Do you have room for a(nother) dog in your life?

The school holidays are finally here, a long summer break stretching out in front of us.  If you are considering getting a new puppy or dog then now is a great time as there will be people around to help with the difficult early stages of toilet training, lead training and socialization.  There are also lovely long evenings for dog walks and games in the park!
Whether this is your first puppy or you are adding another face to your already substantial canine family, you’re going to need some new gear and lots of time and patience for your new arrival.
New Puppy
Puppies require a lot of time and attention so taking some holiday while your new puppy settles in is essential.  Before collecting your puppy, you will need to puppy proof your whole house and garden, making sure anything that can fit in your puppy’s mouth and any toxic plants are out of reach.
Training your puppy should start right away to make the most of their most impressionable period between 8 and 20 weeks. Gently introduce him to all the sights and sounds of family life and attend puppy training classes so he can learn to interact with other canines.
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Rehoming an adult dog

Rescue dogs come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments so don’t be put off by horror stories. A good re-homing centre such as the Blue Cross or RSPCA will be able to match a suitable dog to your family.

If you are re-homing a rescue dog or taking on a dog from a friend or family member, be prepared for a settling in period.  Helping your dog adjust to a new home environment can be hard work, particularly if they are not house trained or suffer from separation anxiety. If you are prepared and patient however, your new dog will soon learn to trust and respect you.  Dogs thrive on routine so try to keep things like walks and dinner time at set hours of the day.

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New Dog or Puppy Check List
  • Insurance!From day one. You would not dream of leaving your child without medical insurance if the NHS did not exist, so don’t take that risk with your dog. Vet bills can quickly mount up into thousands of pounds.
  • MicrochippingA new dog is more likely to try to escape or get lost on walks in an unfamiliar area. A microchip means that even if your dog loses his collar, he can still be traced back to you. The process is quick and painless and costs only around £20 at your local vet.
  • Healthy diet Continue feeding the brand your puppy or dog is currently on and switch gradually if you want to change it. Avoid diets with artificial additives or lots of cereal ‘fillers’.
  • Training treats and chews Liver is often a favourite!
  • Dog or puppy bed Ideally one made from tough, washable materials or with a waterproof cover so it can survive accidents.
  • Training crate Useful for toilet training puppies and adult dogs.
  • Strong collar & lead with ID tag Your dog is required by law to wear an ID tag with your name and address when out of the house.
  • Secure travel crate or car harness For your safety as well as that of your dog.
  • Food and water bowls
  • Toys Boredom busters and treat dispensers are great for keeping dogs prone to separation anxiety from indulging in unwanted behaviours.

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