So, you want to bring home a puppy? Congratulations! Making the decision to bring home a furry friend is one of the most exciting moments in life. I mean who doesn’t love a pup, right? We made the decision to add a fur baby to our family almost a year ago, and now we have less than a week to go before pick up. Ok, so to be fair and frank as pet owners we are pretty neurotic and slightly exaggerated, which is why it’s taken a whole year to get this pup home. However, our neurosis is your free advice! We decided that sharing how we prepped for our new addition would be a fun way to introduce her to the Reside community, and, a way to help new pup parents.
Adopt or Purchase
If you’re from Chicago then you’re probably very familiar with PAWS. PAWS is a no-kill community and adoption center in the city. If you’re looking to adopt a dog, their website makes starting the process simple and easy. Just navigate to their site, hit “adopt” and scroll through their available animals. Their site will also let you filter your preferences in terms of, age, gender, and animal. The PAWS community is a pretty big deal here in Chicago, their adoption methods are highly respected as well as exceptionally progressive. At Reside we’ve also worked with Chicago Canine Rescue a smaller adoption center, that is also “no kill”. Last year we held adoption events at our properties, which allowed residents to meet and play with pups in need of a loving home.
Of course, adoption isn’t the only choice, and might not work for certain family structures. If you aren’t able to adopt, then finding a responsible breeder is your next step. When we decided to bring a dog home, we first considered adoption. However, at the time we had two middle aged cats at home and after speaking with our vet and doing some research we decided that finding a behaviorally based breeder would be the most responsible thing to do, when it came to the pets we already had.
We knew what breed we were interested in, and began our search. We came across a website that was well maintained and easy to navigate, knowing we wanted someone in Illinois we decided to reach out. After an extensive phone conversation (they were interviewing us, just as much as we were interviewing them) we knew we wanted to work them. So much so that we were willing to waitlist for almost a year until a new litter arrived. You see, these guys only breed their dogs once a year, and don’t allow a female more than three litters in their lifetime. They also place pups in forever homes based on the desired temperament and need of the family, which was very important to us. We opted to allow the breeder full control of which puppy fit best in our household.
So far our experience has been great, we’ve watched our dog grow and learn via Facebook posts and e-mails, we were offered puppy preschool at an additional cost, which ensured that she would be crate trained and potty trained as well as socialized. They have even helped us in preparing to bring our dog home, taking questions almost any time of day.
Really and truly, if you’re going with a breeder make sure to choose one that loves their dogs and much as you will one day love them. Responsible breeders do exist and will always put their dogs first. We’re including the link to the folks we worked with because we just can’t help shouting them out! ( Curious Weims)
With 12 months to prepare, we spent a lot of time researching and organizing ourselves. We also had to prep the fur babies that live with us. We suggest starting a wish list on Amazon, that is dedicated to your new pup. Add all your essentials to the list. I mean let’s be real, you can buy almost anything on Amazon and it’s typically less expensive than the local retailer (for example a large 41-inch crate at PetSmart was $110.00 the exact same one on Amazon was $45.00). The list works like a registry, you can share it with your friends, family or spouse making it easy to purchase the things you need.
Below is a list of puppy essentials you will need to make sure are on your list:
- Dog Crate
- Pet Bowls
- Nail Clippers
- Rope Toys
- Rubber Toys
- Kong Toy
- Puppy Wipes and Shampoo
- Dog Bed
- Poop Bags and Dispenser
- Training Treats
- Hard Kibble
- Paw Protection for winter
Bringing home a pup is no joke! Planning for one is even less of a joke. We found the book The Art of Raising a Puppy extremely helpful and would recommend it to any new dog owner. We also found Pinterest to be an amazing resource, there is an infographic/article for almost everything. We’ve pinned some of our favorites on the Reside Living account, under the board Fur Babies.
It Takes a Village
Part of giving your dog a great life is surrounding it with people who are invested in their happiness. We like to refer to it as the “puppy-squad.” Before bringing your new pet home, do some research and ask others which vet they prefer. We’ve been taking the cats to Heal Veterinary Clinic for almost 7 years now, and love the team there. Several of our neighbors also recommended the dog walking company Dogs Deserve It, we’ve booked an intro session and will let you all know how we like it. We are also considering a doggy day-care and will be stopping by for a visit with Sit Social to see if it’s something that works for our family. Finally, we’ve heard great things about the groomers at Kriser’s Natural Pet and will be testing them out asap.
There’s a lot of work that goes into bringing home a dog, but if you do it right and take your time, it will be a lot less stressful for both you and your pooch. We’re still getting the hang of this, and can’t wait to experience what having a dog in Chicago is like. We’ll be chatting with friends and residents alike, with the goal of bringing you as much information as possible. Remember Reside Living has no size restrictions and limited breed restrictions, which is unique in Chicago. There is a one-time dog fee of $350.00 and $25.00 monthly pet rent required at all our properties.
Ps. Our pup’s name is Nelly, she’s a silver Weimaraner and you’ll most likely see her at Reside Events, make sure to say “hi” and get some puppy hugs from her!