Don’t be surprised if I say dogs are one of the most popular pets around the globe. This is so because the addition of a dog into your family can be highly enriching and add a lot of entertainment, fun, and joy to your life. However, remember that owning a pet is an immense responsibility because pets rely on you for all their needs.
So before you purchase a new animal companion, it is essential to research thoroughly and gather sufficient information about the animal and its daily needs to make sure you are able to satisfy the physiological, behavioral as well as social requirements of your animal.
Irrespective of how much you love dogs and how anxious your heart is to hug a dog, there are many things to consider before you bring a dog home. So if you are looking to get a dog home, you have landed on the right page. Let’s take a look at this list of things essential for you to know before purchasing a dog.
Be Patient & Make A Wise Decision
If you want to get a dog, that’s fine, but the first and foremost thing to consider is that you don’t make a hasty decision. Do detailed and in-depth research about “what type of dog you want?” “Do you have enough space at home?” “How much time generally you spend outside daily?” “Do you travel a lot?” “What are the basic requirements of the dog you want to adopt?” “Who will look after your dog if you are away for many days?” “Do your residential area/society allow to keep dogs?” and many more.
Life Time Commitment
Dogs are intelligent animals and very quickly become emotionally attached to their owner and other members of the family. Once they are with you, they will love to be there for life. So dog ownership is not a matter of a few weeks or months; it’s a commitment for the rest of your life.
Remember that abandoning them after a while will be a great shock for your dog, and he can develop anxiety and many mental disorders.
Consider Your Budget
The third point is to consider your budget, can you afford to have a dog. In addition to one-time expenses of purchasing the dog and other accessories, there are a lot of other expenses that you will have to bear on a regular basis (like feeding, vaccination, deworming, medical checkup, grooming, tick and flea control, etc.). Generally, a dog will cost you $800 to $1000 annually. Emergency expenses are not included in this estimate.
Time Consuming Job
Whether you own a young puppy or an adult dog, looking after them is a time-consuming job. You will have to feed him 2-4 times daily (depending on age). They need to go out immediately after feeding or drinking to eliminate properly.
They need regular outdoor walks and exercise, and playtime with their owner. That means you will be required to invest more time and effort into this tiny creature than you thought you would or have become accustomed to.
Carefully Select The Breed
Now you know the requirements of being a dog owner; the next step is to decide which type of dog you want to purchase. You can list the pros and cons of every breed and select one that suits your personality, environment, size of your house, local laws, and family structure.
Especially if you have children at home, you need to make a careful selection. There are many dog breeds that are good for families with kids; however, certain breeds are not recommended for families with children.
Make You Home Dog Proof
You will have to make some permanent changes in your home before the puppy arrives. Such changes are necessary to keep the house safe for your canine friend and secure your furniture, curtain, bed sheets, etc.
Keep all the food items, medicines, and chemicals, in locked cabins and buy a dustbin with a locking lid. Keep the house plants high above, out of your dog’s range. Also, ensure that items like vertical blinds and hanging cords are cleared away to avoid accidents.
Feed Calculated Diet
It is not recommended to free-feed your dog. You need to offer the right amount of high-quality and well-balanced diet at a fixed time daily. The composition and amount can vary with your dog’s age, breed, and exercise level. Free feeding or overfeeding can make your dog obese very quickly. And an Obese dog is more prone to arthritis, pancreatitis, diabetes, and heart-related issues.
Dog Need Regular Exercise
All dogs need 30 – 60 minutes of outdoor walk and exercise once or twice daily to burn extra calories and maintain a healthy body. The duration and frequency of walking and exercise depend on individual dogs’ breed and nutritional status. So this is another important factor to keep in mind when selecting a breed.
An essential aspect of dog ownership is that you will also have to spare some time on a regular basis to brush their hair, trim their nails and clean their teeth. Dogs also need baths after regular intervals.
Immediate Training & Socialization Is Necessary
Once your puppy is at home, start the training immediately. Training is necessary to teach your dog its limits and avoid accidents in the house, chewing on things, and other bad habits. Along with the training, proper socialization is also necessary.
Socialization includes exposing your dog to different people, places, situations, and animals (including other dogs). A properly socialized dog is more confident and happy, enjoys the company of other people and animals, and is less likely to be afraid, anxious, or aggressive when interacting with a novel situation or strangers (animal or people).
Make A routine
It is imperative to make a routine of all the activities (like outdoor walks, exercise, grooming, feeding, and playtime) that suit your schedule and then stick to it. Dogs also love to follow a routine, and frequent changes in the daily routine can badly affect their physical and mental health.
Spay Or Neuter Immediately
For every new dog owner (even seasoned owners), getting your dog spayed or neutered as early as possible is recommended. Because breeding your dog and getting the young ones, require a lot of respective knowledge, more space, and effort. It is a specialized job, so let the professionals do it.
Dogs that are not Spayed or neutered are more prone to some medical issues, so spaying or neutering will also save a lot of money you are supposed to spend on medical expenses.
Arrange Necessary Supplies In Advance
You need to arrange many accessories before bringing a dog home. A list of necessary items is given below. The items are arranged priority-wise. The first few items are must-have items, while others can be delayed for the next few days.
- Dog collar: It must be adjustable, fit your dog’s neck perfectly, and be made of dog-safe material.
- Harness: Measure your dog’s girth size carefully and buy a harness exactly according to the size.
- Leash: Must be 4-6 feet long, clip easily to collar or harness.
- Feeding and drinking bowls: They must be made of steel or ceramic, not plastic.
- Crate: It is a place where your dog will rest or sleep. It must be large enough for the dog to move around and sleep comfortably.
- Dog bed: To make your dog sleep comfortably.
- Grooming tools: Like hair brush, toothbrush, nail trimmer, etc.
- Toys: Arrange many toys and rotate them frequently.
Know The Address & Cell NO. Of Vets
It’s necessary to list a few vets along with their addresses, contact numbers, and working hours. You can also take advice from your friends or relative who already have pets to select reputed, easily approachable, and affordable vets in your area. With a list of vets in hand, in case of emergency, you will not get panic because you know where to go or whom to contact.
- Never go out with your dog without applying a collar/harness and leash.
- Never leave your dog alone for more than 8-10 hours continuously. He can develop separation anxiety.
- Never leave your dog in the car (even during winter) because the internal temperature can rise to a dangerous level within minutes.
- Getting medical insurance for your dog is better because some medical conditions are really expensive to treat.