You have been dreaming of getting that adorable puppy for months and you can now picture yourself with your new best friend, and together you grab life by the tail and conquer the neighborhood.
Everything is going to be great as soon as your new family member moves in, but as every dog owner will tell you, puppy ownership is not all tail wags and snuggle times.
As a pet owner, there will be a few things you would need to consider before getting a new puppy or dog.
Things You Should Consider Before Getting A Dog
Will you be getting your new furry friend from a breeder, maybe from the pet stores, or would you consider getting one from your local animal shelter? How about deciding between a purebred or mixed-breed dog?
The biggest thing you should consider before getting a dog is that they are a long-term commitment. Even after the puppy stage, dogs normally have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, which is surely a long time.
There are more things you should consider before getting a new dog or puppy. Keep reading to learn more.
Each Dog Has A Unique Personality
If you have done your research, you will know that each dog breed has unique characteristics. When you finally bring your dog home, you will find that they also have a very distinct personality. You might have read that their breed is very aloof and sometimes aggressive, but your dog is friendly and goofy.
Having a dog move in with you is like suddenly adopting a new family member. Both you and your dog will take time getting to know each other and will learn how to come together as a team.
Your Place Needs To Be Safe For Your Dog
Just as parents child-proof their homes for their newly walking toddler, a dog owner would need to takes steps to puppy proof their home safe for the new housemate.
All toxic chemicals will need to be out of reach and placed on high shelves. Cabinets are great for hiding things, but you will soon see that your new friend has quickly learned how to open the cabinets. Latches attached inside cabinet doors work best for keeping dogs out of the cabinets.
Crafting items are dangerous around pets. Put away the yarn, needles, paints, and sharp tools. All of these craft items could potentially harm your dog.
You’ll want to check your home for any poisonous plants and toxic foods that your puppy can get their paws on.
Another potential danger to dogs is electrical cords and plugs. If it is something your dog could chew on while he is bored, then the chances are pretty high that they will try it.
Owning A Dog Is Expensive
From the moment you decide to get a dog, you will have numerous different expenses you never knew about before. You will need to get your new friend a collar, leash, dog license, and let’s not forget about a training crate and bed.
After those initial expenses, you will need to set up your dog’s first veterinary appointment. Vet bills are quick to rack up with regular checkups, but they are necessary for your dog’s health. If you get a puppy, you will also need to include the cost of vaccinations. You might want to consider pet insurance as emergency vet visits can also be quite expensive as well.
If you don’t plan on breeding your puppy and you want to be a responsible dog owner, you will need to have your dog neutered or spayed. This will prevent unwanted puppies that may end up in a shelter if you’re unable to find them a home.
Next, there are puppy food, water bowls, and treats. Quality dog food can be quite expensive, but provide a lot of the vitamins and minerals your puppy will need to grow. You’ll want to get treats to use as a reward for training your puppy as well.
Last but not least, dog toys will be high on your list of must-haves. Not only because you don’t want your new puppy to be bored in their new home, but you don’t want them chewing up your favorite pair of shoes.
Dog Fur Will Be Every Where
Whether you have adopted a short-haired or long-haired dog, dog hair will quickly become a problem if you don’t address it head-on.
If you live in a child-free home, you will find that you need to vacuum more often than you usually do. Not only will you have to vacuum the floor, but also the furniture to prevent dog hair from building up on the sofa and upholstered chairs.
For fine or short dog hair, buying a sticky roller will help remove dog hair quickly and easily. Regularly grooming your dog will also cut down on the amount of hair you will need to clean up.
Baths And Nail Trimming
There’s no doubt about it, dogs that go outside will get dirty, sometimes they just get very dirty. And a good bath will be the only way to get them clean again.
Generally, dogs should get a bath once every three months, but if your dog is a dirt magnet, you may find yourself washing him almost every week.
You will also need to keep their nails trimmed and filed. Check your dog’s nails once a week. If the nails are touching the ground and click on the floor, it is time to have them trimmed back.
Yearly Flea And Tick Care
You and your dog just spent the day walking through the neighborhood or playing at the dog park. As you both kick back and relax on the couch, you see a strange brown spot on their face. You look closer and see that it is a tick.
During the spring and summer months especially, regularly inspect your dog for fleas and ticks. You will want to be sure that you take measures to prevent infestations by using flea and tick products before it becomes a big problem.
A Well-trained Dog Is A Happy Dog
Dogs are happiest when they get attention, and that is what you are doing when you begin to train your dog to sit, beg, and shake a paw. Puppy training also increases the bond between yourself and your dog. You will both begin picking up on each other’s feelings and learn how to interact with each other.
Taking obedience training classes together at a school or online in-home training will help you both learn how to act and react in social situations. Taking walks in the park will become a good experience and not one where the dog pulls you from scent to scent or starts barking at every dog she sees.
You will need to also work on potty training. Create a routine they will easily recognize. Take them out to the yard or to the puppy pad after they eat or drink. Take them out again first thing in the morning, when you get home from school or work, and again before bedtime. When they go potty, give them some form of positive reinforcement.
Finding The Right Veterinarian
Finding the right veterinarian for your dog can take time. You may luck out and have a local veterinarian who is good with dogs, or you may have to ask family and friends who are dog owners.
When you do find a vet for your puppy, read through their policies for first-time patients and check out the doctor’s credentials. Be proactive when visiting the vet.
Ask questions and make sure you understand everything that the vet is doing and suggesting. Most vets are great people, but if you visit one that does not resonate with you, then it may be time to seek out a new one.
Your Food Is Not Safe. Ever!
If there is one thing that all dogs love, it is food. Your dog will beg you for scraps, ask you to share your pizza, and drool lavishly all over your clean floor as you sit at the kitchen table eating an apple.
Dogs are obsessed with all types of food, and this could be a problem. Imagine pulling a chicken out of the oven and setting it on the counter. Suddenly your phone rings in the other room where you had it last. You leave the kitchen, answer your phone, and start talking to your best friend about the day’s event.
Meanwhile, your dog is still in the kitchen. They can smell that chicken and are eyeing up their surroundings. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out that if they jump up on the chair, it’s a short jump to the counter. Next thing you know, there’s your dog eating the chicken on the floor.
Just about every dog owner has at least one story of their dog stealing a meal. Be aware of it now, and know that it will happen eventually.
Being Lazy Is Not An Option
Want to sleep in this weekend or don’t feel like getting out of bed today? These are not options when you have a dog to care for.
Sure, some dogs love to hang around and spend a day getting pets and snuggles, but some will have high energy levels and you will need to take them out to the yard to play or out for a walk. You will also need to give them water as well as feed them.
Having a dog means that you will provide her with full-time care and affection. You can’t expect him to do any of these things by himself. There are no days off. So, yes, you can kick back and relax with your furry best friend, but don’t think for an instant that you are going to spend the day doing absolutely nothing.
Time With Your Dog Is Too Short
Dogs are a lifetime commitment and one of the hardest things about having a dog is losing them, and that day will always come too soon. The average lifespan of a dog is 10 to 13 years. For large dogs, such as a mastiff, the lifespan is only eight years. That is such a short amount of time. Spend every moment loving your dog and giving him the best life possible.
Your Life Will Be Forever Changed
Once you and your fur baby have bonded, you will look back and realize there was an empty spot in your life before your dog came and filled its place.
Dogs give us unconditional love and endless entertainment. We care for them, love them, and make them a part of our family.
The bond between a person and a dog can be one of the strongest bonds anyone can experience, and it will change your life forever.