If you’re a first-time dog owner – or even an experienced one preparing for the arrival of a new buddy – your decision to get a dog shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, you’re adding a new member to your family unit, and with that comes great joy but also a great responsibility. Assuming you’ve already decided on getting a dog, you have a whole lot of things to do, and each of them will affect how well your pet fits into your family life and your household budget. Here’s a top 5.
Your Dog’s Healthcare
When your puppy arrives, taking him for a checkup at a local veterinary surgery is among the first things you’ll do. Vaccination is important too, but fortunately, not enormously expensive. However, when things go wrong, you might be glad for a cheap pet insurance policy. Check out your options. Without employing any scare tactics, all breeds of dogs have specific health weaknesses, and treating them can be an enormously costly affair.
Protecting Your Dog From Getting Lost
When a family dog gets lost, your whole family goes through a lot of trauma. Your first step is to secure your yard, but even if you do, some dogs are “escape artists,” or they may stray during family outings like camping trips. A collar tag with your phone number on it can help, but collars aren’t foolproof. A microchip will help veterinarians or animal welfare organizations identify a lost pet and trace him back to you.
Pet Food Options
When getting a dog, find out what pet food he is accustomed to. Changing your dog’s diet suddenly can cause digestive upsets. If you decide to go for better food than the one he’s used to, make the transition gradually, mixing increasing amounts of the new dog food with the one he already knows. Watch out for diarrhea and slow down the transition if it occurs. Dry dog food will be the basis of most pet dogs’ diets, with wet food as a relish or a treat. Talk to your vet if your dog’s digestion seems particularly sensitive or if he develops skin problems.
Where Will Your Dog Shelter in Bad Weather?
If you don’t plan on letting your dog sleep indoors on most days, provide him with a dry place out of the wind and weather to shelter. However, when the weather is extremely cold, letting him come indoors is the humane thing to do. In general, it’s best to let dogs learn how to behave indoors and to allow some indoor time as a matter of routine.
Will, Your Dog, Get Enough Stimulation?
Dogs have intellectual and emotional needs too! They’re smart animals, and a bored dog will become anxious and may entertain himself in ways you don’t approve of! If you aren’t at home during the day, a doggie companion can help to give him the company he needs, but he still needs you! Will you be able to take him for regular walks? Will you have the time and patience that training a dog takes? Will he get the love and attention that he craves? Being “naughty” gets his attention, so neither of you will be happy if your pet doesn’t get enough company.
All Thought Through and Ready to Go
You’re satisfied that you can provide a new dog with the safe, happy, and healthy home he needs. There’s nothing left to wait for – except perhaps the right pup. The two of you are going to share many happy years together! Enjoy them!