Preparing for Your Beagle’s Arrival

Love Dog
In This Chapter
  • Selecting a veterinarian
  • Getting gear for your Beagle
  • Making your house Beagle-ready
  • Planning for your Beagle’s first day home

Choosing the Beagle of your dreams involves much more than heading to a reputable breeder, a local animal shelter, or a breed rescue group. Before you start life with your new four-legged friend, you need to prepare yourself and your home for his arrival. This chapter tells you how to accomplish both tasks.

Choosing a Veterinarian

No one can raise a Beagle alone. As hard as you’ll work to keep your new family member healthy, he inevitably will get sick. To cure him of his ills (not to mention prevent him from being struck by some nasty disease), you  need a veterinarian for your Beagle — and you need one now.

Tip

You may be tempted to wait until your Beagle gets sick before you find a vet for him. But your dog deserves better than such a haphazard approach to his health care.

 Choose your Beagle’s veterinarian with the same care that you would use to select a pediatrician for your child. Start by asking for recommendations from friends who have the same attitude toward owning pets as you do. Other options include going online or opening your printed telephone directory to choose a few animal clinics to visit. Then, after you cross the threshold of the clinic you’re considering, ask yourself some questions, such as:

Am I comfortable? Probably the most important question to ask yourself is whether you feel at ease with the veterinarian you’re considering. You need to be able to communicate with the vet, ask any questions that come to mind, and understand the answers she gives you.

Do I like the facility? Just looking at the veterinary clinic or animal hospital where a veterinarian practices can help you decide whether this vet is the right one for you and your pet. Ask for a tour, and check to see whether the clinic is clean, the staff is helpful, and — if the clinic has several vets — you can see the same practitioner at every visit. Seeing the same vet every time you visit means you’ll have a practitioner who really knows you and your Beagle.

Does the staff keep current? Veterinary medicine evolves at lightning speed, with new treatments, techniques, and discoveries being unveiled almost constantly. Your Beagle’s vet should stay on top of these developments. How can you tell whether the vet you’re considering is staying ahead of the curve? Look for certificates and diplomas on the walls. They show that the vet is learning how to perform new treatments, such as laser surgery (which is less painful to the dog and shortens recovery time from surgery), or developing discipline-specific specialties, such as dentistry or emergency care. And make sure the clinic itself is certified. Look for a seal that shows membership in the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), a voluntary accreditation association for animal hospitals and clinics.

Is the location satisfactory? Notice that I use the word “satisfactory,” not “convenient.” Although you want to find a clinic or animal hospital that’s convenient to your home, the best clinic isn’t necessarily the closest. A facility that offers great customer service may be worth a little extra travel time.

Does the clinic have procedures for dealing with after-hours emergencies? Beagles and other pets have a maddening habit of developing health crises at night, on weekends, or at other times when most clinics are closed. Ask the clinic staff how they cover after-hours emergencies. At minimum, the clinic should have an after-hours telephone number for clients to call and, if the vets can’t treat the problem, procedures to refer you to a nearby emergency veterinary clinic.

Shopping for Beagle Basics

Sure, you could wait till you’re on your way home with your new Beagle before you stock up on dog gear. However, sprinting in a frenzied fashion up and down the aisles of your local pet superstore and throwing stuff into the shopping cart while trying to manage a Beagle you don’t know isn’t an effective way to shop for Beagle belongings, much less start a good relationship with your new friend. A better plan is to pick up everything he needs a few days — or even weeks — before you bring him home.

Repeat after me: Crates aren’t cruel, crates aren’t cruel . . .

I can hear you now. “A crate?” you say. “Don’t you mean a cage? There’s no way I’m going to cage up my Beagle!”
But if your Beagle could talk, his opinions about crates may surprise you. He’d probably tell you that a plastic or metal crate is just what he needs to feel secure when he rests, sleeps, or just wants to beat a retreat. Everyone, even the sociable Snoopy-dog, needs a place to call his own — and in the Beagle’s case, a crate fills the bill. Figure 5-1 shows a metal crate; Figure 5-2 shows a plastic crate.
Figure 5-1: A metal crate contains your Beagle but lets him see the world.
Crates help people as much as they help pooches. That’s because they’re a great place to keep your Beagle out of mischief when you can’t watch him. Crates are also an invaluable housetraining aid, because they teach a dog to hold his water (not to mention the other stuff) until you can get him to his outdoor potty. Chapter Housetraining Your Beagle details exactly how crates can help civilize your Beagle’s bathroom behavior.
Figure 5-2: A plastic crate encloses your Beagle in a cozy, dark den.
When considering crates, either plastic or metal is fine. Bypass mesh crates until you’re sure that your Beagle won’t chew through the mesh! Consider size carefully, though. Any crate you choose must be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and stretch out to sleep — but not so large that he can pee at one end and sleep at the other.

Tip

The crate that’s big enough for an adult Beagle is too big for a puppy. But you don’t need to buy a new crate every few weeks as your puppy grows. Instead, consider buying a metal crate with a divider. The divider restricts the area of the crate available to the young puppy so the crate won’t be too big for him. As your puppy grows, adjust the divider accordingly until he’s fully grown. At that point, you won’t need the divider at all, but you will have saved money by only having bought one crate.

Borrowing from baby: Gates and pens

At times, you may want to limit your Beagle’s access to some areas of your house without having to confine him to a crate. To that end, baby gates and exercise pens (ex-pens for short) do a fine job of keeping your dog contained without totally restricting his movements.
Baby gates are available in pet stores and baby supply stores. Gates come in several different styles:

Pressure-mounted gates: These gates rely on pressure to ensure that they adhere to the walls. They’re easier to install than hardware gates, but they’re also easier for a rambunctious Beagle to knock over. Some pressure-mounted gates swing open; check the gate or the label on the gate’s packing box for details.

Hardware gates: These gates are very sturdy, but they offer another advantage: They generally swing open, allowing you to walk through the gate instead of having to hop over it (see Figure 5-3).

Warning!

Wooden accordion-style gates: Don’t buy this type of gate at a thrift store or yard sale. Such gates pose a strangulation hazard to Beagles and young children.

No matter what style you choose, make sure that the gate has a straight top edge (it will be safer for the puppy who wants to stand on his hind legs and easier for you to hop over), and either rigid metal bars or a mesh screen. If you choose a gate with metal bars, make sure that it has a mesh cover so a puppy or dog can’t get his head stuck between the bars.
You can also choose to keep your dog contained with an exercise pen.

Ex-pens resemble children’s playpens — except ex-pens don’t have floors or bottoms. Some are made from the same sort of wire used in wire crates, but others are made from hard plastic. Many expens have eight panels, plus a door, but others such as the one in Figure 5-4 have only six panels. Either way, they generally range from 2 to 4 feet high and are available at pet supply stores.

Figure 5-3: A baby gate keeps your Beagle out of unauthorized areas.
 
Figure 5-4: An ex-pen can help keep a Beagle out of mischief.

Picking out dishes

Dog dishes come in a wide range of sizes and shapes — but for a Beagle, the options are reasonably narrow, literally. A narrow, deep bowl allows your Snoopy-dog to eat and drink with his ears outside the bowl. As for the dish’s material, you have several options:

Stainless steel: Your best bet probably is a stainless steel dish, because it’s easy to clean and can’t be demolished by a teething puppy.

Ceramic: Ceramic is also a good choice, as long as it’s not imported. No, I’m not bashing foreign trade here; my concern is that ceramic dishes manufactured outside the United States may contain lead, which can be toxic to Beagles and their people.

Plastic: Plastic dishes are cheap and easy to clean, but can cause some dogs to lose their nose pigment (the loss is temporary; after you switch to a nonplastic dish, the pigment should return) or to develop little pimples (yup, dogs can get acne) on their chins.

Tip

Invest in three dog dishes: a water dish and one dish for each of the two meals per day that you’ll feed your adult Beagle. That way, you won’t have to wash a dish after every doggy meal. You can just pop each dish into the dishwasher, run the dishwasher at night, and — voilà! — have clean dishes at the ready the next morning.

Chow time!

Plan on having a week’s worth of dog food on hand before you bring your new Beagle home. What to buy? Ask the breeder, animal shelter, or foster-care provider what they’ve been feeding your dog and buy the same product. You may want to change food later — if so, Chapter Feeding Your Beagle will give you some ideas on what changes you may want to make — but for now, at least, stick with what your dog’s already eating. The transition to your home will be challenging enough for your new friend; don’t ask him to deal with dietary changes, too.

Tip

Lay in a couple of 15-ounce cans of pumpkin — just straight pumpkin, not prepared pumpkin pie filling — before you bring your Beagle home. If your new dog’s stress results in overly loose or overly hard stool, a dollop of pumpkin mixed in with his food can rebalance his system in a jiffy.

This Beagle’s made for walkin’: Collars and leashes

Abandon any thoughts you have of getting your Beagle to walk beside you off leash, at least for the immediate future. The Beagle is much more likely to obey his nose than to obey you — and if his nose takes him in a direction away from you, it’s bye-bye, little friend. To keep your dog securely tethered to you, you need to buy him a collar and leash.
The collar holds not only the leash, but also the identification tag, rabies inoculation tag, and license tag needed to keep your Beagle legal. Stores offer plenty of collar styles to choose from, and Chapter Schooling Your Beagle discusses those options in detail. For now, though, all you need is a soft nylon or thin leather buckle or snap collar. For an adult Beagle, get a collar for 20- to 30-pound dog; for a puppy, size down accordingly.
Chapter Schooling Your Beagle also discusses leash options — but for now, opt for a 6-foot leather leash. Nylon leashes are cheaper, but if your Beagle decides to get in touch with his inner sled dog and pull you down the street, the nylon could leave a nasty burn on your palm as the leash crosses your hand. Leather is easier on the hands, and it lasts longer, too.

Warning!

Think twice — no, make that 20 times — about using a retractable leash. These contraptions may give your dog the illusion of freedom because they allow him to wander up to 15 feet — maybe even farther — away from you. However, many communities ban the use of leashes that extend more than 6 feet, because unsuspecting pedestrians don’t always see the leashes and can easily trip over them. In addition, the leash’s retractability encourages your Beagle to pull you down the street as though he’s running a one-dog chariot race straight out of the movie Ben-Hur. Trust me: You don’t want to give your Beagle the means to exhibit any more independence than he’s already likely to show!

The same is true of harnesses. Unless you use a special no-pull harness (more about that in Chapter Schooling Your Beagle), you won’t have the control you need to keep your Beagle from pulling. Harnesses are appropriate for a teeny-tiny dog who may injure his windpipe if subjected to a leash and collar. But Beagles are stronger than that!

Grooming gear

Beagles require relatively little grooming equipment, but you need to have a few basic items on hand for when your dog could use a canine makeover. Put these items on your shopping list:

Shampoo: A mild shampoo formulated just for dogs will give your Beagle a pleasurable bath whenever he needs one. An oatmeal or hypoallergenic shampoo is an especially good choice. Don’t bother with flea shampoos; they’re much too harsh for a Beagle’s tender skin — and your vet can offer far better ways to rid your dog of fleas.

Warning!

Don’t use your own shampoo on your Beagle. The stuff that keeps your tresses gleaming is too harsh for his coat and skin.

Brush: Either a soft bristle brush or rubber curry brush will do the trick for the weekly brushings he’ll need.

Nail clippers: Doggy nail clippers are the equipment of choice for regular Beagle pedicures.

Toothbrush and pet toothpaste: To keep your Beagle’s teeth clean, pick up a doggy toothbrush (or soft child’s toothbrush) and pet toothpaste. Don’t use human toothpaste, which can upset your dog’s tummy.

Everything you need to know about grooming your Beagle is in Chapter Sprucing Up Your Beagle.

Clean-up equipment

As a responsible Beagle owner, you need to clean up any poop that your dog deposits outdoors — and as a person who presumably wants to keep a reasonably sanitary house, you need to clean up your dog’s indoor bathroom boo-boos.

For outdoor cleanup, all you really need is a goodly supply of plastic grocery-size bags or larger. The scoop on cleaning up your dog’s poop appears in Chapter Managing Your Beagle’s Day-to-Day Health.
Indoor cleanups require specialized products. Check out the appropriate aisle in your local pet superstore, where you’ll find a boatload of enzymatic cleaners that remove not only the stains from your Beagle’s bathroom transgressions, but also the odors. Chapter Housetraining Your Beagle has a thorough explanation of why odor removal is crucial for housetraining to succeed.

Extra comforts of home

Of course you want to pamper your new pooch! Here are some suggestions on stuff to buy to help you do just that:

A crate pad: You wouldn’t want to sleep on a hard metal or plastic surface, and your Beagle probably won’t want to, either. A crate-sized foam mattress will give your dog a comfy reason to love his den, which is a big plus while you’re trying to housetrain him. Many of these pads are also waterproof, which is another plus during the housetraining process if, for some reason, your Beagle has an accident in his crate.

A few toys: Most Beagles love toys of some sort, but you may need to experiment for a while until you figure out your own dog’s plaything preferences. Start with a few inexpensive, durable items such as balls or rubber bones. Other good toys are pooch puzzlers such as Kongs and Busta Cubes in which you hide tasty treats for your Beagle to ferret out.

Warning!

Avoid toys that have parts (including squeakers) that are small enough to swallow; are easily destroyed by canine teeth; come with long strings that can get stuck in the digestive tract (for example, rope toys); and resemble real-life objects that you don’t want your dog to chew on (for example, a sock, shoe, or newspaper).

A few treats: The food- and scent-obsessed Beagle responds well to food rewards for learning basic doggy etiquette. Chapters Feeding Your Beagle and Schooling Your Beagle give you the lowdown on giving treats for tricks and just plain doing what you ask your Snoopy-dog to do.

Designating Beagle Spaces in Your Home

Getting Beagle gear is only half of what you need to do before you  bring your new family member home. The other half is making surethat your home is ready for when the little hound crosses your threshold for the first time.
Before your Beagle comes home, figure out where in your house he’s going to be conducting the major activities in his life: sleeping, eating, pooping, peeing, and playing. The sooner you determine where you want him to do his thing — and where you don’t — the smoother his transition into your household will be.
Note that in the previous paragraph I said “in your house.” That’s because I strongly believe that Beagles — and all dogs, for that matter — belong indoors with their families. The more time your dog spends with you, the more bonded to you he will be. He’ll be a better companion, too.

The Beagle boudoir

The best place for your Beagle to sleep is in the same room that you sleep — and not just the first few nights, but every night you and he are in the same house. Beagles are pack animals, which means they want to sleep in close proximity to other family members. Your Beagle, as independent as he is, will still count on you to feed him, play with him, train him, exercise him, and take good care of him. He’ll want to be with you as much as possible, even if he won’t necessarily want to do everything you ask of him.
Sleeping in the same room that you do gives your dog a chance to be with you and your scent for an extended period of time. Repeated nights together help your Beagle build trust and confidence in you, and also help him feel that he really belongs in his new pack.
Many people, especially first-time dog owners, think that inviting a dog into one’s bedroom is the height of lunacy. Their objections generally take the form of plaintive questions such as:

What if he’s noisy and won’t let me sleep? No matter where your Beagle sleeps, he’ll probably be noisy, at least for the first few nights. He’ll whine, he’ll bark, and he may even howl.

But can you blame him? He’s in a strange place with people he doesn’t know. If he’s a puppy, he’s away from his mom and siblings for the very first time in his young life. Either way, he’s scared and needs comforting.

Tip

Put him in his crate, bring the crate into your bedroom as close as possible to your bed, and extend your fingers down from your bed toward the crate door so he can sniff them. I guarantee that your Beagle’s nocturnal vocalizing will be much less than it would be if you banish the poor little guy to the other end of the house just so you can get some zzz’s.

What if he has an accident? Any accident anywhere should draw the same response: Just clean it up. But you can limit the likelihood of accidents in your bedroom by taking your new Beagle out to potty just before bedtime, putting him in his crate at night, and, if he’s a puppy, taking him outside to pee once or twice during the middle of the night. Chapter Housetraining Your Beagle explains how to prevent accidents anywhere in the house.

Warning!

Don’t let your Beagle sleep on your bed with you — at least not until you’re sure that he’s fully housetrained, as described in Chapter Housetraining Your Beagle.

What if we’re, um, doing something? Please. Who’s your Beagle going to tell? Put him in his crate and enjoy yourselves! He’ll probably sleep through the whole thing.

The doggy dining area

The kitchen is probably the best place for your Beagle’s dining area. You’ll undoubtedly fix his meals in the kitchen, so feeding him there means fewer steps for you. Spillage doesn’t ruin a bare kitchen floor the way it might ruin a living-room carpet. The kitchen also is the center of most human household action, so your sociable Snoopydog won’t feel that he’s missing anything important just because he’s stopping to have a meal. That said, your Beagle should be able to eat all of his meals without being disturbed. In other words, no matter where your little hound eats, don’t let anyone — kids, other pets, even adults — bug him. To create just the right atmosphere for your Beagle’s dining pleasure, turn to Chapter Feeding Your Beagle.

The Beagle bathroom

The best place for your Beagle to do his duty is outdoors, but not far away from your house. If you have a backyard, select an area that’s a few feet away from the house and take him there each and every time he needs a bathroom break. If you don’t have a yard, walk with him on the sidewalk and let him eliminate on the median strip between the sidewalk and street — taking care to clean up immediately afterward. No sidewalk? Find a small park or lot where you can take your friend and clean up after he unloads.

Warning!

Don’t take a Beagle puppy to areas where other dogs eliminate until he’s had all of his puppy shots. Until his immunization program is complete, he’s vulnerable to contracting diseases, such as distemper, parvovirus, and intestinal parasites, all of which may lay waiting in the droppings of infected dogs. Chapter Managing Your Beagle’s Day-to-Day Health gives more information on immunizing your Beagle.

The Beagle hangout zone

Giving your Beagle the run of the house while you’re not home isn’t a good idea, especially when he still holds newcomer status. A better option is to escort your Beagle to his cozy crate if you’ll be gone for just a couple of hours. Longer jaunts away from the house require that you set up another place for your dog to stay until you return; possible options include a laundry room or the kitchen. Put his crate in that new place, set up baby gates, or shut the door and leave him a couple of safe toys to play with. By taking these precautions, you’ll greatly reduce the likelihood that your Beagle will chew on your upholstery, tear down the wallpaper, or otherwise trash your domicile before you return.

No-Beagles zones

Picking the places you don’t want your Beagle to go is really a matter of personal preference. In my household, the dog-free zones include our living room furniture, all human beds, and my husband’s art studio. Think of a few areas where you positively, absolutely, never, ever want your Beagle to be, and take steps to restrict his access to them. The following section offers ideas on exactly how to restrict your dog’s access to areas and items that may get him into trouble.

Beagle-Proofing Your Home and Yard

Every child needs boundaries in order to thrive and grow to be a healthy, well-balanced adult — and in that respect, Beagles are no different than human kids. Your Beagle needs clear, consistent boundaries not only to stay in your good graces, but also just to stay safe.

Securing the perimeter

Those boundaries start with the outdoors: specifically, with enclosing part or all of your yard so it’s virtually escape-proof. Fencing comes in a wide variety of materials and price ranges, but the most important consideration for the fence-building Beagle owner is that whatever you build be impermeable. Ask your local hardware store or fencing professional what materials best keep Beagles on their own turf. And after you or the contractor start to install the fence, make very sure that no openings or crevices exist above or below ground that may allow your Beagle to make his bid for freedom. And check at least weekly after installation is complete: Beagles are masters at fashioning creative escape routes by digging under or chewing holes in fences.

Warning!

If you choose not to install a fence, don’t let your Beagle out in your yard without you holding the other end of a leash. No matter how much your little hound loves you, he’ll love the great outdoors more. If he gets the chance to explore the world beyond his backyard without being tethered to you, he will jump at it — and the results could be tragic. Some dog owners install an electronic fence thinking it will protect their Beagle just as well as a traditional fence. The sidebar, “How about electronic fences?”, explains why you shouldn’t opt for this high-tech solution.

How about electronic fences?

For many Beagle owners, the prospect of installing conventional fencing either offends their visual tastes or wreaks havoc on their household budgets. Either way, lectronic fencing appears to provide an attractive, cost-saving alternative. After installing underground wiring around the perimeter of your property, you buckle a special collar around your dog’s neck. If he crosses your property line, he receives a mild electrical shock.
Unfortunately, all too many Beagles and other breeds venture beyond their property lines despite getting shocked — but then refuse to come back to their domiciles because they don’t want another mini-jolt. And that’s not the only potential problem with electronic fencing; another is that other dogs, animals, or people can cross freely into your yard, but your Beagle can’t get away from them unless he’s willing to risk getting shocked. In other words, electronic fencing can make your dog more vulnerable to being attacked or stolen.
The bottom line: Don’t rely on electronic fencing to contain your little hound. The Beagle who gets lost could be your own.
Even though you’ve provided an outdoor play area for your Beagle, don’t leave him outdoors unattended. The great outdoors, even within the confines of your yard, offers too many hazards for your little hound — hazards that range from dangerous plants to kids’ toys to uncovered swimming pools. When your Beagle’s outside, be there with him — or at least be watching him from a window.

Conducting a sweep

Inside the house, your main task is to make sure that your Beagle can’t come into contact with anything that could get him into trouble or, worse, jeopardize his safety. The prudent dog owner takes steps to Beagle-proof his home before the little hound actually sets paw in the house. Here are some tips to do just that:

Get down to his level. Assess the field from your Beagle’s perspective: down low and on all fours. Get down on your hands and knees, and crawl throughout your home’s interior so you can get a pup’s-eye view of what will attract his attention or land him in trouble.

Stash your stuff. Shoes, socks, underwear, kids’ toys, books, and magazines are all fodder for a curious Beagle’s teeth. Keep your Beagle from shredding your stuff by putting it out of view and out of reach. Put clothes in closed closets and drawers, place books and magazines out of reach, and cut off access to any items that you don’t want your little hound to find during one of his many search-and-destroy missions.

Batten down the wires. Dangling electrical cords could entice a curious Beagle who wants to paw or chew on them. Fasten them to the floor and/or wall with duct tape.

Block off staircases. A tumble down some stairs can break a Beagle’s leg or other bones. Close any doors that lead to flights of stairs; if that’s not possible, put baby gates at both ends of the staircase. After your Beagle gets used to your home and learns to navigate stairs, you can probably get rid of the gates.

Secure the cabinets. Install door guards to keep your Beagle out of cabinets that contain household cleansers or other substances that may be dangerous to him. Door guards are available at any toy or baby supply store.

Lids down! I’m sorry to have to tell male readers that leaving the toilet seat up is not an option if you share your home with a Beagle. A Beagle puppy who finds his way into an open toilet could drown — and no Beagle benefits from drinking water out of the toilet. Bottom line: Keep the seat down at all times.

No trashing. Dogs love to dive into wastebaskets to ferret out undesirable goodies. Make sure your Beagle can’t find any. Empty your wastebaskets often, and/or limit his access to them by closing doors or moving the baskets off the floor.

Ladies, not to get gross, but many dogs love the scent of used feminine hygiene products. Wrap used maxi-pads, tampon inserters, and pantiliners securely with toilet paper before stashing them in the trash — and make sure your dog can’t get to the basket you’ve stashed them in.

Planning Mayhem Management

Take a deep breath, look around your home and savor the moment. It may be the last peaceful moment you’ll have in your house for quite a while. That’s because the first few days of having a Beagle in your home inevitably will be somewhat chaotic. The newcomer won’t have a clue as to what’s going on, other than that he’s in someplace new that bears exploring. Meanwhile, the current residents — human and nonhuman alike — are struggling to figure out what to do to keep the new dog off their turf or get some love time in with the way-too-cute Snoopy-dog. Still, you can limit the chaos by mapping out a first-day mayhem management plan. Here’s what to consider:

Who’s the boss? Figure out who makes the rules, who controls the interactions between your Beagle and the rest of your family, and who does which dog-care jobs. If you’re the decision-maker — well, congrats. You’re top dog.

– Where will the other critters be? Plan how your current pets will meet the new critter in the house. Do you want them to be out of the house until your Beagle can settle in? Will the cats be at large or confined to a small room away from the new family member? Check out Chapter Welcoming Your Beagle Home, which offers tips for managing your new dog’s first encounter with the other nonhuman members of your pack.
– How will your kids meet the dog? Depending on their ages, you may want them to wait until you bring the new dog to them, or let them greet the newcomer immediately. Consider, too, whether you want to let them bring any of their friends over to meet the Beagle — and if so, how many and for how long. Stumped? Hop on over to Chapter Welcoming Your Beagle Home.

Tip

Have a conference with your kids before you bring your Beagle home. Help them understand that your new puppy or dog may be feeling a little scared at first, and that he needs everyone to stay calm and give him some space for a while. Then, make some rules — no screaming, shouting, or squealing; no roughhousing; gentle petting only — and enforce them.
– Does everyone know what will happen when the Beagle comes home? Make sure everyone in the household — the kids, your roommates, and your partner — knows what you plan to do when you bring the Snoopy-dog home. Will you give him a bathroom break first? How long will you let him explore the house? How will you handle the introductions to the other animal members? When everyone knows what’s going to happen, you stand a better chance of keeping mayhem to a minimum. Chapter Welcoming Your Beagle Home offers suggestions to help you do just that.

 

by Susan McCullough

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