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It’s finally the day you have been waiting for. The day you welcome home (drumrolls please)…a puppy!! Isn’t it the most exciting feeling filled with possibilities?!
Bringing home a puppy for the first time can be exhilarating and stressful at the same time. You’re in for a journey full of love, fun and memories to last a lifetime. The next question that follows is, 'what now?'
This new puppy checklist will help you understand the needs and essentials of taking care of a new puppy, although it does hold good for older dogs too.
The first step in prepping for a new puppy is setting up of all the essentials you are going to need for your newest (and soon to become the most favourite) family member.
One step at a time, we will help you put together the perfect puppy checklist for your little one.
When bringing home a puppy, there are a few items that every new pet parent should ideally invest in. These include:
A cozy bed
In the beginning, it may be difficult for your puppy to get a good night's sleep. However, having a comfortable bed can help your pup adjust to his new surroundings. Make sure the bed you buy for your pet is the right size, durable, and easy to clean. Puppies have a habit of chewing, tearing, and messing their beds. In this case, a long-lasting and washable puppy bed would be ideal. Dogs, especially puppies, spend a considerable amount of time sleeping, lounging or resting. Having a comfortable and a dedicated space of their own to snooze would be ideal.
Food and water bowls
Purchase a sturdy, easy-to-clean stainless-steel bowl for your dog to eat and drink from. Separate bowls for food and water should be used. Every few hours, change the water. Each puppy requires a unique bowl, there is no one-size-fits-all alternative. Choose the appropriate bowl for your dog based on his or her eating habits (e.g., slow feeding bowls are recommended for puppies or adult dogs who eat too fast)
Dog Walking Gears
The task of purchasing a dog collar, harness or leash should be simple, but different patterns have different advantages and disadvantages. To make walks with your pet more enjoyable, purchase dog walking gears that are the correct size (neither too tight nor too loose) and also appropriate for their age, breed and activity levels.
ALSO READ - How to choose the right collar for you dog?
Puppies and dogs in general enjoy exploring their environment using their noses. Your pet may enjoy an unexplored corner in your surroundings. Puppies have a tendency to run away and they might get lost or mixed up with other animals.
An identity tag can help keep your dog safe.
What makes a home pet friendly? In recent years home modification for pets has been a trend that people have been investing greatly in. Pet parents should ensure that puppies have their own designated space. Puppies tend to spend a majority of their time in and around humans but having a separate space that is safe, cozy and warm that is solely for them is important.
In addition, teething puppies or sometimes puppies or dogs when left alone initially, would also look for objects to chew on to release stress such as shoes, furniture clothing items etc. While having your stuff chewed on is almost inevitable in the beginning, you can keep certain valuables out of reach as much as possible to curtail your damage.
Ensure that your home is safe for your dog. Seal all the escape points and keep dangerous and sharp objects out of reach.
Societal implications are an important factor that must be taken into account. If you live in an apartment, make sure you go through the rules of the respective association to be aware of the rules about owning a pet. If you reside in a high-rise building, check your balcony for gaps to lessen the chances of your pet falling through.
An important landmark day in the lives of any pet parent is the day they bring their four-legged friend home. The emotions of utmost joy and happiness that one feels is unmatched. Congratulations on taking the leap and bringing home the newest addition to the family.
But what next? We have you covered.
How to help your puppy acclimatise to the new environment?
Puppies are taken from their mothers, littermates and the only surroundings they are accustomed with at a very young age. For a puppy, this can be frightening. Allow your dog to go around the house and become accustomed to its unique odours. For dogs, familiar scents are incredibly reassuring. Allow your dog to find a secure location inside the home. Place their crates or beds in the same location.
Introducing your puppy to new people, food and toys is the first step in helping your pup acclimatise.
When you bring home a new puppy, your family would be over the moon and full of excitement to meet the new fur baby. But try and give your puppy some space before introducing him/her to your family. Meeting one person at a time would be easier on your pup. Always give him time to explore and sniff.
The first time your puppy visits the vet, there is much more to do than just say hello, weigh the puppy, and trim its nails. The primary goal of the initial visit to the veterinarian is to make sure that your dog is healthy. This is also the ideal opportunity for all pet owners to ask any queries they may have. Find out from the breeder /rescue centre or previous owner about any immunizations and prescriptions that have been taken and completed. Be sure to carry your puppy with you to the veterinarian's office. Puppies often experience fear of larger dogs in the area and are unfamiliar with the various scents that surround the veterinary office. Even though other dogs may be healthy, it is usually preferable to limit your puppy's interactions with other animals at the veterinarian. To verify your puppy's health, the usual procedure involves checking their temperature, ears, skin, nose, heart, genitalia, and teeth.
In case it is your first dog, during your first few visits, ask as many questions to your vet as possible about your dog. For example, many food items that are considered safe for humans can be very dangerous for dogs such as chocolate, grapes, sugar and so on.
Why are regular vet visits important for dogs?
Veterinarians make an effort to comprehend your dog's activity, eating, training, and socialization routines. Your dog's health is evaluated by the vet using procedures such as blood tests to check for heartworms, stool samples etc. Veterinarians take care of keeping your dog's vaccines up to date.
It is recommended that puppies between the ages of one and twelve months visit the veterinarian every three to four weeks for the first 16 weeks. Half-yearly check-ups are advised for dogs aged one to 10.
Pet owners are encouraged to vaccinate their dog as soon as possible.
Puppies are naturally curious creatures who would eat everything they discover on the ground without hesitation. Early immunizations shield your pet from dangerous diseases.
Your dog can become immune to illnesses like Canine Distemper, Parvo, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, etc. by receiving timely vaccinations.
Unvaccinated puppies run the risk of catching illnesses from other dogs and passing diseases to them.
Puppies typically require two rounds of vaccinations at the early age of 8 to 10 weeks, with the second dosage being administered 2-4 weeks after the first.
As directed by the vet, make sure to give deworming medication to your dog.
Feeding your dog an age and breed appropriate diet is a must. We highly recommend feeding fresh nutritious meals over commercially available dog foods, laden with high amounts of preservatives. Consulting a trusted certified nutritionist goes a long way in keeping your puppy healthy and happy in the long run.
The first step in house training your pet is to feed them regularly. Toilet training your pet is a long process that needs patience and time.
Make sure you start potty training your pup from the first day you bring him/her home. Introduce your puppy to the living area and then distinguish it from the area where you would housetrain your pup.
Reward your dog on a job well done with treats and always adopt a gentle way to communicate with your dog to build a strong bond and trust.
Dogs are creatures of habit and will adhere to a schedule as set by you.
Have a set command that does not change from time to time to help your dog understand.
Remember that your pup is still learning and accidents can happen. Be gentle and handle that situation carefully. It is also critical for all family members to follow the same rules when it comes to training your dog as you definitely do not want to confuse your little puppy by sending mixed signals and commands.
To sum up, taking care of a puppy is no doubt a difficult task that requires a long-term commitment, tons of patience and kindness. It is also one of the best decisions of your life, which you are certain to cherish forever.
The more work you put in at the start to develop a strong bond and a solid foundation of trust between you and your pet, the more rewarding an experience it is going to be not just for you but also your dog!
Always remember that your dog is going to be a reflection of you.
We wish you and your dog the very best!!
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