Being the owner of a dog is a huge responsibility. They need a variety of things like love, attention, exercise, and care. So, make sure that you are looking after your canine buddy properly by checking out the dos and don’ts of doggy care, listed below.
Do Check Your Finances Before Getting a Dog
Do ensure that you have the funds available to take proper care of your pet. A lot of pets end up in rescue centers or being re-homed because new owners don’t always realize how much money it will cost to look after them. Even a healthy dog can set you back a fair bit of money with veterinary check-ups, good quality food, and toys. Just think about how much they could cost if they are in an accident or get sick!
It is always best to go into pet ownership with your eyes open, so you need to research the costs of keeping a dog thoroughly before you bite the bullet. If you are dubious about whether you can truly factor the cost of keeping a dog or puppy into your budget, it might be best to hold off a bit. At least until your financial situation changes.
Don’t Assume That All Dogs Are The Same
There is such a wide variety of dogs that when you are researching the cost and the care, you will need to provide for them, you have to be specific. It’s no good budgeting for a Highland Terrier and then getting a Doberman! The costs are just not going to be comparable.
In fact, many owners don’t realize that a lot of items need to be specialized to the breed of the dog. For food, you need to assess the type, and the amount needed like they do in this Pit Bull food guide. Toys, lead, and harnesses, also need to be appropriate to your dog’s age, size and strength. Or they are not going to be very effective at all.
Do Assess Your Situation Before You Choose To Home a Dog
Do take a long, hard look at you home situation before you decide to get a dog. Are you mobile enough to take the dog out once, or twice a day for exercise and toileting? Do you have space in the garden where they can run around during the day, so they don’t get bored?
How about the other people in your home? Are there are a lot of young children that might pose a risk to a young puppy because they don’t understand how to behave properly around it? Or is the reverse true, and getting a large dog could be dangerous to their health? Remember big dogs aren’t always aware of their own strengths or temperament. This is really worth bearing in mind when you have kids in the house, for safety reasons.
Don’t Forget the Other Pets You Have In Your Home
Something that it is easy to do, when you get a new dog is to forget the comfort and safety of the other animals you already have living in your home. Remember that it can take a fair amount of time for your current pets to get used to the new arrival.
For cats, make sure that there is enough space so they can retreat and be on their own if they want to. Don’t force them together and expect them to get on. Give them some time to sniff each other, and suss each other out.
For other dogs, you need to decide based on the behavior of the individual animal. A nervous dog may benefit from small periods of being introduced to their new housemate until they have got used to them. More robust canines may be happy jumping straight in with their new buddy.
Do Consider Your Own Fitness Levels Before Getting a Dog
Something else that is actually forgotten quite a lot when people get a new dog in the family is their own fitness levels. Big dogs like Basset Hounds and German Shepherds need loads and loads of exercise to be happy. But are you going to be happy doing all that exercise with them? If you aren’t looking to start running marathons with a canine companion, then it might be better to get a smaller breed instead. One that needs a lot less exercise every day.
Don’t Forget All the Unglamorous Things You’ll Need To Do
Another thing you had better not forget, is that while dogs are loyal, cute, and loving, they can also be pretty gross. Being a dog owner isn’t just about the fun time. You have to deal with the messy time as well. That includes cleaning up their poop when you are out for a walk. Or giving them a bath when they have rolled in something unsavory.
If this is the sort of thing that gives you the shivers, then you need to reconsider whether a dog is the best choice for your life. As there are other animals such as cats or fish that are cleaner instead.
Do Keep an Eye on Their Diet
Just like us humans, what dogs eat can have a massive effect on their health. That’s why it’s vital to keep an eye on their diet. You need to make sure that no one is feeding them items that can be toxic to dogs, like chocolate. Or, you can end up having to deal with an upset stomach or worse! You can find out some more information about that here.
Don’t Forget About Discipline
Whatever the size of your dog, it’s important to remember that they don’t train themselves. Discipline classes can seem like an expensive investment. But actually, they can be the key to getting a great relationship with your pooch.
So many owners increase the stress in their lives because they either don’t take them to puppy classes in the first place. Or, they can’t be bothered to keep up their training once they come home again.
But teaching them to sit and fetch it is vital, just like any human skills it’s easy to forget if we don’t do it regularly. That is just the same with your dog, help them to be the pet that you want them to be by providing regular practice, or a refresher course now and again.