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How to Take Care of a Dog While Starting a Family

If you’re in the process of starting a family, there’s probably a lot going on in your household. A changing environment may make more change seem a little bit daunting, but the time that you’re growing your family may be the perfect time to start growing it just a little bit more by getting a dog. Having a dog in your home is a great way to fill every day with more fun. Also, giving your children the opportunity to grow up loving a dog is a wonderful gift for them. If you have the ability to care for a dog, then you should absolutely give careful consideration to how much having a dog in your family will enrich your child’s life. Nevertheless, you should also consider the logistics of getting a new pet and how you will manage changes in the dynamics of your homelife. Here are some ways that you can provide great care for a new pet while you are starting a family.

Give Your Dog Space Near You

Dogs are pack animals, and part of how they know their place in the pack and feel comfortable is by sleeping with or near their family. A lot of new puppy and dog owners make their new fur babies sleep by themselves in closed rooms or even in a cage, but the best sleeping place to promote quiet and restful sleep for your dog is probably near you.

You don’t have to share your bed with your dog. In fact, having to use the best pregnancy sleep positions may make sharing your bed with a large dog impractical. Instead of being bedfellows, you can set up a dog bed near your own bed where your furry companion will have the reassurance of being able to see and smell you. Proximity during sleeping hours may help to mitigate separation anxiety and make dogs less concerned about their place in the pack when a new family member arrives.

Help Your Dog Stay Active

Dogs’ physical activity needs can vary depending on their age, breed, and health conditions. However, all dogs need a fair amount of physical activity in order to stay healthy and stimulated. Being active with you gives you the opportunity to spend quality time together and it provides a chance for your dog to run around and get excited. Setting aside time for activity and play will make your dog calmer at home and deter destructive behaviors to get your attention.

Train Young Puppies About Biting

If you’re adopting a puppy, you need to be cognizant of the potential for play-biting. All puppies play-bite their owners to some degree, and they’ll bite toys and random objects in your home incessantly during the teething process. The process of teething usually ends when a puppy is around nine months old. Until then, your puppy’s first set of teeth will be razor sharp. The reason that puppies have razor sharp teeth in their mouth when they get their first set of teeth is so that their mothers will be motivated to wean them.

Puppies learn a great deal about not biting from their mothers and littermates, but you must continue their tutelage. When they try to bite, show them that biting is not acceptable by briefly refusing to give them your attention or diverting their attention to bite a toy instead.  

Getting a puppy or a dog acclimated to a new home isn’t always an easy transition. You should expect a little bit of mess and maybe even some willful destruction, but you can also expect a lot of joy and fun in your growing family. 

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