I am pretty certain that most people want a family dog at some point in their lives. A furry companion, and protector for the kids. Who can blame them anyway? Dogs make fantastic pets. They are loving and loyal, and they come in many different breeds and personalities. They come big and small, some with tons of energy and others that would rather lay around on the couch all day. There is definitely a dog out there that is perfect to keep you company if you know what you are looking for.
Although dogs are amazing creatures, that does not mean you should just rush right out and buy a dog. There are things you should know before getting a dog. You also need to make sure you are properly equipped to proved your new friend with a good quality life.
First of All: Choose The Right Breed!
When preparing to bring a new dog into your home and into your family, you want to be completely certain that you are making the right choice. You may be able to ensure you make the right choice if you take a couple extra precautions before making a choice
First of all when you begin concidering whether or not to buy a dog you need to completely evaluate your lifestyle. This will help you choose a breed which better fits your life and personality type. There are a few different points to consider when making a breed choice. One of the mmost important of those point wold be knowing how active you are and how much space you have. If you have ample space and you are an active person a higher energy breed such as an Australian sheppard or a Collie could be a decent fit for you. If you have a smaller living space with less room for your pup to run a smaller breed would be a better fit for you. You may want to concider something like a jack russel or a Daschund.
Another thing you will want to concider when it comes to deciding which breed is right for your family is what kind of a personality you are looking for in a dog. A person who is more laid back might want to search among the mellow breeds, while someone highly active, or even high strung may want to search within the more energetic breeds such as terriers. Getting a dog that has a personality which matches your own will ensure that you develop a good relationship with your new companion.
Are You Sure Your Home is Ready?
After you have done your research and decided which breed would be the best fit for you, it is time to get your home safe and ready. Getting ready for your new dog is much like baby proofing in preparation of a new baby. Dogs are naturally curious and many like to chew for fun. It is very important that you make sure you have all harmful chemicals and cleaners put up and locked away so that your dog cannot get to them. You may also want to think about covering exposed extention cords and wires so that your new addition is not tempted to chew them as well. Taking the extra steps to ensure that your home is ready could ultimately save you from a trip to the vet in the future, and possibly prolong the life of your pet.
Do You Know How To Keep Up With Their Health Care?
After you have made your breed choice and gotten your home ready you can now go get a new dog. although these preparations are a very important part of being a good dog owner, there is still much more that you need to.
Just like your children it is important to make sure that your dog is healthy. There are a variety of different things that need to be done with your dog on a regular basis. It will be a good idea to get in touch with your vet after getting a new dog so you can make an appointment.
Spay or Neuter
When you first get your new dog you will want to make sure that you get them to the vet for a check up to make sure everything is good. When you make this appointment you will want to spay or neuter you dog if it has not already been done. The only reasonyou may want to skip this step is if you are interested in brededing. Taking this precaution will make your pet more likely to be better behaved. Dogs also tend to wander less when they are fixed, and you can’t end up with puppies by surprise.
Keep Up to Date on Vaccinations
this is one of the most important parts of responsible dog ownership. Making sure that your dog is up to date on its shots could pontentially be a life or death decision for your dog. VAccines protect your dog from a wide variety of diseases that can be fatal if your pet is not protected. You can perform a titer test on your dog to be sure you know which vaccines they are due for when you get your dog. After you get your dog up to date your vet will let you know how often you will need to bring your dog back in.
Flea, Tick, and Hear Worm Medication as Needed.
Fleas, ticks, and Heartworm are three very common issues among dogs. As a pet owner it is now your responsibility to make sure you keep your dog treated for these things. If your dog is free of all these ailments it will make their life much more pleasant, as well as your own.
License and Chip Your New Dog
In most communities you can licesnse your dog in your name and mark them with a tracking chip. These are both very beneficial options when it comes to ensuring the safety of your pet. This is not required, and even though you are a careful pet owner accidents do happen. If your dog happens to run away and you are not able to find him licensing and chipping will provide you a way to find them, and also proof on record that the dog belongs to you. This also prevents the theft of your dog, which unfortunately happens more than it should in most places.
Keep up With Their Hygiene
Hygiene is an important part of dog ownership, even though it is not always the most pleasant part. There are A few different areas that you need to take care of regularly.
*Bathing-You need to bathe your dog regularly with special shampoo for dogs. You should never use human shampoo on your dog as it could cause skin problems and allergic reactions.
*Trimming Nail-To do this you will need nail clippers for dogs. Human nail clippers will not get the job done. This needs to be done carefully as it is easy to cause harm if you cut too far back.
*Grooming- It is important to regularly brush your dogs. This is good or the health of their coat and many enjoy it as well. It could be a good bonding experience for the two of you.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Keeping a healthy diet is important for all living beings. The same goes for our dogs. It is important that they are getting a balanced diet that fits their activity levels. The amount and frequency that you need to feed your dog will depend on the weight, age, and energy levels of you dog. If you aren’t sure what to feed your dog, ask your vet to give you a few good healthy suggestions.
Make Sure They Get Exercise Regularly
In addition to a healthy diet is important that your dog get physical exercise every day. Make sure you walk your dog every day. They benefit greatly physically and mentally from this practice. Doing this also give your pet a better chance at a long life.
Properly Train Your Dog
Training is a very important part of being a pet owner. You need to make ssure that your dog is well behaved around other people and animals, and also obeys your commands will. In the long run this is a safety precaution for you and those around you.
It is recommended that you enroll your dog in a obedience program as soon as you get them. This will help them socialize with other dogs as well as people.
When it comes to training your new companion you need to remember that consistency is key to success. You also need to keep in mind that it is beneficial to keep your daily training session short. Keep them limited to lengths of about 10 to 20 minutes. This ensures that you keep your dogs attention and they do not get so easily bored or distracted.
It is extremely important to always use positive reinforcement when it comes to training your dog. Every time they obey a command or do something correctly be sure to pet and praise them right away. This shows them that what they just did made you happy. In cases where your dog is misbehaving, the best reaction is to ignore them. If they have just misbehaved and come up to you looking for love turn away. This will show them that you are not happy with them, and eventually they will associate that with the bad behavior.
Never resort to violence or yelling. Dogs do not respond well to this method, and it will do mor harm than good to your relationship. Your goal as a dog owner is to get your dog to listen to you out of respect, not fear. Once again, if you can not handle your dogs behavioral issues on your own do not hesitate to call a profession dog trainer.
If your dog does not socialize well with other pets you can hire a professional trainer to work with you one on one. This way you can work on any behavioral issues in a safe environment.
Give Your Dog a Warm Soft Bed and Lots of Love.
If you want to be a good dog owner you surely will not want to let your dog slep outside or on the cold bare floor. Make sure you get a nice plush dog bed for your pup. If you need something for the time being an old thick blanket will work as well.
If you plan to own a dog it you need to be able to provide them with plenty of love and affection. In nature dogs are pack creatures and they rely on each other for many things. When you get a dog it views you as the pack leader and looks to you for many things as well. It is very important that you treat them with compassion if you wish to have a good relationship.
It is not really all that hard to be a great dog owner. It just takes a little work and preparation to ensure that you and your dog get the most out of your life together. It will pay off greatly in the long run if you do not take any short cuts.
Remember to be loving, patient, and consistent with you new dog. New pet ownership is a learning experience for both parties. I can assure you that all your pet wants to do is please you, they just need to figure out how and it is your job to show them.
When it comes down to it if you do not think you can provide a dog with proper care, then don’t get one. It is not fair to the animal if you bring it home and don’t intend to give it the best care possible. I was always raised to love a dog like a child, and if you can’t do that then you are not ready to be a truly good, responsible dog owner.