Thinking of getting a Puppy? Think about these things first!

Getting a puppy is a big decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Whether this will be the family’s first pet or you’re seasoned dog owners,having a new puppy in the house will affect routines and responsibilities for every member of the household.

 

Since caring for a puppy is a team effort, everyone should be clear on rules and roles in the puppy’s care before bringing that cute little bundle of energy home.

 

A great way to get started is to create a “Puppy Plan” incorporating everything that each of you needs to know and do for the benefit of the puppy (and the family). Map out your plan in writing and, to be sure everyone is on the same page, post it in a conspicuous place in your home.

 

The following are some important questions your Puppy Plan should address: (Download and print our Puppy Plan HERE!)

 

·Where will Puppy sleep? Eat? Play?

·Where will we take Puppy to go to the bathroom?

·How will we introduce Puppy to the children? To other pets?

·What will we feed Puppy? How often? Who will feed him?

·What is our plan for house-training Puppy?

·How and when will we socialize Puppy?

·Who will be our puppy’s Veterinarian?

·What tools and toys will we need for Puppy? Where will they be kept?

·When and how will we begin puppy obedience training?

·What house rules do we need to keep Puppy safe and healthy? (These rules are for the people of the household -- like picking up shoes and toys and storing them in a puppy-proof location.)

·How will we keep Puppy out of trouble? Will he have a Crate? A Playpen?

 

“Trouble? How much trouble could eight pounds of round belly, cuteness and fluff be?”, you might be thinking. At eight weeks of age, a puppy is into his “let’s see what interesting things I can get into next” stage, which includes chewing anything and everything in sight! This is a natural puppy behavior you should plan for.

 

Proactive planning is a great way to prepare for the addition of a puppy to your household. Having a plan in place, with clear expectations for the delegation of puppy-related responsibilities, is the first step to successful puppy ownership.

 

In the weeks ahead, we’ll share advice on the questions above, and others tips for successful puppy parenting.