There are plenty of things to consider before you decide to add to your family: breed, training and exercise, grooming, and over-all cost are just a few. It’s a big decision, which means big changes for you and your new friend, but they don’t have to be scary or difficult if you keep a few things in mind.
Often times we underestimate just how much our lives will change when we bring in a pet, so if you expect your entire life to change before making your decision, the transition will be much smoother for both of you. If you’re bringing home a puppy, it really is like having a human baby. Your sleep will be interrupted by potty breaks every night, you’ll have to clean up messes, make sure they’re not putting things in their mouths that they shouldn’t, and so on. Even older dogs will need time and guidelines set in place, by you, to understand their roles in their new home.
Whether you’re introducing a puppy or an older dog into your life, starting training right away will ensure your status as alpha of the family dynamic, and will help your dog understand their role in the household. Training doesn’t have to be overly strict or set in stone. Little things like enforcing calm submission, using positive reinforcement, and treat training are all things anyone can do.
If you set guidelines up and set rules from day one, then your new pup will know what behavior is expected of him/her right away. We tend to want to coddle or shelter our new friends when we first introduce them into our lives, and that can be counterproductive. Teaching your dog, whether they’re young or old, to be independent from the start is very important. Frequently taking them to new places and using positive reinforcement to teach them that new experiences are a good thing instead of something scary, is an easy way to build confidence and independence. Something not everyone considers, especially with new puppies, is taking them to doggie daycare.
Doggie daycare can be a great way to teach your pup how to behave while they’re on their own, how to meet new people and dogs, and it’s a fantastic socialization tool. When choosing a boarding facility, keep in mind your dog’s breed and personality; not every pup will want to be in a facility where they will have group play time. Group plays can be overwhelming and overstimulating to some dogs, making for a bad daycare experience. Some dogs thrive with group plays, and they can be another excellent tool for teaching your pup how to interact with other dogs and build relationships with other dogs. Not every pup will react the same, so researching different facilities and getting a report at the end of the day will ensure your friend is always having a good time.
The little things you do to make life with your new dog easy and laid back will stay with you both forever, so starting as early as possible will make sure you both have the best life journey together as possible.