• Amounts of hair they shed
• Allergies they get
• Whether they live indoors or outside
• Whether you want a playful, protective or gentle friend
• Where you live and the size of your garden (if any)
• If you are planning a human family
• How often you’re away.
Preparing the home – Puppy proofing your home
So you thought cats were curious? Wait until you see a puppy in action. They love to explore every corner of your house, and put everything in their mouths. Here are a few tips for preparing your home for your mini adventurer:
Keep poisonous items out of reach
Place all household cleaners, insecticides, fertilisers, insect poisons, rat poisons and other items in cabinets or on high shelves.
Check your plants
Some plants in and around your house can be harmful or even fatal to your pup. Learn about foods that are harmful to dogs or consult your vet to find out which plants are harmful to dogs.
Remove dangerous objects
Get down on the ground and look for any dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags or other objects that will be in puppy’s reach. Unplug, remove or cover any electrical cords in your puppy’s confinement area. And cover electrical outlets when you are not using them.
Put the toilet lid down
Puppies like toilet bowl water and toilet cleaner could harm them if swallowed.
Beware of long drops
Keep pup off balconies, upper levels and high decks where they could slip through openings and fall.
Hide sharp objects
Keep buttons, string, sewing needles, pins and other sharp objects out of reach.
Now you’ve hidden all the potential nasties around your home, it’s time to deck out the place with puppy essentials including:
• Bedding for the crate
• Collar and leash, start with a 4’ leash
• Food and water bowls and a mat to protect your floor
• Training treats
• Old towels to wipe paws, dry off puppy after coming in from the rain
• A seat liner or old sheet to protect your car when transporting puppy
• Chewing toys
• Grooming Kit: Shampoo, de-shedding tool, brush or rake depending on the hair type of your dog, nail clippers.
• Name tags with your address and phone number
(Article source: Paw Club)