When it’s time to get a new dog, it can be exciting to welcome a new pet into your home and have their presence in your life. Although it can be a fun time, the transition can prove to be challenging for both the dog and its owner. If you want to know how to incorporate a dog into your homestead, there are a few main tips to follow.
Do Your Research
Many people make the mistake of adopting a dog on a whim without conducting proper research, which can lead to potential issues. Make it a point to research the background of the dog in advance to ensure it’s a good fit. You may want to ask the current owner if it’s had any behavioral issues, if its vaccines are up-to-date, and if the dog ever been abused to ensure you know what to expect when welcoming it in your home.
Prepare Your Home
Prepping your home and family for a puppy is critical as that will play a key factor in a seamless integration. You’ll need to limit access to all areas of the house to prevent items from becoming chewed or damaged. Use baby gates or keep certain doors closed while the dog is in the house. Consider creating an area of the house that is designated for the dog where you can store their bed, blankets, and chew toys. It’s also necessary to elevate electrical cords and avoid leaving out food or snacks on the counters. Take the same actions that you would if you had a toddler roaming around the house.
Potty Train Your Pet
Potting training your new dog will prevent messes from occurring to ensure you can protect your flooring. Crates work well as a potty training tool and can include pads to absorb any messes. You’ll want to create a schedule that the pet becomes accustomed to by allowing them to use the restroom at specific times of the day. Their bathroom breaks should be in the morning, late at night, after they eat or drink, after they spend time in a crate, or when they wake up from a nap. Reward your pet with a treat when they wait to go potty outside and don’t have a mess.
Introduce the Dog to Your Current Pets
One of the most common challenges of incorporating a new dog into your homestead is getting them acquainted and comfortable with dogs or cats that you are already own. Consider introducing the pets in a neutral setting where your current animals don’t feel territorial, which can be at a park. Keep the initial interaction brief. You can allow them to touch noses or sniff each other before separating them. Allowing them to get acquainted can make it easier to welcome the new dog into the home if all of the animals are familiar with one another.
Microchip Your Pet
Microchip your new dog early on to ensure you can locate the animal if it ever becomes lost or stolen because one in three is going to go missing at some point. A microchip is a small device inserted into the pet’s skin and won’t fall out. The chip can prove your ownership if the dog is ever stolen and will also allow a vet or an animal shelter to contact you if they find your pet. As Petnet explains, it is also important to register your pet with a national pet recovery database to speed the search if your pet does ever go missing.
Take the Dog on a Daily Walk
Dogs, especially puppies, need both mental and physical stimulation to ensure they remain healthy and happy in your care. Take the dog on a walk each day to ensure they can burn some of their energy and get outside. Daily walks also help with potty training and socialization. It’s important to socialize your dog with other humans and animals so that they don’t develop any behavioral problems down the road, such as biting. Craig Swapp explains that owners will be held responsible in the event their dog injures someone, even if the owner wasn’t aware the dog had a tendency to bite. It’s best to complete proper training and prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
Provide Mental Stimulation
Keeping your dog mentally stimulated is also necessary to ensure they remain happy and get enough attention. Before bringing them into your home, purchase a few toys that will keep them busy. Chew toys, food puzzles, and frozen peanut butter in Kongs will all be useful, especially when you’re not there to occupy them. Mental stimulation is necessary to prevent the animal from becoming destructive in or outside of the home and will also prevent them from feeling lonely or neglected.
Plan for Regular Grooming
Dogs need to be groomed regularly to maintain their coat and prevent their fur from becoming matted, which can lead to discomfort and pain. Introduce the animal to the groomer at an early age to help them become used to the routine and comfortable with the person cleaning them each time. Brushing the dog throughout the week can also remove excess hair from their coat and limit how much they shed in the home. Brushing your pet’s teeth each day can also be beneficial when using a toothpaste that is specifically designed for dogs to remove excess tartar and plaque that forms.
Choose Healthy Foods
Having the right healthy foods on hand is necessary to ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight and is less at risk of developing certain ailments or diseases over time. Choose a healthy dog food that doesn’t contain any fillers or byproducts to ensure your pet consumes enough nutrients with each meal. Although you may want to feed them a few treats as you eat at the dinner table, human food can put their health at risk and can even be life-threatening. Avoid feeding them any avocados, chocolate, onions, nuts, grapes, citrus, or dairy products. Stick to the same feeding schedule each day and don’t be afraid to give them raw meat options that improve their health.
Knowing how to prepare your home for a dog will allow the transition to be smoother and can make your new pet feel more comfortable and at ease. Although you may need to research and spend time planning, it will prove to be worth it as you gain a new member of the family.
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