So, you’ve decided to expand your family. No, we’re not talking about a baby, although the addition of a dog has many similarities. It can be easy to write this decision off as a minor one that won’t change your life significantly. However, your new pet does come with responsibilities that do require you to make certain sacrifices. Unfortunately, many overlook this until after the fact, and this can lead to many adverse results including:
- Improper care
- Eventual placement in already overcrowded animal shelters
- Additional stress owners aren’t capable of handling
- Bringing a New Dog into Your Life is a Major Decision.
A new pet is going to require more than just filling up a food and water bowl before work in the morning. It’s a lot of responsibility! Puppy Joy sums it up. “Bringing a new dog into your life is a major decision. Make sure you are even ready for a dog before you start the process. It is also essential that you understand the costs of dog ownership.”
Despite what you may have deluded yourself into your believing, you can’t rely on the kids to fulfill 100% of your new dog’s needs. Bringing a new dog into your life is a significant decision. It’s going to require the dedication of the entire family. Before you make the plunge, consider these five essential tips.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Consider your lifestyle. Different breeds of dog require different levels of care and attention. For example, if you’re thinking about adding a Chihuahua to the mix since they’re generally low maintenance, consider the fact that they aren’t very well suited for children. Determining the type of dog that can fit into your family is important. If you get the right dog, they can have a therapeutic effect on you and your family members in times of anxiety and stress.
You should also get a feel for the temperament of the type of dog you’re considering. If you’re looking for an ideal dog to accompany you on daily jogs, you may consider Weimaraner. However, if you’ll be running in high temperatures, a Vizsla could prove to be a better fit. Your dog should fit your lifestyle. Keep in mind that the temperament of the dog is going to be even more important if you have frequent guests or if people not in your immediate family happen to stay a lot on your property. Aggressive breeds can be great for security, but if they bite someone they shouldn’t have, you can be put in legal trouble. So if you’re wanting a guard dog for your family, be sure that this dog is well-trained.”
Pet-Proof Your Home
Have you ever had a friend with young kids come to your home? You were likely distracted by the many dangers lurking around every corner you don’t consider until there are vulnerable little people around to find them. The same holds true for your new dog.
There are so many things you wouldn’t usually even think of that can become severe dangers for new dogs. If you are getting a puppy, you’ll have to be even more careful as they’re young and inexperienced. Just a few ways you can prepare for your new dog include:
Check every cabinet and countertop that’s pet-level for hazardous chemicals, small toys, electrical cords, etc.
- Check the yard for plants that are toxic to dogs.
- Remove food items that contain xylitol.
- Put up small items your pet could choke on like coins, plastic parts, etc.
Know the Cost of Your Pet’s Diet
Make sure you’ll be able to accommodate your new pet financially. Different dogs require different types of food. While a puppy may not consume much when it’s little, they get bigger–and so will your dog food bill. Therefore, if you’re on a tight budget, it may not be wise to buy a breed known to grow very large.
You also must consider that there are different dietary needs for various stages of life. It takes much more effort than simply going to your nearest pet food store and grabbing an inexpensive bag of dog food. VitaLife explains that wet dog food and dry kibble vary by cost, taste, and convenience. Ultimately, decisions about dog food will depend on the needs of your dog and finding balance along the way.
In addition to knowing what your dog should eat, make sure you know what foods to avoid. Have a list ready for foods dogs can’t and should never eat. This will not only help you remember what not to give your dog, but also any children around the house.
Don’t Forget Exercise!
A pet is a living creature just like a person. In addition to a balanced diet, it’s up to you to ensure your new dog gets adequate exercise. If you live in a rural area, this may not be a big concern. However, if your pet will be confined to your home or a small yard, it’s going to be up to you to ensure regular walks. If your schedule is going to be too hectic to provide daily exercise, a dog might not be your best pet option.
Talk to a Veterinarian
Your pet will need a reliable vet, and now’s a good time to seek one out. Not only does this give you a chance to find one you can count on, but they can offer valuable advice when it comes to matching you with the right dog for your lifestyle.
Welcome Your New Family Member with Confidence
Our goal here hasn’t been to scare you away from inviting a new member to the family. Bringing a new dog into your life is a significant decision. We want to ensure you make it with confidence. By following these helpful tips, you can make a more informed and wise decision, one that will benefit you, your family, and its newest member.