Have you heard that owning a dog is like having a child? Well, imagine one running on four legs with even more energy. The responsibility of owning a dog is more than having patience and emotional support. A dog needs your time and attention for its entire life. This includes exercise and play. Otherwise dogs can act out and be destructive from boredom.
The financial responsibility of a dog can also be substantial. The Spruce Pets estimates that a dog can cost anywhere from $1400-$4300 a year.
We know it can be a bit overwhelming so before bringing your new fur baby home
here are a few things you can do to prepare:
1. Finding a Veterinarian:
This can be a scary step for new dog owners. We suggest doing it first so you’re ready for your new puppy’s arrival. A good vet you trust makes all the difference.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time and money at your vets practice. Make sure you and your puppy feels comfortable and welcome. We suggest reading reviews and talking to a few vets in your area. Don’t settle for the first one that’s convenient or closest.
Your vet will provide:
2. Preparing your Home:
Puppies are notoriously adventurous. While they will be nervous meeting their new family, it won’t be long until they decide to explore. This can lead to shredded shoes, knocked over trash, or chewed cords depending on the environment. Before your bundle of joy goes home think of ways to clear the area for these little ‘mess cats.’ (No offense to cats!)
When that first day arrives and you take your puppy home it will be so exciting! Try to remember that healthy routines are a dog’s best friend (besides you). It can be tempting to play until they’re so excited they pee on the floor.
Instead, be prepared. Have your designated potty area for your puppy ready and show them that space when you get home. Show them where they will sleep and find water. These are constants that every dog should have. Having them setup will be one less stressor for both of you.
Every dog needs supplies to live a happy, healthy life. Let’s start with the basics.
A bowl for food and water. Depending on your floors you might want a mat to go under the water, because your puppy will spill at one point or another.
The food itself is very important. We encourage you to research the best food for your dog based on your budget. There are many good kibbles, and it can get confusing. A few good brands we’ve tried are FROMM, NutriSource, and Victors.
[We will go over the different options in a future post.]
It's an owner’s choice where a dog sleeps. Crate training is a viable way to create a ‘safe space’ for a dog. They like having a safe little nest they can run to or claim as their own. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers has a helpful guide to pick a good size for your dogs kennel.
Some people let their dog sleep in their bed (I’m definitely guilty of that!).
The next thing we recommend is an Identification tag and a vaccination tag. This is hopefully never needed, but if your dog ever runs away it is a life saver. Microchipping is also a safe (but more expensive) option that can save a lot of heartbreak.
Grooming supplies are also required. Even if you don’t have a poodle that requires constant maintenance, all dogs need to be groomed. The nails need to be trimmed at the risk of causing arthritic problems later on. Mats can form and cause skin problems if their coat isn't brushed. And believe if or not but your dogs teeth need to be brushed too!
(Find more details on dog grooming in a future post.)
When your dog comes home they’ll need some help learning their new environment and routine. Those regular routines are key with training. Wake up, eat, bathroom, play, eat, bathroom, and bedtime. A dog needs training early, otherwise they will train you! Those puppy dog eyes can make anyone melt. But remember, you’re in charge, and they need you to be a strict parent.
Potty training comes with patience and that set routine. Have your designated area and let them know it’s for them to go potty. Be conscious of when they need to go potty. For instance when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed. Or after your dog eats at set times. These are natural progressions that your dog follows. Dogs will adapt to your schedule, so if you go to bed at 9 pm they will sleep too. And when you both wake up, they’ll wake. And they’ll have to go potty.
Socialization and walking is another key part of training. It may be cute for a puppy to growl at a stranger. But a 90 pound dog growling isn’t as cute. Socializing and getting puppies used to people is key to a happy dynamic. It can also mitigate the constant barking that some dogs are prone to. Having a social, well behaved dog takes time and work, But makes all the difference.
We hope this helps you feel a bit more prepared. Eventually, you’ll find out about the little shark puppy teeth and the best way to clean up a mess. Having a dog comes with its ups and downs. In the end, we firmly believe that dogs are here to show us what unconditional love looks like. If you treat them well they will always be there to give you good company. If you feel ready for the commitment to this little bundle of joy visit Mason Creek St. Berdoodles.
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