5 Simple Steps to Raising a Puppy

February 4th, 2013

1.      Timing.  Like everything in life, timing is essential.  Is this the right time for you and your family to raise a puppy?  In the beginning puppies need a lot of attention. Plan on having someone home a lot the first couple of months until the puppy is able to be on their own for long periods of time.  Be prepared to provide your dog with enough exercise – a tired dog is a good dog.

2.      The puppy.  There are so many wonderful kinds of dogs.  Whether you rescue a puppy from a shelter or contact a breeder, different breeds have different characteristics.  Research different kinds of dogs and choose one that naturally fits your family’s lifestyle.  For example, do you enjoy outdoor activities; boating, snow-shoeing or do you enjoy relaxing at home, staying indoors?

3.      Your home.  Think about where you plan on keeping the pup.  Where he/she will eat, sleep and go to the bathroom (new puppies go often, including in the middle of the night).  If you plan on setting up a dog run area in your yard, it makes sense to set it up prior so the pup can start going there day 1!  Just like any baby, you must puppy-proof your home; get rid of anything that isn’t dog-friendly.  Some people use gates to block off areas of the house, purchase plenty of chewy-toys and purchase stain removers, lawn care products…

4.      Research. Before getting your puppy, find a vet that you will feel comfortable with.  Ask other dog owners in your area and visit the office to make sure it is convenient for you.  In the beginning you will be going there often.  Also look into whether pet insurance is the right option for you.  If you travel you should find a safe place to board your dog.  You may also want to read about training your dog.  The library has plenty of books on the subject.  Look into a training program that works for you.

5.      Lastly, get ready to fall in love.  There is nothing like a good dog to add to a wonderful family.

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