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Preparing Your Home for Your New Dog

By Lynn Weisberg

You’ve fallen in love with a dog, like Jazmin or Nuni, and now you’re taking her home. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Food and water: For the first few days, mix some of the dog’s SPA food with his new food. Feed a very young puppy 3–4 times per day; feed adult dogs twice daily, preferably, but once daily is satisfactory. Water should always be available.

2. Sleeping: Have a crate for the puppy to sleep in, or use a box with a door cut out for easy access. Place a towel or blanket inside. An adult dog likes a crate, too, or a dog bed.

3. Safetyindoors: Securely close all areas containing cleaning liquids, powders, poisons, and medications. Note dangerous items in your house and prevent dog access.

4. Safetyoutdoors: When your dog is outside by herself, make sure she has protection from the elements, her environment is secure, and she has shade and water. She should always wear a name tag with your information on it. Walk on leash only.

5. Housetraining: Take your dog outside after eating and upon awakening (every 1–2 hours for puppies). You can also use newspaper and crate training methods. Reward her with praise, treats, and lots of love.

6. Be patient! Give your dog time to adjust. Use your voice and words for discipline—no hitting!

7. Health: When you leave the SPA, they will provide an appointment to bring in your new pet for a free follow-up visit. Keep track of all vaccination requirements. Use flea and heartworm preventative medication monthly. See the vet for any health concerns.

8. Play and bonding time: Spend time with your new pet! Pet her! Talk to her! Play with her! Enjoy her! Take her for regular walks. Meet others with possible playmates.

9. Additional puppy issues: A puppy may cry because he’s lonesome. Reassure her, but ignore the crying. It will soon stop. Have chew toys for your puppy. An old shirt with a knot is a good idea. They need to play. Try tug-of-war or throwing balls. Remind children to be gentle with the puppy. Puppies should not be left outside by themselves.

10. Other resources: has helpful dog-related videos. Search the Internet and library.

A Spanish version and longer English version of this checklist are available at the SPA. Una versión en español de esta lista está disponible en el SPA.


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