October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Here are some tips for what to do before adopting a dog!
Start a Conversation
Before bringing your new dog home, be sure to talk to the entire family about what their goals and expectations are. Write down the qualities your family is looking for in a canine companion and the amount of time available to commit to daily exercise and training. Doing so will make the search for a perfect fit easier.
Create a Schedule
Decide when mealtime, potty breaks, playtime, and exercise will fit into everyday life. Delegate who will be responsible for the different tasks required to provide a healthy and happy life for your new dog! This structure and routine will provide the much-needed consistency that your new dog will need to help them thrive in your home.
Puppy Proof Your Home
Whether you’re planning to bring home an adult dog or a young puppy, organizing your home before your new family member arrives is a great way to create an easier transition for your new dog! Do this by securely storing all hazardous materials, valuable items, garbage bins, and food items. After all, practice makes perfect, and you don’t want to set up your new dog to practice eating food from your kitchen counter or chewing on your shoes!
Set up a Safe Space
Once you’ve “Puppy Proofed” your home, it’s time to create a safe space for your new dog! Providing appropriate options for chewing, playing, and sleeping will be important. Items like Benebones and filled Kongs, or other food puzzle toys, will keep your new dog busy and mentally stimulated. Your dog will also need food/water dishes, a cozy place to rest, and a secure space, like a large comfortable crate or spacious puppy pen, to stay in when you’re away.