Bringing home a pet dog or puppy is one of the most exciting days in your life (and in your dog loving family and friend’s lives too!), but it’s one with lots of challenges too! Today we’re taking a look at those early days with a new dog in your home to make sure you’re ready for the questions and worries that might come up.
Setting Up A Home
It’s useful in those first weeks to have a room set up specifically for your dog – especially as house training is likely to be an issue. A room with a bed, toys, feeding bowls, water and easy access to the outside (as well as a wipe clean floor!) will be a real asset as your dog gets to know you, and you get to know them.
Registering With the Vet
It’s important to get your dog registered with a vet as soon as possible. This is actually part of your responsibility under the UK’s 2006 Animal Welfare Act, which requires you to protect your pet from pain, suffering, injury and disease. A vet will also be able to make sure your dog is microchipped, and that they’re up to date with their vaccinations – which is what allows you to take them for walks safely!
It’s also worth cultivating a good relationship with your vet as they can offer you important advice as well as medical service! If you have a dog vomiting with diarrhea, it’s far from uncommon, and a sympathetic vet can help guide you to an understanding of when these are serious symptoms and when they’re nothing to worry about.
Before you take a puppy for its first walk, make sure you have the all-clear from your vet. Before you walk your puppy, it needs to be vaccinated against common diseases to prevent it both catching and spreading them; microchipped; and confident on a lead. Keeping your dog on a long lead in the house can help get them used to the idea of walking with one, responsive to your movements and comfortable with the feeling.
Keep your dog on the lead to start with – if you let them off to run around before they’re trained to return to you then you might lose them! Practice at home, in your garden or in quiet parts of the park, treating your dog for staying and returning so you know it knows how to find you!