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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

Pet Parenting Guide for New Pet Parents

Owning a dog is one of the greatest joys in life. Get ready to receive lots of unconditional love and sloppy doggy kisses. But be sure you are ready. Your dog is completely reliant on you for everything. If you get a puppy you are responsible for its care for up to 15 years. If you are a first time dog owner read our tips to give your dog the best start straight off the bat.

1. Research your ideal type dog

Do your research and ask yourself some questions. What size dog do I want? Keep in mind if you have small children a large dog can easily knock them over. What activities do I want to do with my dog? Do you want to take the dog on vigorous hikes and lead an active lifestyle? If so, then avoid dogs with flat noses who have difficulty breathing with strenuous exercise like French Bulldogs. Do some research at on various breeds and their traits. This can help you too if you are looking at a mixed breed. The website can clue you in to the traits of the breeds in a mixed breed.

There are approximately 3.1 million dogs that enter shelters in the U.S. every year. Rescue one for you at an area shelter. The shelter staff usually are very knowledgeable about dogs in their facility. Rely on their expertise to find yours.

2. Be Responsible

You are in charge of your dog’s food, exercise, daily activities, veterinary care and training.

Also on your list of responsibilities is abiding by the rules of your community. This means getting your dog vaccinated, keeping it from running the neighborhood, picking up after it on walks and getting it licensed.

3. Puppy or grown dog?

Puppies are irresistible. But with that sweet puppy face comes lots of time requirements. You will need to teach it potty training, crate training, how to interact with others and generally shaping its personality. Access honestly whether you are willing to undertake all that a puppy requires.

4. Consider Your Budget for a New Pet

The first year of puppy ownership can cost up to $4,800. You will have monthly and annual vet costs, quality food and treats, grooming and preventative care. Add in all the items you need to buy before your dog comes home and it can be a hit to your finances.

5. Find a Veterinarian

You will need to develop a relationship with a veterinarian soon after you bring your dog home. Your vet can assess his health and recommend a vaccination schedule as well as flea, tick and heartworm preventative. A recommendation of the proper food to feed your dog is also a task your vet can help with. Consider asking your vet to microchip your new pet. It will save you a lot of heartache if your dog gets lost.

6. Prep Your Area

Get your surroundings ready for your new buddy. Pick up anything that can be a chewing hazard in your house or yard. Purchase bowls, a collar, a leash, toys, and a crate in addition to food and treats.

7. Practice Patience

Your new furry friend will need some time to adjust to its new home. It can take from 2 to 4 weeks for a dog to relax, according to Emily Cook of the Humane Society of Charlotte. Give it time and practice patience. Be consistent with your training. Make sure all family members know how to apply the rules and use the same commands.

8. Provide Exercise and Play

Your dog also has other needs. Among these are a need for exercise to keep it physically healthy and play for a relaxed mental state. You should also provide stimulating toys like puzzle and treat toys to help keep your dog engaged.

9. Get Helpers

Line up helpers if you need assistance with your dog. Arrange for boarding or a dog-sitter if going out of town. Get a dog walker if you have to leave your dog alone for extended periods of time. Use the services of a groomer if your pooch gets shaggy. Know that you can rely on others.

10. Relax

There are bound to be setbacks with a new canine buddy. He may get into the trash, chew your shoes or stain the carpet. Expect some mishaps and take it in stride. Your new pooch will settle in and mishaps will become less frequent.

Using our tips will provide you with the tools you need to make your new dog experience bright and welcoming.



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