Advice for first time pet owners
Bringing a dog home is a life-changing experience. Dogs are very loving creatures and are wonderful to have around, but they are a big responsibility as well. First time dog owners tend to be a little hesitant and unsure of what to do and how to care for their dog properly.
Before you get a dog, be sure that you will be able to stick to your commitment. Dogs require a lot of care and attention, so be sure that you will be able to devote this to them. If you are too busy and don’t have enough time to care for a dog, do not get one. Remember, a dog is not just a privilege, it is also a responsibility.
Evaluate your lifestyle and get a dog that matches it. For example, if you are not very athletic, do not get a dog that requires a lot of exercise. If you live in a small flat, do not adopt a big dog. Take all aspects of your families life (and your own life as well) into consideration before you choose a dog.
Avoid adopting a dog during the holiday season. People tend to do this often, as puppies are often bought as presents at the time of a celebration. However, breeders discourage this as puppies require a lot of attention when they first come home, which may not be possible due to the endless distractions you will be faced with during this time.
Prepare your home for the puppy to make the transition as smooth as possible. Buy treats, toys, bedding and other such necessities so that everything is ready and waiting for your dog when he or she comes to the new home. Your dog will also require a collar, leash and other such accessories.
Make a schedule for your family and you to decide the distribution of responsibilities such as food, water, walking, exercise, clean-up and grooming. You could write these down and post them where every member of the family can see it as use it as a reminder.
Before you bring your dog home, dog-proof your house. Move all breakables and chewables out of reach, keep wires and electrical fixtures covered and unreachable, remove poisonous items which are in the dogs vicinity.
Train your dog from the very first day. This includes house training and other forms of training as well. If your dog is doing something wrong, stop it then and there to prevent it from developing and bad habits.
Keep your dog healthy with frequent visits to the vet, vaccinations, plenty of exercise and a good diet. Tick and flea infestations are common to be sure to try and avoid those by checking your dogs fur regularly. After a while, you will start recognizing your dogs pattern - when she eats,what time he relieves himself. Try not to alter this schedule and adjust your day to adapt to it.
Grooming is important. Do not bathe your dog too often but be sure to brush its fur regularly. Clip its nails, keep its teeth and ears clean. Particular breeds are more susceptible to certain problems, be aware of your breeds health risks so you can recognize symptoms or even avoid these problems altogether.
Most importantly, be a friend. Give your dog plenty of love and attention. Play with him, give him treats, take him for walks. Keep your dog happy and you will see this happiness reflect in yourself.
A dog is a big responsibility, this is an undeniable fact. However, the return you get from what you invest in taking care of a dog is amazing. They are extremely loving creatures, and are a great pleasure to have around.