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When preparing to bring home a new pet, a lot will depend on what pet. We will use dogs as an example, as they require the most preparation.

Four Basic Steps to Happy, Healthy Puppy:

STEP ONE: Ideally, you will have chosen a breed that is suited to your property, the amount of attention and time you can give it, and your lifestyle. Think of a Great Dane in an apartment, or a Labrador in a chic home with expensive furniture and carpets… If you haven’t yet chosen your puppy, this would be your first step.

STEP TWO: Ensure that your dog’s environment is safe. Create a puppy play area and sleep area. This is very useful for the first few months, or until your puppy is a little older and is in training. You don’t want a situation where your excitable, energetic little ball of fur is constantly being told ‘No’ and admonished. That may instil fear and nervousness in your dog – for life.

STEP THREE: Create a Doggie Schedule. Include:

  • Vaccinations and other vet check-ups and procedures
  • Toilet training
  • Obedience training
  • Grooming and clipping

STEP FOUR: Go shopping!

  • Make sure you have a good supply of food. Do your homework and consult with your vet first to ensure you get the right food!
  • A puppy crate or a cosy basket for a dedicated corner or an area the puppy can ‘call its own’ and escape to at any time. This will create a foundation for a secure dog that doesn’t need to be wrapped around your ankles or sleeping in your bed to be happy.
  • Essential supplies – e.g. basic first aid items for people with paws, a chew toys or two, a suitable leash, flea treatments, etc.

Add a few extras to your shopping trolley, such as toys and blankets. It adds to the excitement of bring home your fur baby! You’ll have your hands full, so the more you get beforehand, the more time you’ll have to play with and walk your new family member.

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