After you have gone through enough research data to find that perfect breed for your current home and lifestyle, the time is here to finally get that dog. In all likelihood, you are pretty excited about the decision, which is absolutely justified given how much of a positive impact a dog can have on people. However, do you know what precautionary steps to take both before and after adopting your pooch?
If you are a first-time dog owner, we would highly recommend that you go through the following steps, to ensure that you, your family and your puppy are safe from the dangers that we are going to discuss next.
Book an Appointment with the Vet in Advance
Sweet and lovely as they are,
Dogs that come from a shelter or animal charity have usually received basic vet care and will be rehomed neutered and vaccinated. However, it doesn’t hurt to take your new rescue dog for a check-up, to make sure he doesn’t have any health issues an overworked vet missed when he was in the shelter.
Get the Bed, Food, Water and Toys Ready
No dog likes a visit to the veterinarian clinic, especially when it involves multiple injections! It’s a necessary step nonetheless, but the painful part is over and it is time to cheer up your furry friend.
To make sure that actually happens, get the bed, toys, food, and water ready at home first so that when you get home, everything is already there for the dog to be as comfortable as possible. In fact, you should have a few treats in the car itself, along with a bowl and some water, in case your canine passenger gets thirsty.
In case the pup is literally a very young puppy, you will need to install some puppy proofing methods like barricades to keep it from getting hurt. Also, young puppies need a comfy bed and soft toys to snuggle with, located in a cosy, safe space within the house for them to feel safe whenever they need to. It is worth crate training a puppy from day one, so he has a safe place to rest and he can be left for short periods without any worry on your part.
If You Have Other Dogs, Keep them Separate at First
Puppies usually bond well with other dogs when they are young, but a slightly older dog can get aggressive. It is possible that the new dog will run into trouble with the pets already present in your home.
Most of the time though, they get past their initial barking phase and make friends quickly, but never take a chance and keep existing pets apart unless you are absolutely sure that neither of them is aggressive enough to hurt each other. If things don’t settle down after a week or two, sadly, you will have to take the new dog back to the shelter or find him/her another home.
If You have a Cat, Hold on to the Dog’s Lead When You Get Home
Cats and dogs can happily live side by side, but there may be some teething problems at first, so if you do have a cat, it is best to put a stair gate up so your cat can escape any unwanted attention.
There are plenty of homes where both cats and dogs live in perfect harmony and adore each other as well. But unless you are sure that this is true in your situation, it’s probably best not to take that chance with your cat.
Get Pet Insurance Right After
Remember that veterinary treatment for dogs and cats can get very expensive in the UK. Even if you take the best care of your dogs, they can catch an infection, get into an accident or may simply run into health problems with ageing. Without pet insurance to cover for the medical expenses, people are often forced to watch their beloved companion suffer.
There is a bit of controversy regarding the need to train your dog professionally, but most of us can agree that dogs need at least some basic training. It is important for them to know that it’s not okay to use the house as a toilet or jump on people to greet them. Basic training should start from the very next day after you get your puppy home, as it makes the process much faster.
Even if you know about some of these already and you have had many pets before, it’s never a bad idea to refresh your memory, because ignoring any of the steps we just discussed is a bad idea for more reasons than one.