Welcoming a new dog into your house is an act of responsibility. The dog will be part of your family for many years and although it will give out lots of affection, it will also expect some in return! The first month of the year is always a popular time for people to think about adding a furry creature to their family circle, so we thought it would be timely to share some advice for making a pet feel right at home.
Making the house ready
Whether you are going to take a puppy or an adult dog (perhaps adopted) the first step will be the most delicate as the dog will find itself in a new and strange environment. For the puppy it will be far from its mother and probably scared, so you providing it with its own bed and area in the house to call its own will make it feel comfortable and safe straight away.
Timing your new arrival
Try to maintain as calm and relaxed an atmosphere in the house as possible because this is a very sensitive time for the new arrival – put yourself in their paws. This need for peace and tranquility is why periods where there are a lot of celebrations (for example Christmas is not an ideal time: think about the loud relatives and people behaving a little out of character, not to mention the fireworks in the New Year, and the reasons soon stack up!)
What you should do before any plans are made is to start doing your research, visiting breeders or dogs homes to make the house ready for an imminent arrival. In the UK there are some fabulous breeds such as the Labrador and the Bulldog, but you’ll also find that each country has made its own canine contribution– For example, in Italy you can find the gun dog, Spinone, while high in the hills in Tuscany you’ll find the Maremma Sheepdog (Italian: Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese).
During your dog’s first weeks, it’s important to take care of the necessary health measures, specifically injections. While there are a range of general shots for things like distemper, hepatitis, jaundice and nephritis, there may be some specific health conditions that need to be monitored. For example, the German Shepherd breed can suffer from hip dysplasia, but if identified early this can be treated. In the UK there are many health insurance plans available and it is well worth signing up to a policy when dog is just a pup as when the dog turns senior, it may be more difficult.
With your dog nicely settled in its new home your whole family is going to benefit from having the sound of paws across the floor. But it won’t just be an auditory pleasure in the house because research shows that owning a dog will make you lead a more active and healthy lifestyle – and that’s surely something positive to bring the New Year in with!
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If you have a question about your pet that you can’t get the answer to, you can use the following form to get in touch. If we know the answer, we’ll be happy to get back to you.