Puppies make adorable gifts during the holidays, but that fluffball needs a lot more than belly rubs and a scratch behind the ears. Sharing your life with a new dog is a great choice, now let’s help you get ready for your new addition.
- Tags/Collar/Leash/Harness: A clear address and phone number on a tag are crucial! If that puppy gets lost without you it won’t be very familiar with its new surroundings so let’s make sure it can find its way home. You can find a collar that fits just right if you know your new friend’s neck size, but in general, if they’re brand new you’ll want to start out with something small. A sturdy leash is obviously a key tool for walks and training, but sometimes those young pups pull more than you’d like. If that’s the case try a harness, these can help your dog from choking and your arm from coming out of its socket. Mimi Green has some beautiful collars that have personalized collars & buckles…check it out! If you want to keep it local check out Up Country!
- Bed/Crate/Car Seat Covers: As someone who has bought their fair share of dog beds, just bite the bullet and splurge on a more durable one if you can. Preferably one with a washable cover, they’re worth spending a little more up front instead of buying a new one every six months because of accidents. Every dog is different, some love their crates and some just want to be as close to you as possible to get to know your dog. But a spacious crate with a soft liner can be important for their protection and the protection of your stuff! There are a few options for seat covers out there and can go a long way to keeping your car looking new. Back seat hammocks are a must!
- Food/Treats/Toys: Food choices for your dog a nothing shy of plentiful and complicated, check out our past post for some options. Sometimes even though we buy the very best food we often pick up less than great treats, just like humans we need to be careful what our dogs snack on. Unnecessary preservative and additives in dog treats can be just like junk food for humans. There are tons of dog toys out there for you to chose from, remember that your puppy is a lot like a newborn baby. Toys are incredibly important for keeping puppies occupied and happy, but try to pick ones that aren’t easily picked apart. Choking hazards are the same for dogs as they are for babies.
- Exercise: All dogs are different, as are their exercise needs, we’ve covered this in a previous post as well. But just think about what breed your new puppy is, a chihuahua requires something different from a herding dog. Also, remember that your dog’s exercise should grow with them, not ahead of them. It’s important for a puppy’s joints and bones to grow naturally. If you overexercise your pup too young it could lead to joint damage later in life so talk with your vet about the right balance of activity for your breed. Regardless of how much they run socialization is crucial. The more your puppy is around other puppies and learn how to play appropriately the more you can avoid strained situations around other dogs later in life. This could potentially help with things like leash aggression as well. Sign up for puppy play groups and classes! Very important to socialize your pup from the start!