Getting a dog – whether a puppy or an adult – can be incredibly exciting. Many people grow up with dogs and can’t wait to have one as part of their own family. But being a pet owner is a lot of responsibility and not something to be taken lightly or done on a whim. If you’ve decided that now is an appropriate time to welcome a dog into your family, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Make sure everyone is on board.
The whole family should be in agreement on getting a dog. If one person is opposed, it can make everything more stressful and difficult. Talk to everyone about what is involved with owning and caring for a dog, and what the expectations are. Decide as a family which dog you are going to adopt so everyone has buy-in and knows their opinion is valued.
2. Establish basic rules.
Before you ever bring the dog home, set some ground rules. Will the dog be allowed on the couch or bed? Are there certain rooms that are off limits? Where will it sleep, play, and go to the bathroom? Who will feed it, take it on walks, groom it, clean up after it, etc.? Assign responsibilities from the start – and don’t worry, you can always switch them up later on.
3. Gather supplies and prepare your home.
Make sure you have everything you need to help your dog settle in. If it is a shelter dog, find out what kind of food it is used to eating and try to stick with the same food. Have bowls, toys, blankets/a bed, a brush, a collar, and a leash ready to go. If you’re going to crate train your dog, have the crate already assembled and in position before you bring your dog home. Don’t forget to go around and pick up any items you don’t want your dog to potentially chew or get into as well.
4. Remain calm.
When you bring your new dog home, try to resist the urge to become overly excited and animated. Your dog will feed off of this energy. It will already have a lot of stimulation by simply coming into a new environment with new sights and smells. Keep things relatively low-key and relaxed for the first few days and avoid inviting people over until your dog has settled in.
5. Be patient.
Recognize that it will take time for your dog to get used to its new surroundings and your rules and expectations, especially if you’re adopting a dog that had a previous owner. While you want to teach your dog how to behave, don’t get too upset if there are occasional accidents. Consider signing your dog up for a training or obedience class to help forge a stronger relationship and teach them expected behavior.
6. Have fun.
Don’t forget to enjoy your new dog! Make time to play and cuddle. Go outside to play fetch or take a jog. Simply spend time together bonding and creating memories. Your dog is now a part of your family, so make the most of it.
If you’re headed out of town and can’t take your new dog with you, don’t forget to decide where they are going to stay. Lake Wylie Pet Resort offers luxurious accommodations that make your dog feel right at home and ensure they’re safe and well cared for. Plus, you can get them groomed while you’re away as well! Contact us today to schedule your dog’s stay or grooming appointment.