Your New Family Member!
When you introduce a new member to your family, it takes time for everyone to get adjusted. Introducing a puppy is no different.
Before you bring your puppy home, decide where it will sleep, and where it will be kept when no one is home. What's more, you should decide who will be responsible for feeding, exercising and cleaning up after your new pet. Discuss training with every member of your family, so that you will all deal with the puppy in a consistent way, and not send it mixed or confusing messages.
DOG-PROOF YOUR HOME
Whether your new friend is a puppy or adult dog, here are important tips to help keep him out of harm’s way:
Keep household cleaners and chemicals out of his reach.
Restrict access to plants that are dangerous to dogs: poinsettias, azaleas, rhododendrons, dumb cane, Japanese yew, oleander and English ivy.
Store breakable items safely out of the way.
Hide or cover electrical cords so he won’t chew on them.
Safely store antifreeze, engine oil, laundry detergents and lawn chemicals.
Keep kids’ toys off the floor—since some parts may be small enough for your puppy or dog to swallow.
Use a cover and/or protective fencing if you have a pool or hot tub.
CHOOSING A NAME
Here are a few tips to consider before naming your new dog:
Names should be short. A two-syllable name is best because it’s brief and won’t be confused with one-syllable commands such as “No” or “Sit.”
Be consistent. All family members should use the same name—don’t use confusing nicknames or variations.
Reward your dog’s recognition of his name with lots of praise and play.
As the “parent” of a puppy or new adult dog, it’s important for you to help him get used to his new surroundings. Think of him more as an infant than a pet: He’ll need plenty of patience, supervision and love. Here’s how you can help him adjust.
Bring him home when it’s quiet and you don’t have company. Also, choose a time when your routine is normal.
Show him the area of your yard that will be his bathroom before bringing him inside. Then take him there whenever he goes outside.
Give your dog his own room where you can keep his crate, complete with bedding and chew toys (leave the crate’s door open). He’ll feel safe in his “den.” Put down newspaper for accidents.
Supervise your puppy at all times, and play with him several times a day. You’ll help establish yourself as the pack leader.
Give him bathroom breaks every few hours and right after eating, drinking, sleeping and playing (watch for signals like sniffing or circling). Never punish your dog for accidents; instead, praise him when he goes in his outdoor spot.
An appropriate amount of exercise will help promote your new dog’s good behavior and assist you in training him. Talk with your veterinarian about how much daily exercise your breed typically needs. Some dogs are just naturally more high-energy, and need more exercise than others. Schedule family members to exercise your dog throughout the day.
Introducing your puppy to the Children
In the first few months, all interactions between small children and puppies should be supervised - both for the safety of the children and the puppy. Teach children to be gentle and quiet when playing with the puppy. Children should understand that the puppy is not a toy, and they should not tease it, or grab at toys or food, because this could lead to a puppy with aggressive behavior, or worse, injury to your children.Children should also be taught the proper way to hold a puppy, with one hand under the chest and the other supporting the rear end. Picking up puppies by their legs, tail or neck can cause serious bone or nerve damage to a puppy's tender body.Your puppy should have a crate, or somewhere it can retreat from children and noise if necessary.Finally, it's helpful if older children understand the training commands, or actively participate in training the puppy. Your new pet will learn to behave faster if it receives consistent treatment from everyone in your family.
Introducing your puppy to your dog or cat
Although a new puppy is exciting to everyone in the family, make sure to give plenty of attention to your existing pet. Dogs and cats can feel threatened by the new arrival if they feel you are overprotective or overindulgent with the puppy.Once your dog appears to be comfortable with the new puppy, place a leash on your dog and let the puppy out of the cage. That way, you can control your dog and prevent it from playing too roughly with the puppy. Again, praise positive behaviors.Before making direct introductions with your cat, exercise your puppy so it's less rambunctious. Let it out of the cage in the same room with the cat. If your cat bats at the puppy a time or two, don't interfere-it's just your cat's way of letting your puppy know who's boss.
All meetings between your pets should be supervised until you're comfortable that the pets are amiable toward each other.For the first few months, you should probably feed your puppy in a separate room from your dog or cat. This eliminates any fights over food, and it assures that your puppy gets the nutrition it needs.
Taking your puppy on the road
If you plan on taking your puppy to the in-law's house, or camping by the river, it's important to accustom it to riding in your car early on. Start by taking it on short trips around the block, and slowly progress to longer trips.
There are a few things to keep in mind when your puppy is in the car
- Never leave your puppy unrestrained in the car. For your safety and your puppy's safety, it's best to keep it in a portable kennel.
- If your puppy salivates excessively or vomits, keep the window open so it can have plenty of fresh air. Eventually, it should outgrow its carsickness. If it doesn't, talk to your veterinarian about safe motion-sickness medications.
- Make sure your puppy has an opportunity to relieve itself before you hit the road
- Stop every two hours to let your puppy exercise and relieve itself. Bring a container of fresh water and a bowl
- Never leave your puppy in a parked car for long periods of time. Make sure you're parked in the shade, and the windows are slightly ajar.
-Even though dogs love to hang their heads out the car window, it's simply not safe.If you're planning to take your puppy on an airplane, contact the airline well in advance. They will inform you of specific travel regulations, including the type of carrier that's appropriate, and health certificates that are required. If your puppy is the nervous type, consult your veterinarian about sedation. You should also look into the pet requirements at your destination. For example, many foreign countries require proof of vaccination and/or quarantine periods.
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