Dogs are a great choice for every family, but not all dogs are the right one for you. Different dog breeds have different personality traits, needs, and behaviors. That is why you need to do your research before you commit to getting your first dog. You also need to decide whether you are ready to have a dog or not. It might seem like a great idea to get your child or partner a puppy for Christmas, but this gift often backfires, and these poor babies are left at animal shelters at the end of the season.
When you are looking to get your first dog, first read through this guide:
Are You Ready for One?
The first thing you need to truly make sure of is that you are ready for a dog. Consider getting a puppy or adopting a dog like you would adopting or having a child. Though the responsibility of owning a dog is less than that of a child, you still need to make sure that you have a stable home, that you can provide for your new pet, and that you can keep them active and healthy. If you cannot guarantee that you will take your new pet on daily walks, feed them correctly, and generally love them, then you aren’t ready for a dog.
Here are some ways to determine whether you are ready for a dog or not:
Dog sitting for a few hours will never prepare you like dog sitting for a week or more will. Let your friends know that you are open to taking their dogs for them while they are away on vacation, instead of using a kennel. That way, you can get a small taste of what owning a dog is really like.
If you live in a tiny apartment, far away from any parks or fields, then you should hold off on getting a dog. There are, of course, apartment dogs that are much smaller. These dogs need to be walked less and can fit in the space of your apartment. Just because your dog is small, however, doesn’t mean that you can neglect to take them for daily walks. If your dream is to have a big dog, but you live in a small space, wait until you move to a more suitable location.
Dogs are expensive. Not only is the cost of the dog high (especially for purebreds) but the vet bills and associated costs do add up. That is why you should have savings specifically for your pet. You should never, for instance, avoid getting shots from the vet when you first get a new puppy. All vet visits will cost you, and having the savings in advance will mean you can comfortably keep your new pet healthy.
What Breed to Get?
Once you have determined that you are, indeed, ready for a new puppy, it’s time to decide what breed to get. First, you need to determine what your lifestyle currently is. Are you extremely active, could you provide a lot of exercise to your dogs? Or are you more sedentary? Do you want a hyper dog, or one that is calm?
Dogs will change how you live your day-to-day life, but you should find a breed that matches your lifestyle closely so that you can take care of your new pet to the best of your ability.
How to Take Care of Your New Dog
Now that you have your new pet, it’s time to take care of them. This means focusing on their health, their training, and their happiness. Untrained puppies can turn into badly behaved dogs, so it’s important to be strict with your training so that your dog knows how to behave and act. A well-behaved dog, however, is also dependent on you giving them the exercise that they need.
Walking Your Dog
Dogs that don’t get walked frequently, or not enough, will act out. That is when you hear stories of dogs ripping up the furniture or otherwise behaving badly. Train your dog well, and ensure that their needs are met to have a well-behaved, great companion. Your dog needs to have their exercise, and you can benefit immensely from giving it to them. Dog owners who walk their dogs daily are more likely to reach their exercise quota than those without pets.
Keeping Them Healthy
You need to watch your dog’s health. There are many products out there that will help your pet’s health, but you need to know what to give them. For instance, you are the one who is responsible for arranging your dog’s flea and tick prevention system. You are also responsible for their diet. VetIQ pet products help a wide variety of daily concerns, so that you can do your part to keep your pet healthy and happy. Read up on how to keep your dog’s breed healthy, and follow through.
For When You Leave
Just because you have a dog doesn’t mean that you can never go on vacation again, just that you need to plan. You can either leave your pet at a reputable kennel near you, where your dog will be around other dogs, and will be well taken care of, or you can get someone to dog-sit. If you opt for the latter option, your dog will benefit from being in a familiar area, even though they are worried. Most people would prefer someone dog-sit their pet, but remember that kennels are a perfect solution when you have no other option.
Dogs are man’s best friend, but it is up to us to make sure that we can give back to them, too. That is why you should ensure that you are in the right place to own a dog, you are financially prepared for one, and that you know how to take care of and train your new furry friend. Dogs take a lot of patience and love, but they give endless love back.