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Puppy in a BasketIntroducing a new puppy to your home can be an exciting and challenging time.  Remember, they are cute for a reason!   Puppies are babies, and they require extra care.  Use the following tips to make your new family member’s transition into your home as smooth as possible.

  • Make sure you have done your research!  Know about the breed you are bringing home and learn a little about puppy training and socialization before your little one comes home.
  • Prepare any children in the house for taking care of a puppy.  They should know on an age-appropriate level about basic care and how to handle the new dog.  There are many resources geared towards children to help you teach them about their new pet.
  • Pick a potty place!  You are going to be spending a lot of time here over the next few months.  This should be the first place your pup visits when he or she gets home.
  • Come and see us!  A new puppy should be examined within 24-48 hours of coming home so that potential health problems can be addressed and any questions regarding care and training can be answered. And don’t forget that we offer this first exam, an intestinal parasite evaluation, and your puppy’s first shot all for free!
  • Puppies need to be kept safe and relatively contained.  Purchase a crate, baby gates, or any other items needed to help you keep close tabs on your pup.
  • Puppy-proof the house.  Objects that you don’t want to be chewed like plants, electrical cords, and other doggy dangers should be secured.  Get down on your hands and knees and think like a curious pooch!
  • Buy the basics.  Your pet should have a few toys that are suitable to chew on, a leash, collar, and identification tag, and bowls.  Have a week or two of the food it has been eating so that you can transition over to any new diet over the course of 7-14 days.
  • Prepare existing pets.  Be sure that they are healthy and up to date on any medical needs.  Cats in particular may appreciate a “puppy-free” zone where they can seek shelter.

Congratulations on your new pet!  By laying the foundation for a good start, you are helping to ensure a long and healthy life! Check out the pet care handouts on our website for some more puppy tips and tricks. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call us.

 

IS A FURRY GIFT MAKING YOUR LIST? PLEASE CHECK TWICE…

Everyone wants a puppy or kitten… right?  The truth is that taking on a new family member is a huge responsibility, and not everyone is up to the commitment.  While the image of a little furry friend sitting under the Christmas tree may be irresistible, giving a pet as a gift is a very serious matter.

With 6 to 8 million dogs and cats entering shelters every year, selecting a pet that is right for an individual family and situation is of utmost importance.  Because having a pet is a decision that an owner must be committed to for the pet’s entire life emotionally, financially, and physically, the selection of an animal is usually best left to the individual taking on the responsibility.  The holiday season is often not a good time to introduce a new family member, either, as new pets take extra time and attention often not available during this busy season.

Please think carefully before giving a furry gift, and certainly do not do so without discussing extensively with the recipient.  Or, if the surprise is a big part of the gift, consider giving a gift card to a local rescue or animal shelter that will cover the adoption costs. That way the recipient will still have the surprise of a new pet, but will also have the ability to pick one out that suits his or her lifestyle and personality.