So You Got A Puppy … What’s Next?


Christmastime is one of the most popular pet adoption times of the year. Some families adopt pets while Santa delivers them for good boys and girls. While I’m sure most of the challenges with most new pets are similar, I’m going to discuss new puppies specifically. 

Most kids promise they will care for a new puppy not fully understanding what that means. Picking up poop isn’t glorious. But, it’s part of the deal.

Below are things to consider once you’ve become a pet parent:

Daily care

Feeding, pottying, picking up waste, providing a positive outlet for energy. In our house, our 6 year old is responsible for feeding and watering our dogs. He also helps with picking up waste, and playing with the dogs after school. Giving our son those responsibilities teaches him a lot about caring for something other than himself. Sharing the responsibilities also relieves the burden of one person having to do everything. If possible, use pet ownership as a chance to teach your child/children about responsibility. 

Potty and Behavior Training

Start early. If you aren’t confident in your training skills, do research. There are lots of tutorials online that can provide assistance. If you do not have the time, hire a trainer. You’ll be pleased you did. A trained dog is a happy dog! In Lafayette, we’re lucky to have some of the best trainers around. 

Grooming Needs

You got one of those doodles, didn’t you? If you have a pup that requires regular grooming, be sure to stay on top of it. Some dogs require daily brushing, while others require minimal. All dogs, however, should be bathed regularly and have their nails trimmed monthly. 

Vaccinations and Health Care

The law requires pets receive the rabies vaccine, while most vets, daycares and boarding facilities require other vaccines such as bordetella, distemper and lepto. Consult the vet of your choice to make sure your pet stays up to date. 

The Extras

Dog daycare and boarding. Socializing your dog early on is beneficial. Research daycare options and dog parks. Check out the options available and do your homework. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever need to board your dog, you should know the options available. Different than years ago where boarding was limited to a vets office, boarding has become a luxury for dogs. Places like Paws and Paw Paws (my dream-come-true business that my husband and I own) offer luxury suites big enough for a twin mattress, equipped with windows, tvs and cameras so pet owners can check in on their fur babies in their kennels in addition to outdoor play areas.

Owning a pet comes with challenges but being a pet parent can be so rewarding. The unconditional love a dog provides can bring joy and happiness even if they chew your favorite pair of shoes. Follow these tips, and you’ll be off to a good start!

Traci Pecot
NOLA born and raised, Traci moved to Lafayette in 2005 to pursue a career in corporate marketing. She married her husband Ryan in 2010 and adopted her son, now 8, in 2016. Today, along with being a full time mom, she owns and operates a dog daycare, boarding and grooming facility in Lafayette. She and her husband maintain a part-time residence in NOLA, spending weekends "home" visiting family and friends. Avid sports fan, dog obsessed, wanna be distance runner (finishing just one half-marathon), and adoption enthusiast, she looks forward to adding "blog contributor" to her lists of accomplishments. 


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