7 Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Dog
Getting a new dog is always exciting. You’re getting a new family member in your home, and if it’s the first time you have a dog in your home, then there are a few things that you’ll have to prepare yourself for.
From preparing financially to get a dog, to getting the basics for your new family member, we’ll go over five things that you’ll have to think of before you get the dog home.
So, let’s get started, shall we?
Owning a dog can actually be pretty expensive
What most people don’t consider when it comes to dog ownership is that, just like us humans, dogs have to visit the vet every six months if they are in perfect health. And that’s just to prevent any health issues.
What’s definitely not considered is that small breeds often do suffer genetically from health conditions that you, as the owner, will have to take care of and manage by regular check-ups with the vet. Not only that but if there’s emergency care involved, you should be prepared to pay anywhere between two thousand and five thousand dollars.
As this is a pretty touchy topic, it’s best to consult with a professional. Check out the Paoli Vetcare website for a more expert opinion on the topic.
Buy the accessories before you get the dog
It’s just like having a kid. You don’t start furnishing the kids’ room only after they get home from the hospital, do you?
You have to buy everything in advance. And while a food and water bowls, ID tag, a collar, and a leash (at least six feet wide) aren’t expensive, you’ll also have to invest in a comfortable dog bed and some toys to keep the dog entertained and well-rested.
You’ll have to spend some time to find the right vet
Actually, scratch what we said above that having a dog is similar to having a kid. It’s exactly like having a kid.
And a big, important part of having a dog (and a kid) is keeping them healthy. So,
finding the right vet to take care of your dog is essential.
And, because of the abundance of dog breeds out there, not every vet specializes in every kind of dog.
So, speak with some people who own the same breed of dog as you and visit a veterinarian who specializes in the right breed.
You’ll have to dog-proof your home
Yup, just like childproofing your home. You’ll have to make sure there aren’t any harmful substances your dog. Make sure you keep any cleaning supplies in cabinets, and you don’t leave anything easily accessible.
Everything you leave out in the house could be fair game for your dog. Never leave any important papers out or it can end up getting eaten. Bathroom doors need to be closed or you’ll likely end up with toilet paper strewn around the house.
And, trash cans will need to be secured. When they want a snack, the trash is the first place they’ll look. Not only is this going to be messy, but if you have chicken bones in there it will be downright dangerous.
You’ll have to be a dentist
Yup, unlike people, dogs can’t go to the dentist. That’s why it’s very important you keep the teeth of your dog healthy and even brush them.
What your vet can help you with is teach you how to clean the teeth of your dog in order to prevent tooth decay.
It’s recommended that you brush the teeth of your dog three to five times a week.
Training can take a while
Dogs are not born ready to behave as you like. For starters, there is going to be the issue of potty training. Be ready for a lot of messes for quite some time. It can take four to six months to finally get your dog trained to go outside to do his business.
Then there is behavioral training. This can actually take a couple of years of consistent training by you and a professional. And I don’t just mean to have them sit and stay.
You’ll probably need to make sure they don’t destroy your furniture when you are not home and that they will play nicely with other dogs. If you have kids or there are lots of kids in your neighborhood, then you also need to train them to behave peacefully when kids are around.
All of these things take time and in some cases quite a bit of money. It depends on the dog and even the owner as to how long it can take.
You’ll need to keep up
One of the benefits of having a dog is it can keep you in shape. But, in the beginning, if you’re not in shape, they can wear you out. Prepare to walk many miles per day. Unless you have a yard in which you can just open the door and let them run wild, you will be taking the dog out a couple of times per day so they don’t get out of shape themselves.
And, you will definitely find yourself running after them at some point. Especially in the beginning as they aren’t likely to be well trained at that point.
Then there is bathtime and grooming that takes quite a bit of energy. When you have a very active dog that doesn’t like to sit still, then this can be quite a physical challenge.
Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences and almost every dog owner will tell you it is worth it to have a dog. They become a part of the family and add quality to your life.
Even all of these challenges that seem too much trouble in the beginning become part of the deal that you’ll embrace. At the end of the day, the unconditional love you receive from your pooch will be enough to make it all worth it.