Library > Pets And Families
Entertaining, Educational Stories about dogs and the families who love them. Purebred or mutt, showdog or showoff, puppy or veteran, dogs love and protect their human pack. No pet has more loyalty than a dog. A pet dog will stay with its family no matter what, even if abused or starved! What other animal will do that?
Your Newest Member of the
Three in a Series)
know how important your private space is to you, well it is just as
important to your new pet also. Dogs like to feel that they belong,
and to help that feeling of belonging, you have to let them know that they
have a space of their own. So, with the help of your mom and dad,
lets look for a good spot to put the bed for the new member of your
family. This is something that you should decide now. And make
sure that it is going to stay in the same place all of the time. It
would be confusing to the new family member if you kept moving his bed.
Just as you like your own room, and you wouldn’t like it if everyday it
was in a different place, neither will your dog. Is that place going to be
in your bedroom? Or is it going to be in a spare room? Maybe
the laundry room. Well, here are some things to consider.
It should be a place where it will be warm in cold weather, but cool in
It will need to be a place with plenty of ventilation.
It should be a place that is easy for the dog to find, so they can go
there when they want to be alone, or they want to take a nap.
It should be a place that will be quiet and secure to the dog.
It should be a place that will be easy for you to keep clean.
now that we have found just the right spot for the new puppy, let’s look
at some do’s and don’ts about that special place.
Never send the puppy there to discipline them. After all, you
don’t want them to fear their bed. Remember, it is supposed to be
a place where they feel secure.
Don’t put their food where their bed is. No water there either,
unless they are sick, and that is something entirely different, and we
will cover that later.
Do make sure that the bed has a special cover over the mattress so that it
is easy to wash and brush. This will cut down on the hair. And
with all dogs there will be hair. It will also make flea control
much easier, not to mention the odor. If you keep a puppy clean and
healthy, they never smell bad. In fact they have a nice warm smell
that only comes from a puppy. It is very special.
Make sure that you put that new, safe sleeping toy in the bed for them.
This to help them feel secure at night when you’re not there.
let’s talk about where to feed them.
Never, never feed them at the table where you eat, or when you eat.
If you start this when they are young and you think it is cute, you will
train them to beg for the rest of their lives. And that is not cute
in an adult dog. It also will lead to an over weight dog, and the
health problems for them are just as great as for the human. So, it
might be best to feed the puppy in the kitchen before you sit down to eat.
That way, the puppy has a full tummy, and you won’t feel so guilty when
you say, with love, but firmly, “NO!” This must be reinforced every
time they try to beg food from you.
We already talked about the type of dishes to get for them, but just to
quickly cover it again, make sure that they are large enough for the breed
that you are getting, and that they are easy to wash. Just as you
wash your dishes every time you eat, or glasses every time you drink, the
same should be done with the dishes for the puppy. At least once a
day, the water bowl should be emptied and washed out thoroughly with hot
water and soap, and then rinsed out with clear water, to make sure there
is no soap residue left that might upset the puppy’s tummy. I
recommend that filtered or distilled water be used. The chemicals that are
in today's water supply may cause health problems for your puppy.
Now you have to decide where your puppy is going to go to the bathroom.
If you have a home of your own, with a back yard, then I recommend that
you take the puppy to the same spot every time you take him out to have a
bowel movement or to wet. This will train the dog to use the same
area all of the time, and make your clean up job much easier. This
clean up job should be done daily. This keeps the flies at a
minimum, not to mention the odor. Not only is this for health reasons for
you, your family, and your dog, but in consideration of your neighbors.
If however, you have to walk your puppy, get a “pooper scooper.”
They have all kinds on the market, and you can pick the type that is the
easiest for you to use. But by all means, do pick up their
excrement, this is not only good dog manners, but it is in consideration
of the neighborhood.
Now let’s go get that puppy! I know by now you have decided on the
Humane Society, a Rescue Adoption Organization, or found a good breeder.
You have decided on the breed of dog that you want, and you are ready to
get that new family member.
you get to where you are going to pick up your puppy/dog, ASK QUESTIONS.
What is the background of the animal. If it is a rescue, the
information may be limited, but get as much as the organization has.
This not only shows that you are really interested in the welfare of the
animal, but that you are responsible. This information will be
important to you when you visit your own veterinarian, and as your dog
In most cases the animal has already been spayed or neutered, but if not,
you will more than likely have to sign a document that states you will
have this done in a certain amount of time. Please understand that
it is done for the welfare of the animal. This is a topic that we
will cover later in another column.
Find out if the animal is good with children. Even if you don’t
have children as yet, this is important
information in the event that you have relatives or friends
with children who will visit you in your home. Remember, that even
the most passive dogs can become protective of
their territory. If you know in advance that this particular dog
doesn’t like children, you can save yourself a lot of worry and the pain
of potential dog bites.
Ask if the dog is good with OTHER animals, i.e., cats, other dogs, etc.
Any problem behavior? You may want the dog anyway even if it has a
problem. It could be with a little attention and training, that you
can correct the problem. However, it is better to know up front, rather
than after you get home and discover that one end of your sofa disappeared
Is there anything peculiar to this specific breed that you should know?
Is the dog house-broken, (doesn’t potty indoors).
How do you go about grooming this particular breed and how often?.
think that this will cover the things that you need to know before hand.
The rest can be your own special adventure.
in tow, you head for the car and home sweet home. You have just
started the most rewarding, loving, wonderful adventure of your life.
In our next column we will cover, “So Now You’re Home, Now What?”