When you’ve made the decision to bring your first dog home, you have to prepare your family and your home for the new furry family member. Having a dog is a big responsibility and part of that is making sure you have a safe and welcoming environment. Whether you are buying a puppy or rescuing an older dog, follow these tips before you bring your new best friend home.

Taking Care of Your New Puppy

Get the Essentials Ahead of Time

Before you bring your new dog home, it’s important to have all the supplies you need to transition him or her into your house. According to Pedigree, having essentials ready when you bring your pup home will make him or her feel more welcome and comfortable. Have items like food and water dishes, the proper food for his or her age and breed, a collar and leash, some toys and a comfortable bed. You also will need to make arrangements for vet visits as well as insurance and pet identification tags.

Make a Schedule

Whether you live alone or have a big family, you’ll have to figure out who will take care of the dog’s needs. Make a plan of who will walk, feed, groom, exercise and clean up after your pet ahead of time. The American Kennel Club suggests making a calendar or to-do list with all of the tasks and hanging it in a place where everyone in the family can see it. This will remind them of their responsibilities so your dog has a structured family schedule.

Puppy Proof Your Home Decor

A new dog means new messes, especially if you are getting a puppy. They like to chew, scratch and dig and may have the occasional accident. According to Cesar’s Way, you should puppy proof your home not only to protect your belongings, but to protect your dog from potential hazards as well. Childproof latches are recommended in the kitchen and bathroom to keep curious pups away from hazardous cleaning products and chemicals. Get trash cans with lids to prevent dogs from making a mess or eating something that could be harmful. Additionally, you may want to replace some of your more delicate decor with something more durable. For example, traditional vertical blinds are tempting for pups to chew on, so you might want to replace them with sturdy woven shades.

Get Your Yard Ready

No matter how big or small your yard is, you’ll have to make sure it is safe and secure for your new pet. Check the perimeter of your yard to make sure there are no cracks or holes your dog can squeeze through. Put up a fence or block wall around your pool, hot tub or pond to keep your pup safe from drowning. You also may want to separate his or her play place and bathroom area from your kids’ play area. PetEducation.com suggests checking if any of the plants, flowers or trees in your yard are toxic to animals. Some common toxic plants include potato plants, oak trees and acorns, morning glory, bulb flowers like daffodils and cocoa beans. Finally, clean up any debris or trash from your yard before welcoming your puppy home.

Filed under: Puppies

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