How to Get Ready for a New Dog or Puppy

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    • 1). Decide on a name for the new addition. Dogs respond best to short names of one or two syllables. Begin teaching the dog its new name from the first time you meet it, by saying it several times over and accompanying each time with a treat or a cuddle.

    • 2). Research the breed you have taken in, or breeds if it is a crossbreed. Many breeds have specific temperaments and characteristics, and a knowledge of these will help you understand the dog's reason for some behaviors.

    • 3). Set rules for the household regarding responsibilities for the dog's welfare, feeding, walks and training. Share the workload as much as possible, as this will not only lighten the burden you carry but will also provide opportunities for other family members to interact with and get to know the new dog.

    • 4). Make a schedule for walks, feeding and training that matches the dog's age and needs. Dogs are creatures of habit and a routine will help the dog feel secure and settle in. If the dog knows what time to expect a potty trip it will help to prevent indoor accidents, unless it is still a very young puppy.

    • 5). Check the fencing around your yard, whether you have a privacy fence or an invisible fence. The dog needs to be safe while it is outdoors, both from wandering off your property and from other dogs passing by. If you are using an electronic fence, ensure that the strength of the collar signal is appropriate for the age and size of the dog.

    • 6). Decide where the dog will sleep and purchase a suitable bed for it. If you are planning to crate-train it, get a crate that will be the right size for it once fully grown. Bring in some soft bedding and a few toys to make its "den" a safe and comfortable space for it.

    • 7). Buy other supplies such as a suitable collar and leash, toys, food and treats. This will enable you to start introducing your new pet to its lifestyle right away and will help to make it feel at home.

    • 8). Puppy-proof your home if you are expecting a young dog. Puppies love to chew everything in sight, so protect any electrical cables and other dangerous items that are in the area the dog will inhabit.

    • 9). Make an appointment with your veterinarian to take the dog to see him within a few days of its arrival. Find out the cost of having the dog vaccinated and micro-chipped, and the necessary parasite control program for your region and the time of year.

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