NEOSHO, MO.--- Choosing to be a dog parent is a big commitment. There's a checklist of things to do once your new furry family member is home.
"Get their pet to the vet within the first few days to have a good exam. Introduce them to the vet, and make sure they've had all medical needs taken care of," said Leanne Williams, Faithful Friends Animal Advocate.
Leanne Williams works with Faithful Friends Advocates Animal Shelter in Neosho. She says it's important to introduce your new dog to other pets you already own on a neutral ground, outside of the home.
"Get them all aquatinted with each other and then move into the home, so they feel the other pets in the home don't feel threatened," said Williams.
Then, it's time to hit the pet store to get all the necessities for your new family member.
"Good quality food and yes you need water, food bowl, toys, chews, a soft place for them to go and rest," she said.
Definitely a collar and a leash, and an ID tag. Please get your ID tag on your animal right away because accidents can happen. They can get away from you and then they're lost," said Williams .
Leanne and her husband Richard have nine dogs, and they say a routine is important, so is team-work.
"They need a routine, and a routine is very important. And so spouses have to cooperate. They both have to be on board when they make this like 15-year commitment," said Richard Williams, Dog Owner.
Whether your new dog is a puppy or an adult, training can be done at any age.
"I have trained my 10 year old dog to do a new trick or to learn a new command. They can always learn," said Richard.
Once all the steps are in place for your new dog, it's play time!