Veterinary Urgent Care Center knows that you have a million questions when it comes to welcoming a new puppy into your home. Our very own Katie Holmes, DVM, is a veterinarian at VUCC Quincy and recently welcomed Parsley, an adorable golden lab, into her life. Dr. Holmes will chronicle her first few months with Parsley to offer tips and tricks for how to incorporate a new puppy into your family!

I’m a firm believer that you don’t find the perfect puppy. The perfect puppy finds you!

My new pup, Parsley, was training to be a service dog with the Guiding Eyes service program. But, due to a misalignment of her jaw, Parsley failed out of the training and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and ready to accept the challenge of raising and growing my life with a dog in it. 

I think that’s the most important thing for any new pet owner. There are a lot of challenges with raising a dog that you don’t see on Instagram and social media! It’s important to be prepared and build a bond with your pup right away. 

Just because I’m a veterinarian, doesn’t mean that those challenges won’t happen for Parsley and me too. 

The first thing that we did as a team was find good pet insurance. Statistically, that first year could be an expensive one for new pet owners, as the dog gets acclimated with its new environment and may even get into a few things that can cause injuries or illness. Having the protection of good pet insurance will really save you from the potential high cost of healthcare, especially if your dog swallows a foreign body or gets into a little mischief, either as a young pup or later down the road.

The next thing that I’m working on with Parsley is boundaries. 

What can she do and what can’t she do around my house and how do we correct behavior so the same mistakes don’t keep happening.  Keeping her on a short leash near me when I am around the house is step number 1–she is not to be trusted haha.

I personally have a lot of plants around my house. So I’m working on making sure Parsley doesn’t get into the plants. I’m very good about ensuring that nothing I have in my house will cause harm to her in any way….preventing her from eating the rocks and mulch in the backyard is a different story, but it is a work-in-progress 🙂

But it’s important to know what things you have in your house that can easily cause harm to your pup. Maybe you have small children and they have a lot of toys lying around. Make sure you secure those in a room that a puppy can’t get into them unattended. Maybe you have a pool or have someone in the house who has medication out within reach.  

It’s important to do a sweep and think about what your dog is experiencing when walking around the house. If you think your pet has ingested anything serious you can visit us at VUCC or seek care at your local 24/7 emergency clinic. Parsley and I are just getting started and in the first few weeks life has been really great. We will be back with you soon to keep you updated on our progress! 

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