We are a nation of pet lovers, with more than half of us owning an animal in the UK at the moment. Of that 51%, more than half own a dog – just about winning out over the cat-lovers amongst us! Getting a new dog is a wondrous experience and a supremely enticing one. However, it can be difficult navigating the early days of puppy adoption, especially if you’ve never owned a pet before. Here are the ins and outs of adopting a puppy.
What Kind of Puppy Should You Choose?
There are hundreds of different dog breeds out there to choose from, which can make picking a puppy a very difficult thing indeed. However, you must pick a breed of dog that will suit your living situation and lifestyle best; different breeds of dogs have different requirements, from diet to exercise and beyond.
Some breeds are much less independent than others, as well. For example, if you’re hoping to eventually leave your dog at home throughout the working week, a cockerpoo may not be the best choice of puppy! Try to match breed size and behaviour to your needs, and you’ll find raising your dog a much less taxing experience overall.
Puppy-Proofing Your Home
In all the excitement of picking out your puppy for your new life as a pet-friendly household, it can be easy to forget some key aspects of dog ownership – including the suitability of your home for a new pet. You should dedicate some time to ‘puppy-proofing’ your house, to ensure they can come to no harm when you bring them home.
Puppy-proofing measures include the installation of baby or puppy gates around your kitchen, hallway and stairwell, so they can’t escape or enter dangerous areas unsupervised. You may also want to lock away any medicines or dangerous cleaning supplies, so your new dog doesn’t accidentally ingest something it shouldn’t.
As well as getting your home dog-ready, you’ll need to stock up on many vital supplies to make your first few weeks with a new dog go that bit smoother. Food is one of the first things you should think about; puppies and younger dogs can have sensitive stomachs, so sourcing good quality dog food is a must. You should make sure they have suitable food and water bowls from which they can eat safely.
You’ll also need to buy up supplies for facilitating potty training and eventual walkies. As such, training pads and poo bags are necessary purchases, alongside leads, collars and harnesses for safe walking.
Tips for Raising Your Puppy
Raising a puppy can be a deeply rewarding experience, but also one which requires patience and attention in spades. Puppies need time to acclimatise to their new home first, though, so you shouldn’t be too prescriptive on a training regimen for the first week or so. Once they are settled in, you can start to introduce obedience training. It would also be wise to introduce your dog to the outside world soon as they are comfortable, so they can get used to other dogs and humans.
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