New Pet Parents: Dogs

Adopting a dog? Read below for helpful information & articles.

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Bringing Home a Puppy or Older Dog

Congratulations! You've made the big decision to bring a furry family member into your home! While it's one of the most exciting events in life, it's a huge responsibility. One that requires a lot of preparation and loads of dog supplies. But before you start buzzing through the shopping aisles, consider these questions: Do you know a trusted veterinarian? Is your home pet-proofed? If you have children, have you talked to them about the importance of gentle handling? These questions are just a start. Make a new puppy checklist of questions you need to answer. Then read some of our helpful article for information about how to welcome home your new best friend.

A beagle puppy runs energetically across a white rug.

Before Adoption

Whether you're adopting a dog from a shelter or picking him up from a friend, there are some things you need to do before bringing him home. First, you need to make sure all dangerous and valuable stuff — chemicals, cleaning agents, clothes, books, etc., — are either out of the house or out of reach. That means keeping cabinets locked, countertops and floors clear, and electrical cords and wires out of sight or secured to walls. As you probably already know, puppies love to chew. So make sure he has plenty of toys to satisfy his urge – it'll probably save you a few pairs of shoes. You also need to gradually introduce him to small children. Take it slow and easy so they can bond. It's trickier with other inside pets. If they don't get along initially, keep them in separate rooms and gradually allow them to be together in increasing lengths of time.

A beagle puppy is held by his smiling owner.

After Adoption

The first few days after you've introduced your pup to his new surroundings, there's going to be an adjustment period not only for your family members, but for the puppy, too. Make him comfortable by stocking up on the basics (collar and leash, food, bedding, water dishes, etc.) Leave out an assortment of toys for him to play with, and create a safe environment for him by removing poisonous plants, locking up cleaning supplies and keeping bathroom trashcans up high. As you get to know each other, you'll gradually understand your pup's likes and dislikes. Just remember to be patient and enjoy every moment of your newfound friendship.