10 expert tips when adopting a puppy

(BPT) – You’ve dreamt of it, done your research and have waited so patiently. The day is finally here when you go get your new puppy. Being a pup parent is filled with joys, but there are a few potential stumbling blocks. With patience, persistence and proactive thinking, you’ll be the best of friends for many years.

The pet experts at DogVacay, an online community that has over 25,000 vetted and insured pet sitters, offer the top 10 tips to help pet parents make a successful transition with their new puppy.

Stock up on must-haves: Before your puppy’s arrival, make sure to stock up on the necessities. You’ll want a food and water bowl as well as kibble or whatever food is recommended by the vet. You’ll also need a crate, the appropriate grooming and cleaning supplies, and of course, poop bags.

Get the right accessories: Some accessories will go a long way to make your pet stay safe and comfortable. You’ll want a collar and identification tags, a baby gate to block stairways and a bed. Toys and a few treats are a nice touch.

Dog proof the home: Puppies are naturally curious so make sure you get down and look on their level to secure everything. Latch lids, organize loose wiring, put away children’s toys, secure hazardous chemicals, hide collectables and make sure all plants are dog-safe.

Read the contract: Adopting a dog frequently requires a contract, and more often than not, the contract will be a written agreement covering your responsibilities as a new pet parent. It’ll also outline any policies regarding the return of the dog in a “worst case scenario.” Make sure to go over each section carefully.

Find care when busy: If you have to travel, hire a DogVacay sitter. It’s a safe, convenient and affordable way to make sure your best friend is in good care while you’re gone. All reservations include 24/7 emergency support, vet insurance, daily photo updates of your pup and a host who’s been through our five-step vetting process. Or, if you work long hours and need someone to care for your dog during the day, DogVacay offers daycare services to avoid leaving your new pup at home alone. Learn more at www.dogvacay.com.

Ask questions: Don’t be shy about asking questions. Whether it’s the adoption manager, breeder or your vet, all your questions should be considered valid concerns. They want your transition to pup parenthood to be a smooth one, so they should be open and willing to answer any and all of your inquiries.

Be patient: It’s important to stay patient as the dog adjusts to his new home and you adjust to your new role as pet owner. Remember, all puppies have accidents, make messes and occasionally get into areas where they shouldn’t be. Always stay calm, be consistent and remember positive reinforcement is key.

Prepare for house training: Puppies will not yet be house trained. It is your responsibility to teach your pet the house rules for going to the bathroom. Start by reading house training information at the time of adoption. Remember that staying consistent and maintaining a routine are extremely helpful.

Schedule behavioral training: Training classes aren’t just for helping your dog learn proper behavior and habits, it’s also a wonderful way to bond with your new furry family member. Call trainers in your area to learn about options and the best age to begin training.

Make time: The first couple months are essential for creating a beautiful new relationship with your puppy. Make sure to keep plenty of time open for one-on-one interaction. This precious time should be used for grooming, exercising, playing, learning and of course, snuggling.

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