by Amber Burckhalter
At K-9 Coach, we are excited to celebrate this time of fellowship and fun with you, our clients. We look forward to the playful activity of the pups when it’s cold outside. We cherish the holiday cards we receive from you and we look forward to seeing you and your entire family as you drop off the pups and leave town for vacations. We enjoy the possibility of a rare snowfall and the subsequent snowball fetch sessions we have in our play yards! And, this time of year, we most certainly look forward to the influx of new puppies – little balls of flying fur who are in desperate need of training and socialization, trailed by new owners who are sleep deprived and a bit in shock as to how the cute little puppy became a Tasmanian devil! With that in mind, we wrote last month about the top 5 things to consider when getting a new pup. This month, we highlight a few tips for successfully integrating new puppies, and adult dogs for that matter, into your home.
PICKING THE RIGHT BREED – This is the first and most important step. A dog is a big commitment. Every family has their own needs, schedule, personality, space and time limitations, etc… You and your potential dog deserve a good fit and doing breed research on the front-end can help you avoid heartache and frustration down the road. You can see last month’s Our Town article of course. There are also some great resources for this online. Professional training companies, like K-9 Coach, will also usually offer a matchmaker service that examines your lifestyle, your ability to train and properly exercise your new friend, your budget and more to help you make the best decision for your family AND your pup.
SETTING UP YOUR HOME – It’s time to puppy proof! Puppies are naturally very curious and, thus, get into trouble. Take the time to look at your home and remove any dangerous items such as cleaning materials, power cords, toys for children, food that is unsafe and more. Getting down on your hands and knees and looking around is helpful in getting a “pup’s eye view”! Having your children help with this process teaches them about keeping the new puppy safe and helps them embrace the new changes to your family routine. Finally, setting up for success involves investing in a quality crate, new toys and high-quality puppy food, as well as, setting up an appropriate amount of free space. Check out our retail area for products we have tried ourselves and recommend for our customer’s pups and, while you’re here, feel free to set-up a private lesson with one of our professional trainers to help set-up your home for success.
TRAINING EARLY AND OFTEN – The lifespan of a dog can vary greatly with the average being 8 – 12 years, depending on the dog. It is important that you start training your puppy early and often to ensure a lifetime of happy memories together. With over 20 years of experience, we’ve developed a series of puppy-specific services to help you and your puppy build a lifetime of happy memories together. For many customers, this will include a private lesson with us before they even bring puppy home. So, make sure to give us a call so we can discuss.
VETERINARY CARE – The relationship with your vet is one of the most important relationships you will have during your puppy’s lifetime. Your vet can guide you on health decisions, remind you of vaccine due dates, teach you how to keep your puppy healthy and safe and be a source of support for you over the life of your dog. Make sure to visit your vet very soon after bringing your new pup home. Ask questions and have a health plan laid out with your veterinarian. This should include what to do in case of an emergency. If you need a recommendation for a vet, we are happy to refer you to one of our vet partners. Just give us a call.
From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!