So you’ve always loved animals but for some reason couldn’t take care of them while you were growing up, maybe because your parents forbid it or the place you lived in didn’t allow it. But now that you’ve grown up, the situation has become more amenable to you taking care of a pet. Maybe you live in an apartment where pets are welcome or you live with a partner that also loves animals.
But just because you want something doesn’t always mean you’re ready for it. Just like any important endeavor, there are considerations you need to take into factor and preparations you need to make before you can bring a furry pal into your home.
Adopting a Dog? Here’s What You Need to Know
Caring for a pet is a huge undertaking that takes serious commitment on your part as the human caregiver. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of things you should know before adopting a dog:
1. Take as much time as you want when choosing your pet or making decisions about the adoption process.
As we’ve mentioned, adopting a pet is a serious undertaking so you shouldn’t make compulsive decisions especially when selecting your pet. You will have to make a few considerations first, such as the type of place you live in and whether you’ll be doing a lot of traveling and will have to be away from the house for long periods of time.
2. Adopting from a shelter is always better than buying from pet stores.
Did you know that for every dog bought from a pet store or a breeder, a dog in an animal shelter has to be euthanized? There are lots of cute and sweet animals that are in need of your love and care at thousands of animal shelters across the country. If you adopt from a shelter instead of buying from breeders or pet stores, you get to save a precious canine life.
3. Make sure your household budget can afford it.
Pets require a lot of care, and their needs can add up to a lot of expenses over time. When you’re taking care of a dog, you will have to spend money on not just their food but also additional expenses like medical care, bedding, treats, grooming, and so on—all aspects that are just as important as food.
4. It’s crucial that you get your pet neutered or spayed.
National animal statistics reveal that about 8 million animals are left at animal shelters each year. Out of this number, roughly half of them are expected to be put to sleep just because there are not enough homes for all of them. To counter this problem, it’s important that you have your pet spayed or neutered so that there will be no more unwanted puppies being born.
5. Another important factor you must think about is your pet’s dental health.
It is crucial that you brush his teeth at least several times each week. If your adopted pet is still a puppy and is not used to having his teeth brushed, you can slowly and gradually introduce the brushing routine to him. When doing so, positive reinforcement can help to get him familiar with the routine. You can do this by rewarding your pet after each brushing session.
6. Nail care should also be one of your considerations.
Get your dog’s nails regularly trimmed; you don’t want them getting too long as it can cause them discomfort and interfere with their physical activity. If they grow too long, it can affect the way they walk and even their nervous system. Schedule a monthly grooming session with the vet or groomer to get their paws and nails handled.
7. You also need to look after your dog’s fur.
Different breeds of dogs all require different kinds of upkeep; there are some that are high maintenance while there are others that can do with some occasional brushing now and then. Brushing your dog’s fur helps prevent matting and also improves his blood circulation, which in turn keeps his skin healthy. Take note that you don’t need to bathe your pet every single day. As long as they’re relatively clean and are not smelly and dirty, they can get by with a weekly bath. Going overboard with the baths will only dry out his skin as the constant shampooing will remove the natural oils of his body.
8. Be careful when it comes to your pet’s diet as there are certain types of food that are not good for him and that might even be toxic.
First on that list of foods to avoid is chocolate that, when ingested, could even cause his death. There are also other “human foods” that could also cause him serious harm, such as grapes, raisins, onions, macadamia nuts, and the like. Even with food that is healthy and okay for him to eat, you should be careful that you don’t overfeed him. Obesity is one thing you want to avoid as it can lead to major health problems for your pet. Instead of leaving out all their food for the day, it’s much better to schedule meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
9. Don’t overlook their training.
From the start, you should be setting clear rules as well as boundaries for your puppy. When training your dog, positive reinforcement is the key as he will respond better to praise and rewards as opposed to any form or punishment such as shouting at them or locking them up in a cage. Such tactics will only make them afraid of you. To be able to teach them properly, you will need to gain their trust and love.
10. When training them, you will need to bring them outdoors for their regular exercise every day.
You need to be careful when doing this as dogs, especially the active ones, usually have a tendency to run away or wander. To prevent them from getting lost, you will need to invest in a reliable GPS tracker such as Trackidog. This tracking device will prove helpful in monitoring the whereabouts of your puppy in real time. This way, even if you lose sight of him or he runs away, you will immediately have an idea of where he is. This makes it easier on your part to recover him.