The following is an excerpt from "The Complete Guide to Beagles" by Tracey Squaire. For more information visit the books Amazon Page.
Author Credit: Tracey Squaire
The Ride Home
The ride home is a special event for both you and your new puppy. He has no idea where he’s going, but he’s excited and nervous to go on an adventure. He’s experiencing new sights and new smells, and you’re involved and delighting in all of his discoveries.
Your first car ride home with your Beagle puppy shouldn’t be complicated. To ensure the ride is a safe and memorable one, check how long your drive will be so you can plan potty stops.
Consider a travel crate for the first and future rides. When bringing home your new Beagle, you should have a safe way to transport him in the car. A travel crate may be the most stable option, but you could also a pet cage, pet carrier, or just a simple seatbelt harness. Be sure to select the correctly-sized option for your Beagle.
Once you and your puppy are ready to set off toward home, remember not to put your new young family member in the front seat. Not only could a blow from the airbags injure or kill your beloved pet, but it may also be harder to keep your puppy calm and undistracted in the front seat with all the windows showing him something new. In turn, your exploring pup may distract the driver. Instead, recruit someone to use treats and toys to keep your Beagle interested and occupied in the backseat.
Beagles are known for carsickness, especially if they’re traveling after a meal. If you’re bringing your new puppy home, he likely hasn’t eaten much or anything, so the first ride may not be one that results in vomiting, but know that the signs of carsickness in dogs include excessive drooling, whining, yawning, and vomiting. Combine a stable travel carrier with a car toy or two to make the ride easier.
The Importance of Having a Plan
Having a plan not only for transporting your new Beagle home but also for the first night home is important. You don’t want to be caught off guard when something unexpected happens with your new puppy. There will definitely be messes and tumbles and whimpers, but as long as you have a plan for anything that truly goes wrong, your first night should be a success.
A dog is a commitment for everyone in the household. By this point, everyone should know a new house member is soon arriving, but also make sure everyone knows what to expect with first introductions and for the first few days.
Predetermine areas the new Beagle is and isn’t allowed to go. If pets aren’t allowed on the furniture, prepare everyone in the household to help train the new puppy on house rules. With Beagles, it’s especially important to have a treat schedule outside of training times and to restrict human food and overeating. Every member of the household should know these rules before bringing your new pet home.
Decide on the following ahead of time, and brainstorm some unique considerations your own family may have:
- where the new puppy will sleep
- where his food and water are kept
- where you will keep his crate
- where he will go potty
- who will do which pet chores
- who is primarily in charge of training
- how often training will occur
- where training will happen
- who will be the primary veterinarian
The first night is also the best time to get your new Beagle on a routine, and you should have any planned routines ready to be set into motion when your Beagle walks through the door of its forever home.
While planning, be sure to have some pet supplies ready and waiting at home. You won’t want to bother with leaving the house a lot and risk destructive behavior because you forgot something at the store.
Pet supplies to have ready are things such as a leash, harness, collar and ID tag, chew toys, doggie bags for walks, puppy pads for house training, and pet odor/stain-removing cleaning spray.
The First Night Home
A puppy’s first night in a new home can be exciting and scary. He’s learning his name, meeting new people, and seeing new places. With a plan, the first night home can be a joyously quiet occasion with as few stresses as possible.
You should expect anxiety from your new Beagle this first night. After all, even though your home is his new home as well, he hasn’t yet been far from either his mother and littermate or his kennel mates. Dogs are pack animals, and your Beagle is far from the only pack he’s ever known. It will take time to for him to get used to the new pack and home.
To cut down on anxiety and prevent howling, whining, and scratching, make your puppy feel secure. The areas you’ve set up for your dog, inside and out, will serve to help him feel more secure, especially if this area is in a more public area since dogs, especially Beagle puppies, do not like to be isolated from the rest of their pack—which now includes you and your family.
As soon as you’ve settled your pup down, show him where his food, water, and potty areas are. Your puppy will probably need to relieve himself if he hasn’t already done so in the house or on the ride home. A short walk to the designated outside potty area before bedtime will help establish a house-training and sleep routine.
At least for the first few nights, let your puppy sleep in his crate if you intend to crate train. Your puppy is likely to whine and cry a lot if he is left to sleep alone in a crate or in his designated area, but in order to get your pup used to separation and sleeping alone, you should ignore these cries until your pup falls asleep. Chew toys, plush toys, and pillows can help ease anxiety. Many pet stores sell “heartbeat” pillows that simulate the beat of a mother’s heart. Your puppy will eventually get used to sleeping alone.
Throughout the night, your puppy will likely wake up needing to go to the bathroom, so be alert to his stirring in the night, or you’re sure to wake up to a mess.
First Vet Visit/Choosing a Vet
Within the first week, you’ll want to take your new Beagle to a vet. Some breeders require that you do so in your contracts with them, but in general, it’s a good idea to gauge your pet’s health if you weren’t presented with medical history when you bought or adopted your pet. It’s also a good idea to see a vet ASAP so you can start a good relationship with a vet you trust with your precious family member before an emergency actually arises.
If you’ve already got a veterinarian from previous pets, taking your new Beagle to that vet is a good idea as you will already have a relationship.
If you don’t yet have an established vet, choosing one can be confusing or overwhelming. To find a new vet, reach out to family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone else you know who is a pet parent. Established pet parents have been there, done that when it comes to finding a good vet, and most of them will know which vets they love and which you should absolutely not visit.
See what veterinarians your local animal shelters or rescue groups recommend. Shelters deal with injured animals often, and not all of them have in-house veterinarians. The American Animal Hospital Association is another resource to utilize when searching for a new veterinarian; you can search the association’s website for accredited veterinarian offices near you.
If you find yourself with many options for a vet, think about what’s important to you. You may not find the right vet the first time, but keep looking for the right office. If you plan early enough, you can even visit several vets before you’ve officially brought home your pet.
The first thing to consider is the location of the vet. Somewhere closer to home may be convenient.
Once you’re actually inside of your vet’s office, keep your eyes open. Are the rooms clean? Is there soap at the sinks? Does the office seem organized?
Consider the friendliness of the staff—these are the people who will be helping take care of your pet and who will be interacting with you on every visit. Look out for a calm demeanor and professionalism. Do they seem to know what they’re talking about? Include the veterinarian when you’re making these considerations, of course.
While at the vet, figure out what services the vet offers and which services you’ll have to go somewhere else for. These services include emergency services as most vet offices do not have overnight care, even in an emergency situation. Keep in mind the cost of services at that vet, as well as any credit-line opportunities in case of emergencies.
Puppy classes are an excellent idea for both you and your pet. Not only are these classes a good opportunity for you and your pet to learn the commands that create a well-trained dog, but they are also an opportunity for your and your pup to socialize with other dogs and dog parents.
During these classes, held one to two times a week, depending on the class, the trainer teaches owners how to command their pets, and then sends them home to practice. This time walking around, trying to convince your Beagle to sit, is a good way to meet new people in your situation as well as to trade training tips and pet stories. Additionally, your Beagle will receive the vital socialization young dogs need to be well-rounded and adjusted.
Cost Breakdown for the First Year
Depending on the current health of your pet, the area in which you live, the vet you choose to take your pet to, and the products you choose to use, your costs for the first year can run between $365 and $1,193.
This cost may seem high, but it’s a small one to pay for the health and medical safety of a member of your family. There are many low-cost pet clinics and options for discounted spaying and neutering. Most shelters will list such resources on their websites.
To read more from "The Complete Guide to Beagles" by Tracy Squaire, or purchase on Amazon, visit the link below: