Dogs are always known to be the faithful animals. They are of great fun and hugely rewarding, but owning one can also be costly and time-consuming. Are you ready to take on the responsibility?
Here is a list of 6 things you need to know before getting a dog.
- Take your time if you’re considering adopting a new dog
Talk with the staff at the shelter, make sure your new pup meets all the members of your household, and most of all, make sure you have the time and space to make sure your new buddy can live his best life with you!
- Buy your dog’s accessories in advance
Before you take your new dog home, make sure you have all the basic supplies. These include a dog collar, (you should be able to put two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck), ID tag and rabies tag, a leash (four to six feet long), food and water bowls (steel, glass, or ceramic preferred), a comfortable dog bed, and toys.
- Make your home pet-friendly
Did you know that something as simple as chewing gum can be deadly for dogs, or that ibuprofen is toxic to cats? It is highly important to go through your home now, before you bring a new pet home, to search out hazards and get them out of the way or out of the house. This includes cabinets at pet level, counter tops, bottles of chemical on the floor, small toys, electric cords and curtain cords. And it doesn’t stop there. You will also need to check your home and yard for toxic plants for dogs or cats, and if you carry a purse or bag, you will need to find and discard any potential dangers – like sugar-free gum, which often contains xylitol.
- Train your dog
If your happy home is going to remain a happy home, the housetraining will need to start immediately after bringing your dog home. If it is a puppy, leash him up and take him outside to start getting to know his neighborhood. Most puppies will be intimidated by their new surrounding, and you don’t want to put a fright into your puppy. A very short walk on the first outing is all that is needed. Begin training on that first outing.
- Be prepared to groom your dog
Groom your dog, making sure to ease into a grooming routine. Begin with shorter sessions, and gradually increase to the normal grooming session. Be sure that whoever is grooming the dog pets it frequently, and that your dog is rewarded in the end. Your dog’s nails should not touch the ground, and your dog should be brushed regularly. This will prevent tangles and reduce the risk of skin irritation. Your vet can help you plan an appropriate grooming schedule for your particular dog, depending on breed and hair type.
- Brush your dog’s teeth
Brush your dog’s teeth in order to prevent dental diseases. Make sure you include a toothbrush on your list of supplies before you bring your dog home, but NEVER use human toothpaste. Ask your vet for a special canine toothpaste made just for your pup!