How Much is that Doggy in the Window?

Contributed by: Kathy Crawford
Desert Ridge Resident

You couldn’t help it – that was the cutest puppy you had ever seen! Your family had been thinking of adding a companion to your lives and after deciding what breed and looking at their puppies, you found the perfect one. We thought we might give you some idea of the many things that will come along with this adorable little bundle of joy.

  1. You will need to decide on a veterinarian – after all, your new puppy needs his own doctor just like a child. Ask your friends and neighbors who they trust. Go visit the office and introduce yourselves. Find out what the wellness tips are and just what the shots are that your puppy will need. Make sure to tell the vet that your puppy might be going to a groomer or the dog park or just along the trails Desert Ridge offers because that will add on to the puppy’s shots since you will be meeting other dogs along the way.
  2. What kind of food will you be feeding your new little guy? The first choice will be; is it a raw diet or dry or wet dog food or a combination. There are several sites out there that help with that decision. Look at dogfoodadvisor.com – they rank dog food based on a star system. And there are many websites for dog food like the big box stores as well as Chewy.com and petfooddirect.com. And, alongside their food, puppies love toys!!
  3. The next issue that many new owners grapple with is the question of whether to crate your little guy. Many people crate their dogs to give them their own space (which they won’t mess in) and help with potty training. If you start from the very first date, crate training can be helpful. Some people don’t want to do this – consult your vet and your puppy books. There are many books out there – check Amazon for the ones that you like.
  4. After these decisions have been made, you will then need to think about a training schedule. Puppies learn faster than adult dogs – and the larger the puppy and his breed, the more important that you train right away. You want a well socialized dog and one that respects you and your “words”. Classes are taught at the big box stores as well as such places as Arizona Dog Sports and Partners Dog Training. Most teaching facilities today recommend treat incentive training. Most puppies and dogs love their treats so carrying a treat bag could become part of your new life.
  5. Another piece of dog training is an exercise schedule that includes housebreaking.   After your puppy has had his final shots, he is able to enjoy the loveliest trails one can find right here in Desert Ridge. The leash law states that dogs over the age of 3 months need to have a license and should be on a leash of no more than 6 feet. Each morning and evening, you will find your neighbors walking their dogs along the Yavapai or Coconino Trails which are expertly cared for by the folks at AAA Landscaping. Don’t forget that Cashman Park has paths for you to walk your little guy, too. In addition, the HOA has installed 63 dog waste stations that encourage you to pick up after your dog. The dog waste stations provide “poop” bags as well but they really are cheap to purchase. Please don’t think AAA picks up after your dog because that isn’t in their job description. As a responsible dog owner, it is in your job description and respectful to your neighbors as well. Many of them live along these trails, so they hope you will be considerate to them. Your little pup might be anxious on his first few days on the trails or in the park. But he will learn very fast and will look forward to seeing their new friends outside of his new home.

AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB PET PROMISE

pawprintI will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being and recognize that my dog’s welfare is totally dependent on me.

pawprintI will always provide fresh water and quality food for my dog.

pawprintI will socialize my dog via exposure to new people, places and other dogs.

pawprintI will take pride in my dog’s appearance with regular grooming.

pawprintI will recognize the necessity of basic training by teaching my dog to reliably sit, stay and come when called.

pawprintI will take my dog to the vet regularly and keep all vaccinations current.

pawprintI will pick-up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste.

pawprintI will make sure my dog is regarded as an AKC Canine Good Citizen® by being aware of my responsibilities to my neighbors and to the community.

pawprintI will ensure that the proper amount of exercise and mental stimulation appropriate for my dog’s age, breed and energy level is provided.

pawprintI will ensure that my dog has some form of identification (which may include collar tags, tattoo or microchip ID).

pawprintI will adhere to local leash laws.

Enjoy your new puppy. We have tried to give you some food for thought as you bring this new bundle of joy into your life. He will charm you greater than you can imagine and bring you happiness for many years to come.

Note: The City of Phoenix Leash Law is available on the desertridgelifestyles.com website under Community Awareness. To report leash law infractions, please contact Neighborhood Services at 602.534.4444.