Tips For Adopting a Pet Dog For The First Time
Dogs make great pets. They’re loyal, easy to train, and so much fun to play with. That’s why you’ve been thinking about getting a pet dog for a long time. Now that you have the right home and can afford it, you’re ready to adopt a furry friend.
Getting a dog is a major event in your life, so it’s not a decision you should make lightly. Just getting the cutest puppy you find can backfire on you. You’ll need to get your home ready and have a plan to bond with your dog in those important first few days. But first, you need to figure out which breed works best for you.
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Picking The Right Dog
Animal World has a great explanation of the different types of dog breeds and what they were bred to do. That’s important because you can’t ignore breeding. For example, terriers were bred to hunt and kill vermin. That means a terrier will bark and chase anything small like squirrels, even if the squirrel is outside on the lawn.
You also need to ask some questions about your expectations for having a dog, such as:
- How much shedding are you willing to put up with? You may need one with a short coat.
- How often can you play with the dog to give it some exercise? A dog needing a lot of activity will get upset if left alone too much.
- What age do you want? Puppies are cute but need a lot of attention.
- How big is your place? A big dog in a one-bedroom apartment is a bad choice.
- Do you have any allergies? You may need to get a hypoallergenic breed.
Do your research and find a dog breed that matches your lifestyle. You can also visit the American Kennel Club and use their online dog breed selector.
Getting Your Home Ready
Once you’ve found the right kind of dog for your lifestyle, you need to make sure your home is ready for a pet dog. Puppy or not, you need to dog-proof your home.
Photo Credit: dogstarrescue.org
The ASPCA explains you need to make sure there is nothing toxic in your home that a dog can reach, such as unfriendly plants, cleaning supplies, or dangerous household items. Think of getting a dog as having an infant or toddler. Your pet will be very curious, so make sure they cannot get themselves in trouble.
Here are a few other dog-proofing tips for your home:
- Buy a gate if you plan on keeping some areas off-limits for the dog.
- Tape down electrical cords so your dog cannot chew on them.
- Make sure nothing breakable is located where a dog can knock it over by accident.
- If you don’t want your dog getting up on certain couches or beds, put something soft in that room so the dog can sit on that instead.
Bonding & Caring For Your Pet Dog
Now that your home is prepared for your new dog, it’s time to bring them home. Those first few days are very important, however. Doing the right things with your pet now can create a bond that will last a lifetime. Sheknows.com recommends several ways to bond with your dog:
- Set aside time to play and hang out. You’re probably ready to play with your new dog, but you know how work and family pressures can interfere.
- Groom your pet, as that’s what the dog’s parents would do.
- Create a simple ritual around food such as feeding at the same time each day. And make sure your dog sees you providing food.
Your dog will also need plenty of walks. It’s great exercise, but they also need to learn the neighborhood should they get past the fence. If you have trouble finding time for dog walking, Rover.com will help you find a professional dog walker that can do it for you.
Get It Right For Lasting Benefits
Having a pet dog is one of the best decisions you can make, but it’s also a very important one. Do your research to find the right breed for you, then dog-proof your home before bringing them home. After spending some time bonding and walking your pet, you’ll soon see why so many people love having a pet dog.
Guest Author: Jessica Brody