Getting a dog is a huge responsibility. Many families decide to get a dog when they have small children. Children will always ask you whether they can get a pet. Little ones find pets fascinating. Many children become fixated on getting a puppy as they are cute and playful. Before you get a pet, you must first think about whether you can cope with the maintenance.
If you are a family who is always on the go, where will the dog fit into that? Likewise, if you take a lot of vacations throughout the year, who will look after the dog? There is a lot to think about. Before you make any decision, you must sit down with your partner and talk over the pros and cons. Of course, your children will adore a dog. It will likely bring you closer as a family too as you have a common thing to look after in the home. Introducing a dog or puppy into a new home is no easy feat. Puppies will find it easier than dogs. A grown up dog has likely settled somewhere else and will find moving into your home confusing. You will need to make sure that you are ready to take on the pet and that you know all the things you will need to do to keep your pet safe and sound. Here is an easy guide to introducing your dog to the family home.
Step One: Prepare The Family Home
Your new arrival will love to play. You need to prepare your home for your dog before he or she, arrives, so that he or she can settle into a new environment. Make sure that there are no exposed wires or sharp objects that might harm your dog. Buy a comfortable dog’s bed, so that you can start training your dog in where to sleep immediately. You should also get toys, bowls and food for your pet before you have them. The last thing you want is to run around getting all the vital things once your dog is here.
Step Two: Talk To The Children
If the dog is your children’s first pet, then you will need to talk to them before you get him or her. Often children are not sure of how to deal with animals if they have not had them in the home before. It could go one of two ways. Either your children will be over-excited and start to plague the dog with constant attention. Or they will fear the dog and steer clear of him or her. You don’t want either of these things to happen. Talk to your children about how to treat a dog before you get one. Make sure they understand that they shouldn’t fear the animal and that they need to treat him or her with respect.
Step Three: Visit Your New Pet
One thing that you must do as a family before you bring a dog into your home is go and visit him or her. If you are buying a dog from a breeder, they will be more than happy to let you come round to see the dog. The fact is that they will be glad you care so much about your new animal. If you are getting your dog from a shelter, you can also go there to see him or her. Take the children with you so that they can get used to the dog. Let them play with and stroke the dog. Doing so will mean that they get used to the pet and that the dog begins to know their smell. Dogs judge situations by scent, so once they know the family smell they will feel comfortable around you.
Step Four: Handling Your First Day
The first day that your dog arrives is a big (and sometimes scary) day. You will have a lot to cope with on this day, so make sure that you get a good night’s sleep the night before. Whether you are picking up your dog or someone is dropping him off, you need to prepare. As soon as the dog comes into the family home you should feed him or her. Doing so will affirm to the animal that you are friend not foe. Once you have fed your new dog, give him or her some space. He or she will need to explore his or her new surroundings in peace.
Step Five: Fleaing And Worming
Whether your dog is a puppy or adult dog, you will need to check him or her for fleas and worms. If your dog is scratching a lot, they it is likely that he or she has fleas. You might even be able to see fleas on him or her. Check behind your dog’s ears, as this is a warm area where fleas often hide. Pet fleas are a pain, and you will need to deal with them immediately before the situation gets worse. Likewise, if your dog has worms, you will need to start him or her on a course of worming tablets. If your dog seems drowsy or sick, then try worming him or her, as this is likely the problem.
Step Six: Training Your Dog
Remember, you own your dog, not the other way round. If you don’t assert authority immediately, then your dog will likely begin to play up and think he or she is in control. You can use food or treats to train your dog at home.
The simplest training tool you can try is getting your dog to sit. Tell your dog to sit in a clear, loud voice. Tap him or her on the bottom whilst you use the command. Your dog will sit, because you are pushing down their bottom. When they do so, give them a treat and make a big fuss of them. This positive reinforcement will mean that your dog knows he or she has done the right thing. The next time you tell your dog to sit, you might not need to tap his or her bottom, as he or she will already know what to do. You can master this technique at home, but for further training you might want to take your dog to a training class.
If you live in the greater Akron, Cleveland, OH area and would like to train your dog, contact Sit Means Sit. Check out all of AkronOhioMoms’ Dog Training Articles.