If you’ve ever had to let a great dog go at the end of her life, you know that making that decision is incredibly challenging. After taking the time to mourn the loss of your four-legged friend, you may consider welcoming a new pet into your home, to help fill that empty space in your heart. If you’re like one of our wonderful clients, you’d be delighted with a surprise “puppy shower.” What exactly is a puppy shower? Read on to discover how kind-hearted coworkers helped a grieving pet owner.
Kathy’s puppy shower
At Animal Medical and Surgical Hospital, we are truly blessed with incredible clients who do everything they can to ensure their pets live happy, healthy lives. We enjoy sharing each milestone, from a puppy’s teething disasters, to a senior dog’s graying muzzle. Although many people believe euthanasia is the most difficult part of the job—which it is sometimes—this task can often be considered our last gift to pets. Euthanasia ends the suffering or pain for beloved pets, especially geriatric companions.
Such was the case with Kathy’s dog. Kathy and her husband were wonderful pet owners, and their cherished dog had simply reached the end of her normal lifespan. We helped guide their dog through a peaceful passing, but facing such a loss was still tough.
One day, a while after her dog’s passing, Kathy’s coworkers at the waste disposal company surprised her with a shower at the office—a baby shower, although Kathy was in her 50’s, and clearly not pregnant. She was overwhelmed with decorations, cake, and presents. But, this baby shower had a catch—the shower was actually for the birth of a puppy whom her coworkers had purchased for Kathy.
Could any job be more amazing, with such fantastic coworkers? Not every fellow employee would throw you a puppy shower, much less buy you a new pup. But, Kathy was one lucky lady to have such fabulous friends, and we were overjoyed to meet her new four-legged friend.
How to prep for a new puppy
Welcoming a new dog into your family can be difficult, as there are so many questions, and serious consideration is necessary. Other times, a furry addition simply falls into your lap, and you immediately form an everlasting bond with your “heart dog.” Whether you’ve thought long and hard before bringing home a new puppy, or fallen in love with a fur ball at first sight, several tasks can smooth your new pup’s arrival, and set her up for a long, happy, and healthy life.
While Kathy’s wonderful friends had showered her with plenty of puppy supplies, not everyone is quite as fortunate, and most will need to stock up on the necessities. All puppies require an appropriate diet, training treats, leash, collar, ID tags, crate, and teething toys.
In addition to puppy supplies, several other aspects of care will ensure your new furry friend has the best start in life. Start your pup off on the right paw with the following:
- Socialization — Between 3 to 14 weeks of age is a puppy’s prime socialization window. During this time, expose your puppy to as many new sights, sounds, people, places, and animals as possible, ensuring it’s accomplished in a positive manner. In other words, allow your pup to explore on her own, rewarding her for interacting with novel objects. Never force your puppy into a situation where she is uncomfortable, but offer her plenty of time to sniff things out at her own pace.
- Training — Teaching your new pup manners is vastly easier when she is a puppy versus an adult. The older she gets, the more ingrained bad behaviors become. Train your puppy to behave appropriately from day one, by deciding as a family what is and isn’t acceptable. Will your puppy be allowed on the furniture? Will she sleep in your bed, or spend the night in her crate with a tasty treat? (Hint—house training is much easier if your puppy is also crate-trained.) When training your puppy, encourage her to think for herself, and reward her for each appropriate behavior, ignoring those you do not like. Immediately teaching your pup the ground rules also will help develop a strong bond more quickly.
- Wellness care — Similar to human babies, puppies require a series of veterinary visits to ensure they remain healthy. During each of your pup’s visits, we will discuss proper nutrition, house-training techniques, problem-behavior prevention or correction, and a variety of other health care topics. Your puppy will also receive appropriate vaccinations for her age, lifestyle, and exposure risk. We will begin your pup’s parasite prevention program at her first visit, and weigh her at each following visit, to prescribe the correct dose as she grows.
Bringing a new puppy home can be a wonderful—but overwhelming—experience. With the help of these tips, your furry pal will have the best start in life, and remain by your side for years to come.
Have you welcomed a new puppy into your family? Ensure she has the best start in life with a comprehensive wellness visit—give us a call to schedule your pup’s appointment.