You have seen them on TV, on the streets, and perhaps even in your dreams. There’s no other way to say it: you really want to get a dog. Why not? There are very few things in life as cute, as loyal, and as lovable as a puppy. But you must understand that being a pet owner is not just a walk in the park (pun intended). There are lots of things to consider before you get yourself one. Here’s everything a new dog owner needs to know before taking in a fur baby.
It’s a serious commitment
Dogs live up to an average of 13 years. That’s more than a decade of your life. Are you really sure you’re ready to make that commitment? It’s kind of like raising a baby who can barely stand up and then after a few years turns into a toddler that causes all kinds of chaos around the house. Here’s the clincher: dogs grow old, but never really grow up.
Find the right breed
What kind of dog do you want? Something big or one that fits in your purse? Short coat or long coat? Do you want a guard dog or one for hunting? You could get one for emotional support or a service dog for a disability. You must find the right breed for your needs.
They require lots of time and patience…
People call them ‘babies’ because they never really grow up. You need to raise them as if you are raising your own human child. That means a lot of time, attention, and patience, too. You will have to feed, play, and clean up after them every day. What about your studies or your day job? Can you work and take care of a living thing at the same time?
…And resources too
Speaking of work, you will definitely have to make a living if you plan on taking care of a dog. You need to acquire essential items like dog food, accessories, and toys as well as toiletries, vitamins, and other personal doggy items.
They need medical care…
Dogs get sick and you have to take them to the vet when that happens. In addition, they require shots for rabies and other infections. Those do not come for free and they are not cheap. Some dogs come pre-vaccinated so look into getting one of those.
…And lots of exercise
Suppose you are not an outdoor type kind of person. You need to change that if you want a dog because they need daily walks and playtime out in the sun. This is necessary for them to stay healthy and get their nervous energies out.
What about your other babies?
Consider your other babies at home. Would they be ready for a dog? Make sure your partner approves. Guarantee that little children are not allergic to fur. What if you already have a cat or maybe another dog from years ago? Observe if they blend well with other furballs.
Is your home dog-ready?
There is another member of the family that you need to consider for these kinds of decisions. Is your house dog-proof? If you are renting would the landlord approve? Expect pet fees to be added to your rental. In case you have a roommate, are they cool with it? Plus, is your place near any animal clinics in case of emergencies?
They need to be trained
Another important first-time dog owner tip: dogs need to be trained. It’s not mandatory to enter them in a skills camp or dog shows, but you will have to teach your dog a few tricks. Start with proper potty training. You also have to teach them to behave through voice commands. Reward good work with hugs and treats.
These are everything we know a new dog owner needs to know before getting a pup. Did we miss anything?